How to get Divorced in Thailand?
Marriage is difficult. For a marriage between an American and a Thai, the cultural differences which bring a spark of excitement and freshness into the relationship may later turn into a rift that prevents the couple from forming a lasting bond together. For most cases, the relationship might have become distant. Other times, one party’s behavior destroys the relationship. In Thailand, there are two avenues for divorce. If the parties agree on the divorce along with its terms and conditions, they can go to the Amphur where their marriage is registered and file an agreement for the dissolution of their marriage. If the marriage is not agreed, the process becomes exponentially more difficult.
Under the Thai law, a divorce can be affected by mutual consent or by the judgment of the Court. Divorces made by mutual consent must be in writing and certified by the signatures of at least two witnesses. The divorce statement must contain the terms of the divorce and be filed at the place where the marriage is registered. The couple must bring the signed divorce agreement, the original marriage certificate, and government identification documents to the Amphur when filing for divorce.
If the divorce is through the court system, there must be grounds for the divorce action. The parties can file a petition for divorce and the petition must allege one of the following grounds for divorce:
- Adultery by one of the parties.
- One party’s misconduct inflicts shame, insult, or injury to the other party.
- One party inflicts physical or mental abuse to the spouse or the spouse’s parents.
- One of the parties has deserted the other for more than a year or has been imprisoned for more than a year because of a criminal offense and the other party was not involved in the crime.
- The parties have lived separately for more than three years.
- One of the parties has disappeared.
- One of the parties has failed to financially support the marriage and the parties can no longer live together.
- One of the parties is has been mentally incapacitated for more than three years.
- One of the parties has broken a bond of good behavior executed by them.
- One of the parties has a communicable and dangerous disease which is incurable and may cause injury to the other.
- One of the parties have a physical injury which makes them incapable of cohabiting as husband and wife.
The process begins with the filing of the petition for divorce in Family Court by one of the parties. The other party needs to be served with papers. After the first hearing, the parties will be sent to mediation. If the parties can come to an agreement on the terms of the divorce, the agreement will be submitted to the court for their signature.
If the parties do not come to an agreement, the case will be set for trial with witnesses and testimony. After the trial, the court will render its own judgment on the divorce within 30 days. The court process is very difficult and it is recommended that the parties have an experienced family attorney to represent them.
For legal consultation, please call 02 254 8900 or 1-877-252-8831 (US Toll-free) Bangkok time.
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Siam Legal is an international law firm with experienced lawyers, attorneys, and solicitors both in Thailand law and international law. This Thailand law firm offers comprehensive legal services in Thailand to both local and foreign clients for Litigation such as civil & criminal cases, labor disputes, commercial cases, divorce, adoption, extradition, fraud, and drug cases. Other legal expertise of the law firm varied in cases involving corporate law such as company registration & Thailand BOI, family law, property law, and private investigation.