Right to Support after Divorce in Thailand
Support is an issue prevalent in Thailand divorce. In almost all instances, the mutual objective of spouses to terminate the marital union is definite, but concerns on support hinder an expedient break-up.
Support after the grant of divorce in Thailand is often associated with provision for common children born to the former spouses during their marriage. However, support may also be awarded to a former spouse for varied reasons. While child support is indispensable, spousal support is optional and may be awarded only because of particular considerations. In case it is granted, the basis, amount and period of award will vary on a case to case basis. Suffice it to say, spousal support or alimony is not mandatory in Thailand.
As a voluntary act
The giving of alimony may be imparted on a purely voluntary basis. Whether it be an act of appreciation, a scheme to avoid confrontation, or a design to alleviate the pain caused to one’s spouse, a party to an impending divorce is free to offer alimony to a partner.
As an enforced term in a prenuptial agreement
One important purpose of a prenuptial agreement is to make available to the splitting couple arrangements on alimony in case their marriage turns sour. Without the need for parties to battle each other at such a sensitive time, these provisions on support need only to be enforced at the breakdown of their marriage.
A well-drafted prenuptial agreement must be able to provide feasible and financially responsive support provisions not just to the receiving party, but to the paying party as well. Should no party question the terms of the support as specified in the prenup, all that is needed is the enforcement of the agreement.
As a Humanitarian Consideration or Compensation
In cases where the financially-able party does not offer alimony, or there is no prenuptial agreement to be enforced, the aggrieved party is left with two options. The party may hire the services of a Thailand lawyer who shall negotiate an out-of-court settlement with the other spouse, or come to court for a judicial determination of the terms of support.
The law favors support to a party who is expected to experience hardships because of the breakdown of the marriage. Let us take the case of a woman with a promising career who leaves her job for family life. All goes well until her husband leaves her for another and becomes violent with her. With clear grounds for divorce, the wife can go to court and ask not only for the grant for divorce but for alimony as well. In such cases, the alimony is not just a humanitarian consideration for the wife and the sacrifices she made, but likewise, as compensation for the difficulties she experienced in the hands of her spouse during their marriage.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Siriporn, an Attorney-at-Law in Siam Legal, has practiced for over 4 years in the area of family law. She earned her Law degree at Thammasat University and has been admitted to the bar in 2003 by the Thailand Bar Association. In 2004, she became a member of Lawyers Council Thailand, a professional legal organization. She studied abroad at University of California Riverside. She can speak 3 languages: English, Thai, and Chinese. Presently, she's handling the family law section at Siam Legal International.