Thailand Prenuptial Agreement
A prenuptial agreement, or “prenup”, is a contract a couple makes with each other before they get married. It is also known as an ante-nuptial agreement or a premarital agreement. The purpose of a prenuptial agreement is to set out in writing which property is owned by which spouse and decide in advance how the properties will be divided if the marriage ends in divorce. Although everyone who gets married wants it to last, the unfortunate truth is that many marriages do not. A couple who successfully negotiates a prenuptial agreement before their marriage will save thousands of dollars in legal fees if the marriage fails.
When couples list what they own in writing and state who owns what, they can avoid future disagreements about assets. Prenuptial agreements can give both spouses peace of mind. A relatively wealthy individual can make sure their spouse-to-be is not marrying them for the money, while someone who does not feel financially independent will have the security of knowing exactly how they will be provided for if the marriage turns sour.
If you are the owner or part-owner of a small business, you may want to prepare a prenuptial agreement to make sure your marriage does not affect the ownership of the company. If you do not prepare a prenuptial agreement and later divorce, your former spouse could be awarded part of the company, which can make managing your business extremely difficult!
Prenuptial agreements can also protect one spouse from the other’s debts. Under Thai law, a prenuptial agreement can protect one partner’s assets from the other partner’s debts. That way, if your spouse runs up credit card debt, debt collectors will be unable to seize your property to pay it off.
Prenuptial agreements made in Thailand will survive the death of a spouse. If you have a property that you want to pass on to your heirs, a prenuptial agreement will make sure this property goes into your estate and is not automatically passed on to your spouse.
Requirements for a Valid Thai Prenuptial Agreement
Thai law lists strict requirements for a valid prenuptial agreement.
- Prenuptial agreements need to be writing and signed before the marriage. At least two witnesses must be present.
- The agreement must be written in the native language of each party. If you are a foreigner planning on marrying a Thai, this means that you will need two prepare and sign two copies of the agreement, one in your native language and one in Thai.
- Each party needs advice from its own lawyer. It is extremely important that both parties understand exactly what the agreement means. Thai law requires that each spouse receive advice from a different attorney. That means the if you hire one law firm to write the prenuptial agreement, your spouse needs to get advice from an independent attorney or a competing firm.
- The prenuptial agreement must be registered in the official marriage register.
Limitations on Prenuptial Agreements
Thai law states that any clause in a prenuptial agreement which is contrary to public order or against good morals is void. This limitation prevents extremely one-sided prenuptial agreements which depart significantly from Thai laws regulating the management of marital property.
If the prenuptial agreement is made between a Thai citizen and a foreign national, the law of the foreigner’s home country may affect the agreement’s validity.
Countries that Honor Prenuptial Agreements
Many countries allow couples to make prenuptial agreements. The United States, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Finland all enforce valid prenuptial agreements.
About the Author (Author Profile)
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.