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Two Main Types of Divorce in Thailand

Mar 2

In Thailand, you can choose to file an uncontested (administrative) or contested divorce. Usually, as the name suggests, an uncontested divorce is easier to get. When a divorce is uncontested, or both parties agree to the divorce, everything is simpler and normally less expensive. Each party does not have to give a reason for ending the marriage. It is pretty clear-cut. Mutual consent is all that is needed when filing an uncontested divorce.

On the other hand, a contested divorce must be submitted to the court, as the divorce normally involves some type of dispute. Usually, the couple is entangled in a property disagreement or have a difference of opinion about child custody.


Mutual Consent

When two Thai residents wish to keep any conflict to a minimum, an uncontested divorce is advised. This type of divorce settlement permits the couple to reach an amicable agreement – one that will be recorded at a district office where the divorce is granted.

If the divorce is between a foreign spouse and a Thai citizen, an uncontested divorce may also be advised. Marriage between Thai residents and foreign nationals are now more common. Therefore, an uncontested divorce usually will make any dissolution go faster. As long as the marriage is registered in Thailand, you can file an uncontested divorce.

However, with that being said, it is a good idea if you are a foreigner to obtain legal help before consenting to a divorce that is defined as uncontested. You need to do this, as an uncontested Thai divorce is not accepted in all countries. While some locales do recognize administrative divorces, others will not authorize the dissolution. Although divorces involving two people from another country are recognized in Thailand, you always need to contact an attorney before you proceed.

When choosing an attorney, it is imperative that you select a legal specialist who is knowledgeable in drafting prenuptial agreements, handling child custody matters, and managing property disputes. An expert understanding of these subjects is necessary if you want to ensure success in your divorce settlement.


What Documents Do You Need?

Once you contact an attorney, you can divorce in one of the various ways. For example, if the divorce is uncontested, you will divorce by mutual consent, which means that you both approve of the dissolution of marriage. Again, you will need to record the divorce at the district office where you registered for marriage. You will need to supply certain paperwork as well. Documentation should include your Thai national ID, the marriage certificate, a house registration certificate, or a passport if one of the parties was born outside of Thailand.

If you have agreed to divorce but have some issues that need to be resolved, you will need court approval. This type of settlement will resolve certain issues, such as child custody, child or spousal support, the division of the marital assets, and visitation rights. The court will issue an order about the divorce outcome, which is enforced immediately. When a court order is involved, neither party can breach the contract.

You can also file for a divorce in a Thai family court if one of you contest the divorce. That means one of the parties involved in the divorce case is not willing to end the marriage. Maybe only one of the parties wants to file for divorce. If so, the proceedings must convene in a Thai court. Any decision to grant a divorce must be made by the court. The decision will be based on the presentation of evidences – supporting information that shows why divorce is being filed.


Filing for a Divorce

Three types of couples can file for divorce in Thailand. They include the following:

  • Marriage between two people from Thailand
  • Marriage between a Thai national and a foreign national
  • Marriage between people from two different countries, known as an intercultural marriage

As you might suspect, divorce is easy when it is done between two Thai nationals, particularly if the divorce is uncontested. Regardless of your circumstances, you need to file a divorce at a district office when you both agree to end your marriage.


Marriage Held Outside of Thailand

What should I do if my marriage was held outside of Thailand?

You may wonder what you should do if the marriage was held outside the country and one of you is from Thailand. In this case, check first to see if the marriage was reported at the district office where the Thai spouse resides. If so, you can easily file an uncontested divorce at the district office of the marriage registration.

If the marriage was not reported within Thailand, you need to report the marriage registration at a district office. The certificate of marriage will be needed and should be written in the Thai language. Also, the marriage certificate, if translated to the Thai language, needs to be authorized at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to confirm its authenticity.

As you can see, you need to be knowledgeable about how the divorce process works and how it will affect you. By calling a Thai attorney, you can find out what you will need in terms of documentation and learn more about the steps of the process. Divorcing in Thailand involves some legalities that need to be reviewed fully before you submit a filing.