Divorce is a legal process deemed to terminate a marriage. Divorce is generally classified into two kinds: one is mutually agreed and the other one is when only one party wants to get out of the marriage.
2 Types of Divorce in Thailand
Uncontested Divorce is formed by mutual judgment, or both spouses give their consent to the separation. This divorce process involves both the husband and the wife who mutually agree to end the marriage. To file an Uncontested Divorce, both parties need to provide the requirements and submit it to Amphur (Register Office). Since this is an uncontested divorce it is expected that no disputes arise in terms of alimony, division of properties, and child custody. The couple will be given a form to sign. A divorce by mutual consent must be made in writing and certified by the signatures of at least two witnesses. The process could take a day provided that the documents are complete. Once the divorce is granted, a divorce certificate will be issued by the Amphur. Once divorced, both parties are allowed to remarry and female spouse can revert back to her old family name.
Contested Divorce means the termination of marriage will be decided by the court. Only one of the parties is willing to end the marriage. Contested divorce applies when one party is not willing to terminate the marriage. The court will decide for the termination of marriage based on the grounds for divorce. During the proceedings which usually last for a year or more, each grounds for divorce needs to be proven. There should be enough evidence to support the ground on which the divorce case is based upon. For the process, the party who wants divorce will secure a court judgment which can only be granted if any of the twelve grounds for divorce exist. Legal representation is necessary and the divorcing parties must be physically present during court hearings. If one of the parties didn’t appear on court hearings there is a possibility of the dismissal of the action.
If the couple has children from their union, the court will decide on the children’s welfare, division of the couple’s common property, amount of support. The court will also decide, for example the ground for divorce is adultery – the amount of erring spouse should pay to the offended spouse, so as the claims for damages.
Grounds for Thailand Divorce
You can use one or several grounds for divorce to support your claim for termination of your marriage. The Thailand divorce case will be based upon the following grounds:
- Separation for three years or more
- Abandonment for at least one year
- The husband has another wife
- The wife committed adultery
- Misconduct (criminal or civil)
- Physical and/or mental abuse
- Failure to provide maintenance and support
- Incurable insanity for at least 3 years
- Broken bond of good behavior
- Incurable, contagious and dangerous disease (e.g. AIDS, HIV, etc.)
- Inability to cohabit as husband and wife due to physical disadvantage
After the Divorce
For the contested divorce the courts shall decide on the following:
Division of Property- In Thailand, ownership of properties acquired prior to the marriage shall remain with the owner-spouse even without a prenuptial agreement. Only those properties acquired during the marriage shall be subject to division at the close of the divorce proceedings.
Debts and Liabilities – Both parties are required to pay for the debts and liabilities incurred during the marriage.
Child Custody – In matters of child custody, the child’s best interest and happiness are given paramount consideration. In cases where the court finds both parents unfit to take care of the child, a third party is designated as the legal guardian.
Thailand divorce can be handled by Siam Legal, a reputable law firm that handles Marriage, Divorce and Prenuptial Agreements along with other legal services. Their top notch lawyers are experienced in providing the best assistance possible to individuals going through this difficult life-changing event.