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Family

We gladly provide our help with all personal legal matters, such as Marriage registration, Divorce, Adoption, Custody, Will and Testament related cases.

– FAMILY

Family law matters are emotionally-charged. You need an attorney that has experience to get through this matter. Our office will provide you with compassionate service and aggressive legal service to properly protect your rights. Let us work with you and the other party to find a solution or head to court when needed. Get complete family law support including:

  • Marriage Registration
  • Thailand Divorce
  • Child Adoption
  • Child Custody

Information for the Clients

Marriage Registration

Registering marriage between a Thai and foreigner can be severe and burdensome, like any other special occasion, marriage takes a lot of preparation. If you are planning to get married in Thailand, you need to be familiarized with several processes and legalities it entails. Securing legal assistance from a local attorney is the best way to ensure that your marriage carries weight in Thailand and abroad, and guarantee compliance with Thai laws.

1. Qualifications
    a.  Both partners should not be less than 17 years of age
    b.  Both should not be an insane person or adjudged incompetent
    c.  Both should not be in blood relations in the direct ascendant or descendant line
    d.  Both should not be brother or sister of full or half blood
    e.  Both should not have the same adoptive parents
    f.   Both should not have a spouse at the time of marriage
    g.  A widowed can remarry only after expiry of 310 days from termination of previous marriage, but before such period if:
         i.  A child has been born during such period
         ii.  The divorced couple remarry
         iii.  A certificate issued by qualified doctor stated that the woman is not pregnant
         iv.  An order of Court allowing the woman to remarry

2. Required Documents

For Thai Nationals:
   1. ID card
   2. House Registration Certificate
   3. Proof of Divorce
   4. Single Certificate

For foreigners:
   1. Passport
   2. Visa
   3. House Registration Certificate
   4. Proof of Divorce
   5. Affirmation of Freedom to Marry from the Embassy
   6. Thai Translated copy of Affirmation of Freedom to Marry, certified and approved by Foreign Ministry Translator
   7. Police Clearance Certificate

3. Marriage Registered

A marriage can take place on a declaration made by both the parties by giving consent to take each other as husband and wife publicly before the registrar at the district office.

Each of the parties is given a Certificate of Marriage after the union is formally registered since the certificate is in Thai, the foreign party will need to have the Certificate translated into English before the same can be used for reporting to his home state. After the translation is done, the document must be brought to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Certification.

Thailand Divorce

Marriage in Thailand creates jointly owned marital property. Upon divorce, all property of husband and wife (jointly owned marital assets and debts) shall be divided equally between man and woman (section 1533). Seek legal assistance in your area to make sure your divorce run smoothly without losing your rightful assets.

There are 2 types of divorces:

  • Uncontested Divorce
    An uncontested divorce is the administrative form of divorce in Thailand. It is swift and straightforward. The spouses must be physically present when applying for an uncontested divorce. It is conducted at the district office.
  • Contested Divorce
    Contested divorce is judicial or court divorce. One party to the marriage is given recourse to go to the courts to end his/her marriage if any of the grounds provided under Thai law is attendant.
    A contested divorce is required if there are disagreements on child custody and marital property sharing which the parties cannot settle by themselves, and the court’s intervention is necessary to put an end to the marriage and the accompanying issues. Is also the remedy for some couples who have not registered their marriage in Thailand but have been residing or working in Thailand for a reasonable length of time?

Divorce – Thai & Thai
Thai’s usually end their marriage through an uncontested divorce. They favor this option because it averts further conflict between husband and wife, as well as their families. As much as they can, Thai couples will settle issues on the sharing of child custody and marital property privately. Only in rare cases when a compromise can no longer be reached so they consult with a lawyer to assist them in the drafting of a Thailand divorce agreement which they will register at the district office when they get their divorce in Thailand.

Divorce – Thai & Foreigner
The rapid exposure of Thailand to the world in terms of commerce and tourism has resulted in many marriages between Thai nationals and foreigners. Unfortunately, differences between cultures and language have strained some relationships and Thailand divorce has become inevitable in these cases.

Almost always, the Thai spouse will suggest an uncontested divorce if the marriage registration took place in Thailand, as the uncontested divorce is more known and favored by Thais. Foreigners must take extra care before proceeding to have an uncontested divorce. The reason is that not all countries recognize this form of divorce. Many countries now recognize the uncontested divorce but only under special circumstances. It may pose more problems especially if the foreigner has plans of remarrying.

Divorce – Foreigner & Foreigner
Foreigners who want to divorce in Thailand must seek the advice of a lawyer so they may be guided if and how they can proceed to divorce. Your Thailand divorce lawyer must be able to advise you whether your home country will recognize a divorce that you will receive in Thailand. There are cases where couples would go through a divorce only to find out that their State cannot recognize their foreign divorce.

Child Custody

Custodial rights under Thai laws
Under the Civil and Commercial Code of Thailand (CCCT), the term of the rights of custody is called “parental power”. The parental power is exercised by the father, the mother, or a third person who is a legal guardian of the child until the child reaches the legal age (20 years old), and a person exercising parental power has the right as follows:

  • To determine the child’s place of residence
  • To discipline the child reasonably
  • To require the child to work, consistent with his or her abilities and status
  • To demand the return of the child from someone else, including another parent who does not have custody rights and unlawfully detains the child
  • To manage the property of the child with the restriction that selling, mortgaging, and exchange the property of the minor child must obtain the approval of the court

Procedure for detaining child custody in Thailand
Child custody in Thailand can be obtained by two procedures as follows:

By the mutual consent of the parties

  • For a married couple living in Thailand, if a divorce is by mutual consent (an uncontested or administrative divorce) the couple can agree to share custody of a child. This agreement can also deal with child support and visitation rights.
  • In order for the agreement to be valid, it must be signed by two witnesses and registered at a district office when the divorce is registered.
  • For an unmarried couple having a child born outside of a legal marriage, the mother has the right to sole custody over the child. For the father to be considered as having custody rights he must first be registered as the child’s legitimate father.
  • The father has to register a legitimization of the child with his local district office, and the child’s mother must consent to the legitimation. If the mother agrees, then the father is allowed either joint or sole custody depending on the agreement made between the parents.

By the decision of the court

  • Child custody in Thailand can also be decided by the courts. For a married couple, if their divorce is granted by the court (a contested divorce), the judge in the case decides which parent should be granted custody. The judge can also choose to appoint a third person as the child’s guardian if it would be in the best interests of the child.
  • The judge can also take away custody rights if a parent becomes incompetent, in cases of misconduct, or if the parent abuses their parental powers. The public prosecutor or the parent not having custody rights can file a petition to change the child custody arrangements at any time.
  • In the case of an unmarried couple having a child born outside of a legal marriage, if the father files for the legitimation of the child, he can petition for custody at the same time as filing the legitimation case. The court will make a determination as to whether it is suitable for the father to have partial or sole custody of the child.
Child Adoption

Adoption availability in Thailand
Basically, a Child Adoption in Thai law is the act of legally handing over an adopted child with the adoptive parent(s) from the biological parents or guardians of the child. An adoption order has the effect of severing parental responsibilities and rights of the natural parents and transferring those rights and responsibilities to the adoptive parents.

There are 2 types of available Adoption in Thailand under the Civil and Commercial Code which mainly are;

  • Domestic Adoption – as the name suggests, this type of adoption concerns adoptive parents (Thai or foreign) whose domicile is in Thailand.
  • Inter-country Adoption – is the type of adoption intend only for foreigners who wish to adopt a Thai child and raise it in a country other than Thailand.

    Moreover, if the Adoption has already been granted, stipulations are given under the Civil and Commercial Code whereas;

    • Adopted child has the rights to carry the use of the family name of the adopter
    • Adopter does not have the right to inherit from the adopted child
    • Adopted child has the right to inherit from the adopter

Applicant qualifications (Thai & Foreigner)
Child adoption in Thailand is pretty much very straightforward giving the rights to anyone who wishes to apply for Child Adoption, provided that the adoptive parents must first qualify as an applicant for the child adoption process in Thailand.

The criteria to be a qualified applicant as an adopter are as follows:

  • Must be over 25 years of age and at least 15 years older than the child to be adopted
  • Foreign applicant must prove the legitimacy of their marriage and must be qualified to legally adopt a child in the country of their domicile.
  • Foreign applicant must hold a 1-year visa in Thailand with at least 6 months remaining.

Marriage Registration

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You want to get married in Thailand? We gladly help you! Allow us to guide you through the process with our proven and hassle-free step by step approach.

Thailand Divorce

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In cases where one or both married individuals have decided to file for a divorce, we make sure that proceedings are as smooth as possible. Allow us to help.

Child Custody

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There are cases where the custody of a child needs to be settled properly without any harm, stressful proceedings and trouble. We can help with that.

Child Adoption

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You want to adopt a child in Thailand? It can quickly become a stressful and emotional process. Allow us help with all the paperwork and proceedings.

HARWELL HARWELL LEGAL LEGAL

Phone: +66 (0) 76 530 597

Fax: +66 (0) 76 530 598

Email: office@harwell-legal.com

 Address: 9/37-38 Moo 9, Chaofa East Road, Chalong, Muang Phuket 83130, Thailand

Open Hours: 09:00 - 18:00

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