In Thailand, it is possible to file for two types of divorce: a Contested Divorce or an Uncontested Divorce. The former tends to be very costly whilst the latter, also known as an Administrative Divorce, is cheaper and less complicated. It is highly recommended that you seek professional legal advice in Thailand before agreeing to sign any documentation with regard to divorce proceedings.
An uncontested divorce is the cheapest, quickest and therefore most common way to sever a marital contract in Thailand. Thai law states that to file for an uncontested divorce, a mutual agreement to end the marriage is suffice and no further grounds for divorce are required. Both parties must present themselves at the local registrar (known as amphur, amphoe or khet) to apply.
A contested divorce may be filed for if only one party wishes to apply to severe the marital contract. Proceedings will take place in a court of law. Contested divorce proceeding may be served when there are definite grounds for divorce under Thai law. Common grounds for divorce include absenteeism in the marriage that has been detrimental to the relationship, conflict over the custody of children and disputed ownership of property and assets. If these problems cannot be settled in a personal manner, then court proceedings may be taken to end the marriage and make a judgement upon the dispute. Couples whose marriage has been registered in another country but having been working or living in Thailand for some time may also apply for a contested divorce.
DIVORCE – THAI & THAI
Most commonly, Thai couples will file for an uncontested divorce in order to avoid any further disputes between themselves and their families. All issues such as child custody, financial support and property rights and ownership are resolved privately without legal assistance. In some cases where an agreement on one of more issues cannot be made, they may seek the assistance of a lawyer to begin proceedings for the drafting of a divorce agreement which then must be registered at the local amphur.
DIVORCE – THAI & FOREIGNER
Commerce, globalisation and tourism have all been responsible for a surge in foreign interest in Thailand. With a growing ex-patriot population, marriages between Thai national and foreigners has become increasingly common. However, as with all marriages, strained relationships for one reason or another can sometimes lead to divorce.
In these cases, it is usual for a Thai spouse to suggest an uncontested divorce, as this is the most common form of divorce in Thailand. However, foreigners must be aware that an uncontested divorce is not recognised all in countries, whilst some countries only recognise this form of divorce in special circumstances. Before committing to an uncontested divorce it is recommended that you seek advice prior to proceeding, especially if you plan to get re-married.
DIVORCE – FOREIGNER & FOREIGNER
In the case of two foreigners wishing to file for divorce, it is highly recommended that you seek the professional advice of a Thai divorce lawyer before beginning your proceedings. Some countries may not recognise a divorce that has been sanctioned in Thailand and therefore prior research or legal advice may be needed before beginning the process.