Divorce in Thailand

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Published: 01st November 2012
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This will explain the options for the divorce if one party is a Thai national. The main things to concern are location of the marriage, assets, and child custody.
Under the Thai Civil and Commercial Code, divorce is permitted in two categories:
Divorce by Mutual Consent:
Getting divorce in Thailand is as simple as registering your marriage. If you are married in Thailand at a local Registrar office you may register an administrative divorce. Divorce by mutual consent must be made in writing with at least two witnesses. This type of divorce is possible only if the couple has no disagreements over such issues as children or property. The divorce documents and a summary on completing the form are available from the local District Office. All documents are in Thai. A divorce certificate will be issued by the registrar office. The process can be completed in one day at the local district office.
Documents required
1. Completed written documents with two witness signatures
2. Photo identification for both parties
3. Passports for both parties
4. The marriage certificate
Note: Divorce by mutual consent only applies if the couple married in Thailand. If they married outside Thailand they may apply for divorce in Thailand but have to go through the court system.
If the parties can agree with the divorce settlement agreement in respect of joint properties, spousal support, child custody. The parties must fill such agreement with the officer at the registrar office where the divorce is filed. The divorce by this method is simple, no hassle and quicker than divorce by the judgment of the court. The process takes only 1 day.
Divorce by a judgment of the Court:
If the parties can not agree to divorce by mutual consent. The other way to divorce is to file petition to the family court.
By Court Order: If the divorce is contested, one party is not present; you should proceed to the courts for a divorce. There are 10 grounds for divorce under Thai law. If you are overseas, you may appoint a lawyer to represent the procedure on your behalf. However, once a court date is set, you must appear before the court in Thailand. Any documents not in Thai will need to be translated and notarized by your embassy in Bangkok. This process can take up to one year.
Grounds for Divorce in Thailand
If one party will not agree to a divorce by mutual consent then you need to file with the courts for a divorce. In order to proceed with a divorce in this instance you will need to assert grounds for divorce and make personal appearance in court. Grounds for divorce in Thailand include the following circumstances:
1. Adultery
2. A spouse is guilty of misconduct that inflicts serious shame, insult or injury on their partner and cohabitation is no longer possible
3. A spouse has caused serious harm or torture to the body or mind of their partner, or has seriously insulted their parents
4. A spouse has deserted for longer one year
5. A spouse has disappeared
6. A spouse has failed to provide proper maintenance and support to their partner; cohabitation is no longer possible
7. A spouse suffering from serious mental illness for at least three years
8. A breach of the good behavior bond
9. A spouse is suffering from a contagious and dangerous disease which is incurable and may cause injury to the other
10. A spouse has a physical handicap and is permanently unable to cohabit as husband and wife.

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