Divorce Thai law provides for two types of divorce. The first is an uncontested, or administrative, divorce that is generally easier and quicker to obtain than the second type, which is a contested divorce. An uncontested divorce is generally preferred because the process is simpler and less expensive. The parties are not required to state a reason for ending their marriage, as their mutual consent is sufficient. A contested divorce is handled in court. Based on grounds provided in Thai law, one party seeks to dissolve the marriage. Generally, a contested divorce is sought if there is a child custody or property dispute.
This is also a possible remedy for a couple residing in Thailand but who did not register their marriage here. Divorce in the case of two Thais is typically handled as an uncontested or administrative divorce. With this option conflict is kept to a minimum and the couple is allowed to settle child custody issues and the division of property privately. An attorney’s advice may be sought if the couple cannot reach an agreement by themselves. The eventual divorce agreement reached will be registered at the District Office when the divorce has been granted. Divorce between a Thai and foreign spouse has become more common, often due to cultural differences and family pressures. If the marriage was registered in Thailand, the Thai spouse will usually suggest an uncontested divorce, as this type of divorce is preferred by most Thais.
Foreigners should seek legal advice before consenting to an uncontested divorce. The reason being is that this type of divorce is not recognized by all countries. Some countries recognize administrative divorces under special circumstances and others do not recognize this type of divorce at all. Divorce involving two foreigners is also possible in Thailand, but it is particularly important to seek the advice of an attorney for guidance through all stages in the process. Our divorce attorneys are able to provide advice on whether a Thai divorce will be recognized in the client’s home country. Juslaws & Consult offers advice on all matters of family law including marriage and divorce, among others. Our attorneys are experienced in drafting pre-marital agreements, handling legal separations and dealing with custody and property disputes.