If you married in Thailand and both parties agree to the divorce, it’s as simple as going to any Amphur or District Office and filing for divorce. Both parties must go together, show them both copies of your marriage certificate, your passport, your Thai spouse’s ID card, and tell them that you want to divorce. They will ask you some questions, like have you children together and what have you decided for their future? Are there financial problems pending? They will fill out a form which you both sign. The divorce certificate is then issued; the marriage certificate was in portrait form while the divorce certificate is in landscape form. The fee is 50 baht. If the Thai wife took her husband’s name she must change her name and inform the Amphur where she has her name registered in the house registration, also, if she kept her maiden name but took on the title Mrs., she will have the option of either to change back to Miss or to maintain it as Mrs. If she wishes to change her title back to Miss, she will be required to go to the Amphur where her name was registered in the house registration. She must bring the divorce certificate with her to do so.
IF LIVING OVERSEAS WHAT TO DO
If you are married and your spouse does not agree to a divorce in Thailand then you will need to obtain a judgment from the Court. You need to use a lawyer for these steps. You cannot remarry until the marriage has been annulled and you must be present in the Court in Thailand. While the lawyer will act with your power of attorney on your behalf to do the preliminaries you must appear at the final hearing in person. You are not permitted to have someone with a power of attorney acting for you at the final hearing. Therefore, if you marry in Thailand you must get divorced in Thailand. We can assist you if living abroad. We will act with your power of attorney and file with the Court on your behalf. You need to send us a copy of your passport, marriage certificate, Thai partner’s ID copy and as much information regarding your marriage, children, address of your last homes and circumstances surrounding the breakup including dates and circumstances when the separation took place. This is important. Once we have a Court date you must appear before the Court for this final stage but we will still be acting for you. Costs: approx standard fee is 30,000 baht excluding travel expenses but depending on the complexity of the divorce costs can by higher.
SECTIONS OF THE ACT
- Section 1514: Divorce by mutual consent must be made in writing and certified by the signatures of at least 2 witnesses.
- Section 1515: Where marriage has been registered as provided by this code, divorce by mutual consent is valid only if the registration thereof is effected by both the husband and wife.
THAI DIVORCE LAW
When a couple divorces in Thailand all marital property (sin somros) is divided equally. personal property (sin suan tua) remains owned by the individual. Thus marital property is anything acquired during marriage by way of gift, purchase, or inheritance. Personal property is anything acquired before the marriage like a house, tools, equipment and any possessions. If both parties agree then the proceedings are straight forward.
Both parties are responsible for debts incurred from household affairs, education and medical bills. One can have a legal prenuptial agreement where property is subject to foreign laws. To be valid the prenuptial must be tendered at the marriage registration to be effective and signed by both parties and 2 witnesses. Most of these prenuptial agreements are between foreigners and Thais. Please see our page on prenuptial agreements for more information.
If one partner is employed, property is split equally. If the wife stays home and looks after the children she has the right to half even though she is not receiving payment. The parents divorcing can agree on who pays for the children’s education and day to day living expenses and maintenance. If they cannot agree the Court will rule and may also decide on living allowances based on the ability of the grantor and the status of the receiver.