I- How to get divorced in Thailand?
The Thai Civil and Commercial Code, within its 1514 and following sections, distinguishes two types of divorce in Thailand: divorce by mutual consent (1) and judicial divorce (2).
1. Divorce by Mutual Consent (Uncontested Divorce)
Divorce by mutual consent is an attractive solution but reserved for marriages that have been registered in Thailand. The first step in the process will be the establishment of a Divorce Agreement. This document will establish the division of property between the spouses. Where applicable, the custody of the children and the terms of support will also be provided.
If a contract before the marriage has been signed between the spouses, the latter will also be applied. Each aspect of the separation will have to be agreed upon. Spouses will not have to provide reasons for their request for separation. The divorce application will be registered in the presence of both spouses with the local Amphur, which may differ from the place of registration of the marriage. It is a fast and inexpensive procedure, the divorce can be registered in an hour, the cost of which will be around a hundred Baths. However, divorce by mutual consent is based on the agreement of the two spouses who must be physically present at the time of the divorce registration, accompanied by two witnesses. In the event of disagreement between the spouses, legal proceedings will be necessary.
List of required documents: o The two originals of the marriage certificate o The original Thai identity card for a spouse of Thai nationality and the original passport for a foreigner. o Le Ta Bien Ban (home registration certificate). Divorce by mutual consent, if celebrated and registered in Thailand, is open to foreigners in Thailand. Nevertheless, it is advisable to consult a lawyer in order to ensure that the divorce procedure will actually be valid in his country of origin.
2. Judicial Divorce (Contested Divorce)
An application for divorce must be based on prejudice caused by the conduct of one of the spouses. These are listed in Article 1516 of the Thai Civil and Commercial Code: o Adultery o Insult to husband or ancestors o Violent physical or moral behavior affecting the other spouse o Desertion from home o Imprisonment for more than one year o Disappearance o A spouse has failed to comply o The madness of one spouse o A dangerous illness that could be harmful to the other spouse o Voluntary physical separation of more than three years.
The applicant will, therefore, have to provide evidence to support his application. The procedure can last between 4 months and 1 year on average. In the absence of an agreement between the spouses, the judge will regulate the division of property acquired during the marriage, the custody of the children as well as the obligation of support according to Thai law. Note that this procedure is open to foreigners who would not have celebrated their marriage in Thailand if one of the spouses is of Thai nationality or resides in Thailand for many years. However, the procedure may be cumbersome and the judgment may be subject to an exequatur procedure so that it is applied in France.
II- What happens to your visa after the divorce?
You have 30 days to obtain another visa from the official pronouncing of the divorce.
III- Why should you hire a lawyer?
Advise you on the right procedure to choose, by mutual or judicial consent, and to adopt the right strategy. Represent you and draft an agreement to protect your property, to ease communication with the other spouse and defend your interests.
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Opera Consulting is a French-speaking law firm based in Bangkok in the district of Sukhumvit (Asok). Our lawyers and consultants speak Thai, English, and French. We offer a wide range of services in business, real estate, and family law and Testament drafting. Opera consulting also assists you all along the process of your installation in Thailand, such as obtaining a visa and work permit.
This article is a general briefing note which does not replace the advice for any individual situation, the firmshall not be rendered liable for its content.