The Thai Civil and Commercial Code, in its sections 1514 and following, distinguishes between two types of divorce: the mutual consent divorce (uncontested divorce) (1) and the judicial divorce (contested Divorce) (2).
1. Mutual consent 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 determine the division of assets between spouses. If applicable, childcare and support arrangements will also be included. If a pre-nuptial agreement contract has been signed between the spouses, the latter will also apply. Each aspect of the separation will have to be agreed upon. The spouses will not have to give reasons for their request for separation. The procedure is based on a common will to get divorces, however, the main obligation will be the physical presence of both parties. The divorce application will be registered in the presence of both spouses with the local Amphur which may be different from the place of registration of the marriage. It is a fast and inexpensive procedure, the divorce can be recorded in an hour. Nevertheless, in the event of disagreement between the spouses, a judicial procedure will be necessary.
o The two original marriage certificates
o If Thai national, its Original Thai national ID & If foreigner, its original passport
o household registration booklet
2. Judicial divorce
In the event of a contested divorce, assisted by a lawyer, spouses will have to file an application before the Court and being prepared to prove the ground of the divorce. These being listed in Article 1516 of the Thai Civil and Commercial Code: adultery, violent behavior, an insult to the spouse or his ancestors, desertion from the home, dangerous illness if one of the spouse volunteers to live separately for more than three years. The application for divorce said contests must be based on prejudice caused by the behavior of one of the spouses. In the absence of a case, it will take three years of separation for the spouse to be able to file an application. The procedure can last on average between 4 months and 1 year and can be quite expensive as court fees are up to 2% of the total amount of the claim (limited to 200,000THB).
As a foreigner, for any administrative or judicial procedure abroad, it is always better to play safe and request advice on a personal situation to get the guidance, it may help you to save a lot of time, money, and unnecessary worries.
Opera Consulting, a Law Firm based in Bangkok (Asok Area). Our Lawyers and consultants speak English, French, and Thai. We provide a large panel of services at an affordable price.
Do not hesitate to contact us for more information! Contact@opera.co.th
This article is a general briefing note which does not replace the advice for any individual situation, the firm shall not be rendered liable for its content.