What are the grounds for divorce in Thailand?
Unfortunately not all marriages have a happy ending and end up with the husband and wife filing for divorce. Divorce is the dissolution of a marriage which could be granted by the Thai courts (Contested Divorce) or conducted at the local registration office (Uncontested Divorce).
There are several grounds for divorce in Thailand as listed in Section 1516 of the Thai Civil and Commercial Code. It is also possible for a married couple to request a mutual divorce at their local district office. The district offices are responsible for marriage registrations but also have the authority to dissolve a marriage when mutually consented.
What are the grounds for divorce in Thailand?
As mentioned above there are grounds for divorce in Thailand. These grounds are as follows:
- One spouse (either the husband or wife) has given maintenance to or honored such another person as their spouse, or has committed adultery or had regular sexual intercourse with another person who is not their spouse.
- One spouse is guilty of misconduct. Misconduct is considered as causes their spouse: (a) to be seriously ashamed; (b) to be insulted of hated or account of continuance of being husband or wife of the spouse having committed the misconduct; or (c) to sustain excessive injury or trouble where the condition, position and cohabitation as husband and wife are taken into consideration.
- One spouse has caused serious harm or committed torture of the body or mind of their spouse, or has seriously insulted the other or his or her ascendants.
- One spouse has deserted the other for a period of more than one year;
- One spouse has been sentenced by a Court, resulting in imprisonment for more than one year. In this case the offence committed by the guilty spouse must have been done so without any participation, consent or in the knowledge of the other. Additionally, the cohabitation as husband and wife will result in the other party sustaining excessive injury or trouble.
- The husband and wife have voluntarily separated because due to being unable to cohabit peacefully for more than three years, or live separately for more than three years by the order of the Court.
- One spouse has disappeared, or has left their residence for a period of more than three years and the other party being uncertain as to whether they are dead or alive.
- One spouse has failed to give proper maintenance and support to the other, or committed acts seriously adverse to the relationship of husband and wife.
- One spouse has been diagnosed as ‘insane’ for a period of more than three years. The diagnosis of insanity is not curable and that the continuance of marriage cannot be feasible.
- One spouse has broken a bond of good behavior executed by him or her.
- One spouse has contracted a communicable and dangerous disease which is incurable and may cause injury to the other.
- One spouse has a physical disadvantage resulting in being permanently unable to cohabit as husband and wife.
What types of divorce are there in Thailand?
There are 2 types of divorce in granted in Thailand, Contested Divorces and Uncontested Divorces.
Please note that it is always highly recommended to consult with a lawyer in order to receive legal advice before agreeing a finalised divorce in Thailand.
Divorce by mutual consent in Thailand
Divorces by mutual consent are essentially where both parties agree upon the divorce and have no disputes.
When a divorce is mutually consented to, the grounds for divorce mentioned above do not have to be proven. A divorce by mutual consent requires an agreement to divorce between both spouses and a further agreement on the division of marital or jointly owned assets, custody of children and, if necessary, an alimony settlement.
Divorces by mutual consent are a lot shorter, less expensive and less time consuming than contested divorces. Please note that both husband and wife must be physically present when filing for a divorce on mutual consent at the local registration office.
Contested divorces in Thailand
A contested divorce, occurs when either both parties agree to a divorce but can’t come to an adequate settlement or one party does not consent to the divorce. If no agreement can be found between the parties, they can file a petition (using the grounds listed above) for the dissolution of the marriage by a Thai court. The courts will also make a ruling relating to the division of marital or jointly owned assets, custody of children and, if any necessary alimony settlements.
Contested divorces will often take considerably more time, money and physical court appearances than a divorce by mutual consent.
The Belaws team of Family Law experts are on hand to assist you with your divorce in Thailand. Our experts will help ensure that your everything is professionally done in order to avoid facing any legal difficulties in the future.
To learn more about our Family Law services, please click here
Please note that this article is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.
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