Thailand Uncontested Divorce

Uncontested Divorce, also known as “Divorce on Mutual Consent” or “Administrative Divorce” is the administrative form of divorce in Thailand and is preferable because it is swift and straightforward. In an Uncontested Divorce, the two parties do not need to have grounds to end their marriage because their mutual agreement is sufficent. The spouses must be physically present when applying for an Uncontested Divorce, which is conducted at the local register which is known as the amphur, amphoe or khet.

A divorce before the Amphur in Thailand requires agreement between both spouses to the division of marital or jointly owned assets, custody of children and if and how much alimony will be paid. If no agreed solution can be found between the parties themselves, each spouse can file a petition for divorce (only on the grounds given in the Civil and Commercial Code) for the dissolution of the marriage by the court and the court can terminate the marriage and will decide on matters like division of marital assets according to Thai law and individual circumstances.

THAILAND UNCONTESTED DIVORCE PROCEDURES

  • Divorcing couples need to personally appear before the local register (amphur, amphoe or khet) for the procedure. They may not be represented by a family member, lawyer, counsel or solicitor. Personal appearance is necessary because the parties are required to answer questions as regards their decision to sever the marriage. The officer must ascertain that the parties’ decision to divorce was reached voluntarily and without duress.
  • Traditionally, couples were required to divorce at the same amphur where they registered their marriage but lately, couples had been permitted to get the uncontested divorce in an amphur different from where the marriage is registered. The amphur may require the submission of the following documents before the divorce is processed:

If divorcing at the same amphur where you registered your marriage:Thai

  • Marriage Certificate.
  • Thai National ID.
  • House Registration Certificate (Ta bien ban).

Foreigner

  • Marriage Certificate.
  • Passport.

If divorcing at an amphur different from where your marriage is registered: Thai

  • Marriage Certificate.
  • Thai National ID.
  • House Registration Certificate (Ta bien ban).

Foreigner

  • Marriage Certificate.
  • Passport.
  • Legalized copy of the passport.
  • The amphur issues a divorce certificate in Thai once the divorce is granted. Foreigners may need to have the decree translated to English and legalized at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand so that the divorce may be reported and the decree be registered with their Embassy or consulate in Bangkok.
  • On the other hand, Thais need to report their divorce in the amphur where their birth is registered. Additionally, Thai women divorcees need to revert back to the use of their maiden name. Their National ID and passport must be amended to reflect the maiden name again.

NOTES:

  • When both parties agree on the terms of the divorce (mutual consent) the procedure at the local Amphur will be shorter, less expensive and less time consuming. No direct Thai lawyer representation is required, but husband and wife must agree on all types of potential issues such as division of properties, spousal/ child maintenance and child custody. It is not required that the parties request a divorce at the same location where the marriage is registered, but both husband and wife must be personally present when filing for a divorce on mutual consent.
  • Expats are strongly recommended to draw up a divorce settlement agreement with a lawyer before heading for the district office for a divorce. This is because the laws on divorce of different countries vary as to form and/or procedure. What may be valid in another country may not be valid in your own. It is also possible that some countries will allow their nationals to avail of the divorce proceedings of another country, by reason of special considerations like domicile or residency.
  • Choosing a Thai law firm specialising in international law to assist you with your Divorce in Thailand will ensure that the Divorce is recognised internationally to avoid having legal difficulties in the future. If you would like assistance with preparation of a formal prenuptial agreement or with your Divorce in Thailand, please consult TSL.

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