Many divorces in Thailand are by mutual consent. At times there are arguments about access to children and property however many times this can be avoided. The divorce by mutual consent requires a written agreement that needs to be signed by both divorcing parties and this needs to be handed in at the district office where you had been married. Seek legal advice from a divorce lawyer in Thailand before you proceed.
The process can be completed very quickly if all the documents are in order and there are no objections to the agreement.
The divorce agreement is very important and you need to speak to a divorce attorney in Thailand about what needs to be in the agreement and find the middle ground in the divorce in order to keep costs down.
There is no point in arguing over say, a motorcycle worth 40,000THB and wanting to litigate over small items. Again you need to speak to a divorce lawyer about this especially when there are children involved. Most common issues would be:
- 1. Access to the children as well as child custody;
- 2. Maintenance of the children and school fees;
- 3. Do they get to visit the parent who might leave Thailand;
- 4. Who gets to keep the house and movable assets (car);
- 5. Maintenance for your wife/husband;
- 6. If the property is in the name of a company – transfer the company or property;
- 7. Who pays for flights for the children and how long do they get to stay overseas;
These are all important questions and you need to ensure that the divorce agreement covers all the issues from children to property and maintenance. If there is a prenuptial agreement in place that would make the divorce much easier and do you have a usufruct over the property if the house was registered in the name of your Thai wife with the usufruct in your name. The usufruct is normally a good way to get leverage during a negotiation as you can offer to lift the usufruct for a settlement on something else. Nobody would want to buy a property with a usufruct registered over it.
In terms of Thai law Section 1520 of the Civil and Commercial Code the agreement handed in to the local district office or Thai Amphur needs to cover not only the issue of child custody, property but also maintenance of the child/ren. If you cannot do this then the matter will proceed to court and the court will make the final ruling. Complex divorces in Thailand can last more than a year and at times they do make headline news:
- Brit killed and barbecued after split from Thai bride – Daily Mail (2006)
- Wife charged with South African’s murder | Bangkok Post (2012)
Seek proper legal advice and speak to your attorney about the best possible way to avoid litigation and seek compromise were possible.