It is always best to try an avoid divorce litigation in Thailand as the process is very slow and costly. If you have moved back to your home country then the litigation becomes even more expensive as you would have to appear in court from time to time. Most times you would normally only need to appear at the beginning and during certain sections of the trial. The court would normally postpone the litigation for a few months to give you time to come to Thailand. This makes these types of litigation a very drawn out affair.
Divorce Litigation in Thailand
If you are getting divorced then you need to have to following documents with you:
- Your passport;
- Your marriage certificate (both the fancy one and the multipage one);
- Your prenuptial agreement if you have one;
- Copy of your usufruct if you have one registered in Thailand over your property;
- Copy of children’s birth certificates;
- Copy of company registration if it hold property.
The documents are important as the prenuptial agreement should make the divorce process much easier and cost efficient. If you registered a usufruct over the property then you will also have an advantage as this can be used for leverage during a negotiation to avoid costly litigation.
You would also need the birth certificates of the children as you will need to settle the issue of parental control or child custody for your children. Each child is treated separately during the divorce as not all the children may be yours and an order may already have been granted giving parental control to another parent or guardian in a former divorce.
Property disputes are usually the most common issue with a divorce in Thailand. If the property is registered in the name of a business then you need to consider if you will transfer the company or property itself into the name of your wife/husband or if the property is being sold. This is normally where there is no prenuptial agreement and the property was jointly owned. This occurs in many instances in Issaan where the family or your wife owns the land and you own the house only. See the issue of superficies in Thailand in divorce disputes.
The court proceedings in Thailand is in the Thai language only and you would need to have all the documents translated into Thai if they are not already in Thai. As stated above normally if you have moved back to your home country you would normally only need to appear in court once when it starts and only need to return when the court requires your presence.
Note that once you divorce is complete that your marriage visa after it expires will fall away and if you wish to stay on in Thailand you can still apply for a Thai “O” visa if you have young children in Thailand. The visa process is different however you can still obtain a 12 month Thai visa to be near your Thai children in Thailand.