The laws in Thailand have changed over the years. In the 1950’s the husband had control over all the property in the marriage however this had changed in the 1970’s when joint control became part of Thai law. According to the latest statistics divorces are on the rise and many do file a damages claim during a divorce. Divorce litigation in Thailand are mainly issues with property or child custody.
Note that in Thai law there are two types of property. These are Sin Suan Tua (Personal Property) and the Sin Somros (Conjugal Property). Thai law best describes it in the Civil and Commercial Code of Thailand.
Sin Suan Tua (Personal Property)
- Property belonging to either spouse before marriage;
- Property for personal use, dress or ornament suitable for station in life, or tool necessary for carrying on the profession of either spouse;
- Property acquired by either spouse;
Khongman is viewed as personal property. These tend to be gifts at marriage
Thai law Sin Suan Tua (Personal Property) is described more fully in sections 1470 and 1471 of the Civil and Commercial Code of Thailand. Note as an example if you got a car as a gift and the car was destroyed and the insurance paid out the money and you bought an apartment with the money then this apartment will also be viewed as Sin Suan Tua as it was bought with money from a gift that was destroyed. If you exchanged an apartment for another apartment which you received as a gift or bought it before marriage then the new apartment will also be viewed as Sin Suan Tua as the gift was exchanged.
Civil and Commercial code (Sin Somros)
- Property acquired during marriage;
- Property acquired by either spouse during marriage through a will or gift made in writing if is declared by such will or document of gift to be Sin Somros;
- The fruits of Sin Suan Tua.
Note that c) is an important issue as you wife had property before you got married and the rental income from the property is seen to be under joint control. The same would be if she owned a company under Sin Suan Tua however the profits of the business is seen as joint property. Property give to both would require written proof such as a copy of the will or a letter from the person who gave the gift to both parties. Always a take legal advice as laws do change and sound legal advice should not be sought on the internet but from a competent attorney in Thailand.
Getting divorced in Thailand is a complex process when it comes to property. Note that on the day the divorce is granted the property will be divided. If one of the person sold or destroyed property during this time then the lost property will be included when property is being divided. Speak to a family lawyer in Bangkok or Phuket today for sound legal advice.