Property in Voidable Marriages

Property in a void marriage does become very complex during a divorce in Thailand. It is Section 1498 of the Civil and Commercial Code which dictates that there is no property relationship between a husband and wife from a void marriage. All property which was owned or acquired during the marriage will remain the property of the respective parties.

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 If you owned a car before the marriage then this will remain your property. Should you have bought a television during the course of the marriage this will also still remain your property. The courts will however look at any property jointly earned during a void marriage to divide the property between the parties in such manner as it would see fit taking into account taking into account the family unit as well as the earnings of each party.

Compensation by means of property is not uncommon in a void marriage and the courts look at who the innocent party is in the marriage and may in accordance with Section 1499 of the Civil and Commercial Code ensure that the innocent party is protected. Note however that there are limits both for damages and living expenses allowances which as governed as follows:

1. There is a prescription period to claim damages from judgement if the marriage is void in terms of Section 1449 (insane person), Section 1450 (blood relatives) or Section 1448 (underage person).
2. You have to file a claim on judgement for compensation or living expenses if the marriage was declared void under Section 1452 (already married) from the day you found out that the person was already married.

The last issue is that of children. The parties most times will settle the matter of children and maintenance by agreement however if no agreement can be reached then the court will decide who the guardian of the children will be and also what monthly maintenance will be needed for the children. The Thai courts in this case can also appoint a third party as the guardian if neither of the parties is viewed as being good enough to be the guardian. Most times the third party guardian tends to be an aunt or other relative who the court may appoint for this role.

As a foreigner the issue of children becomes very complex as many foreigners return back to their home country. Who will take the children and if your ex-wife get the children what would be your rights with regards to visiting your home country and also when and where you may visit the children. For expats the issue of divorce in Thailand can be very complex and many times it drags on for years.

If you are getting divorced in Thailand then speak to a lawyer in Thailand for assistance from the very day you decide to get divorced. Never sign or make agreements regarding your divorce before you have spoken to an attorney as failing to do this can be very costly in the long run. If you have any questions then send us an email or schedule an interview with a family lawyer in Thailand.

The information contained in our website is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. For further information, please contact us.

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