Child Custody in Thailand

Child custody in Thailand or a divorce in Thailand with child custody becomes complex very quickly. If you came to live in Thailand or on holiday and have now heard that you are going to be a father, then child custody may come to mind. The Civil and Commercial Code in Thailand lays down the law with regards to child custody. Consider the following example of how this would work if you are in this position. If you are not married to the Thai woman then she alone has child custody and is the sole custodian and guardian of the child.

Child Custody in Thailand

All the rights with regards to the child rest in her hands. You will have no say in this regard. If you have arranged for child maintenance, then this does not give you any rights either. Child alimony does not guarantee you access rights to the child either. You would have to reach an agreement with the mother on this. Note that if you took the child out of the country without authorization then this will amount to child abduction and you will be committing a criminal offense.

If you are the biological father of the child and you wish to have custody or joint custody, then you will first need to speak to an attorney about child legitimization. This is an application to the court to have this done as most times the women do not voluntarily agree to this for fear of losing custody of the child. Once you have completed this process then the next step is another application to the court for full child custody.

You are going to need a very good reason as to why this should be done. You will need a good family lawyer in Bangkok as well as a very good private investigator in order to provide proof as to why the courts should believe you. Again, there is no guarantee and the courts have found her not fit to be a mother could very well make the aunt or other family member the sole legal guardian of the child. These are one of the divorce issues as well as child abduction in the country.

Child Custody Process

Most times child custody disputes come from a divorce. Sometimes people can agree on the guardianship of the child and many times they don’t. The courts will then make the final judgment as to who will be the guardian of the child. As stated above the guardian could be a family member if they find neither of you fit to be a parent or think that staying in Thailand with the aunt or family member is in the best interest of the child.

If you are considering applying for custody, then take this into consideration:


1.    – How long has the child lived in Thailand and how old is the child;

2.    – Are the parents in stable employment;

3.    – Are there any issues with abuse;

4.    – What does the child want and should there be a psychological evaluation;

5.    – What is in the best interest of the child.


The courts take everything into consideration. In a Thai divorce, they will also look at the reasons for the divorce to add to their judgment. Consider getting proper legal advice and assistance as this is only a brief overview and guide to your options. Always take legal advice when it comes to child custody in Thailand or a divorce in Thailand with child custody issues.


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


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