Father’s Custody Rights in Thailand has been overlooked many times. Under the Thai Child Custody Law, both parents of a child have full custody rights over a child. However, for unmarried couples, biological fathers do not have custodial rights unless with a legal order from court. Cases regarding child custody in Thailand often involve paternity issues, as Thailand law requires that a father be both the legal parent and the biological parent and have parental and custodial rights as well.
By default, women who are the birth mothers of a child are deemed the lawful parent by Thai law without the need for any administrative process. Parental and custodial rights for a father can only be done if legal paternity can be established. Legal paternity is far different from being a biological father, as many cases in Thailand establishing legal paternity has been one of the main issues. Legal marriage to the birth mother would somewhat establish lawful paternity, which would then grant custody rights for a father.
But with unmarried parents, a paternity case needs to be filed by the biological father asking for custody rights, or from the mother asking for child support from the biological father. This is necessary to be able to enforce any other legal responsibilities to a lawful father.
When a man is married to the biological mother during or shortly after the time of giving birth, that man would be considered as the lawful father under Thai law. Therefore concluding that it is possible to be deemed as the lawful father without having to be the biological father of a child, and be awarded parental and custody rights and responsibilities.
Thailand Family law only uses the best concern of the child when determining a child custody case. It is also the usual standard in child custody cases in Western countries. Social workers assist the Thai courts to assess accordingly the behaviour of the parents including child development 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.