Getting divorced in Thailand is complex. If you got married in Thailand, then normally you will apply for an unopposed divorce with the district office where you registered the marriage. There are two types of divorces in Thailand as you will note. The first is an administrative divorce or unopposed divorce and the second is a litigated divorce which goes to court.
The first step in getting divorce in Thailand is that it has to have a reason and these reasons are listed in the Civil and Commercial Code. These reasons for a divorce can be seen here. You will note that most times during a divorce the attorneys will have more than one reason. This as to why the divorce should occur and that it fits the grounds for divorce as stated in the law. Some of the provisions for the grounds for divorce is very vague. This being said can be interpreted in a number of ways. The only benchmark is if the courts feel that it is a minor problem or serious enough for a divorce.
The unopposed the divorce is reasonably easy. This you will need to complete forms for this with a divorce agreement. The divorce agreement states who will get custody of the children and which spouse will get which property. There is also visitation rights and child maintenance as well as spouse maintenance the latter being rare in Thailand when it comes to expats. It is always best to speak to a family lawyer about this as drafting the divorce agreement can be complex. Most times there are smaller issues which the parties don’t fully agree on. This type of divorce is fast and much lower in cost than a litigated divorce.
There are instances where the divorce is being defended as one party feels that they had not been party to the breakdown of the divorce. You will have to defend this divorce and you will need a good attorney for this as a private investigator will also be needed. Good private investigators in Thailand do come at a price. Most times the injured party will defend the divorce as they do not want to be sued for damages later from allegations which are not true. This is usually a good view to have and not to let the matter simply slide. It can become costly later if you are sued for damages.
Child custody is the main reason in Thailand when it comes to divorce that litigation is started. There have been many high profile divorces in Thailand which had ended in violence. These made the front page of the newspapers for months. These tend to be child custody cases that went beyond the family courts. Always get a good lawyer for your divorce to ensure that the matter is settled speedily.
Very few if any divorces with regards to expats end with an application to court for a divorce based on insanity. Getting divorced comes with property issues. Child custody tend to top the list with divorces in Thailand.
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