There are a number of instances where kidnapping charges are sought in Thailand. Below are two examples of this and you are best served seeking proper legal advice. The first is part of family law and legitimization of a child and the other is withholding someone’s national ID card while in Thailand.
If you have come to Thailand and now are the father of a child from a woman you are not married to then you have no rights over this child. The illegitimate child falls under the custody and guardianship of the mother. If you take the child without permission, you will be charged with kidnapping. You are best advised to speak to a family lawyer about child legitimization in Thailand as you have no rights over the illegitimate child. This is a common problem in Thailand where the biological father has an argument with the biological mother and wishes to remove the child from her care.
Normally a stop at a family lawyer’s office can solve many of the issues. Taking the child out of Thailand would create even bigger issues and involve law enforcement from both countries. Applying to court for legitimization as well as for custody of the child is the correct way to go. It takes long however it is better than being charged with kidnapping.
The second issue which is also common but is not always highlighted is when you withhold the national ID card of a Thai national. There was an interesting case in Chonburi where a man was arrested for kidnapping as he held the ID card of the women he was with. It is illegal in Thailand to walk around without your ID card as a Thai national. The prosecution and police came to the charge of kidnapping for illegally withhold the ID card of the women. Do not hold the ID card of a Thai national against their will in Thailand as it might be viewed as a criminal offence.
If you are getting divorced in Thailand, then you are best advised to keep the children in the country during the process. The courts may want to send a social worker to speak to the children. Many times while the process is going through the courts one of the parents may attempt to hide the children before the ruling. This creates many problems which normally requires the assistance of the police as well as the courts. The family court in Thailand will have the final ruling in the matter of which parent gets child custody.
If you are getting divorced or have an illegitimate child in Thailand, then speak to an attorney first as any other action may result in a criminal charge of kidnapping. Conflicts with regards to children are well known to cause violent conflicts as can be seen in the daily newspapers, especially with expatriates as they normally want to take their children back to their home country. Always ensure that you are on the right side of the law when it comes to your children while in Thailand.
The information contained on our website is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. For further information, please contact us.