The annulment of marriage in Thailand is covered by the Civil and Commercial Code of Thailand. These are covered by Sections 1494 to 1500 which is a short part of the chapter. This chapter makes it clear the any marriage made against Section 1449 (under age), Section 1449 (an insane person), Section 1450 (blood relatives), Section 1452 (bigamy), or Section 1458 (no intention to marry) will be void. These fall under the conditions of marriage in the Civil and Commercial Code.
With regards to property. You will note that Section 1498 states that the voiding of a marriage will not create any property relation between husband and wife. Likewise to elaborate, any property possessed or acquired by either party before or after the marriage. This along with its fruits, will remain solely the property of that individual. As for property jointly earned, it will generally be divided equally. This unless the Court decides otherwise. Likewise also see Thai child maintenance on here as well as the Thailand adoption page.
Note that the issue of rights acquired by marriage. That which has been judged as void due to violations of Section 1449, Section 1450, or Section 1458. Note that such voided marriages will not prejudice any of the rights acquired through them before the final judgment for those parties who married in good faith. Read further on the annulment of marriage in Thailand.
According to Section 1494 of the Civil and Commercial Code, the grounds for the annulment of a marriage do not result in the loss of rights acquired by a man or woman who entered into the marriage in good faith, including the right to inherit. Therefore, even if the marriage between the plaintiff and the inheritor is declared void and revoked due to the defendant already having a wife, the plaintiff, who entered into the marriage in good faith, retains the right to inherit under Section 1494. (Judgment of the Supreme Court No. 1924/2523)
Similarly, when a marriage is judged to be void due to violations of Section 1452 (bigamy). This will not prejudice the rights acquired through the marriage before the cause that voided the marriage has been known to the man or woman involved. Likewise this type of voided marriage will not make one spouse become statutory heir of the other. Likewise have the right of inheritance in Thailand to the other spouse.
The annulment of a marriage in terms of Section 1458 is rare. However it does occur. It is better to explain this with example to see what the court sees in Thailand with regards to this section. It is listed
Section 1458 outlines the requirements for a marriage to be valid. Firstly, a marriage can only occur when both the man and woman mutually consent to become husband and wife. Secondly, this agreement must be publicly declared before the Registrar to ensure its official recording by the Registrar.
We can look at Thai case law to show what would be considered typical of this section.
Marriage is a solemn union that requires the mutual agreement of a man and a woman to become husband and wife. Once married, they are bound to live together both in the eyes of nature and the law. They must care for each other during times of sorrow and sickness and provide support according to their abilities and social standing.
In this case, the defendant registered a marriage with ‘A’, but their actions do not reflect the obligations of a husband and wife. When ‘A’ fell ill, it was the plaintiff who took care of her. Also paid for her medical expenses, and provided her with a place to stay. On the other hand, the defendant continued living with his sister, showing no responsibility towards ‘A’s’ well-being.
The defendant admitted that he did not wish to marry ‘A’, but she persuaded him by mentioning the inheritance gratuity entitlement. Later, it became evident that upon ‘A’s’ passing, the defendant was the one who received the inheritance gratuity, implying that the marriage was solely a means to claim the gratuity.
Such actions by the defendant clearly violate the provisions of the Civil and Commercial Code, specifically Section 1458, and render the marriage void under Section 1495. It is evident that the defendant’s intent in registering the marriage was not to fulfill the duties of a husband but solely to gain inheritance rights. (Judgment of the Supreme Court No. 1067/2545)
Both petitioners filed a petition claiming that their marriage was registered without genuine intent and solely for financial gain. They never intended to live as husband and wife and have never cohabited in such a manner. Likewise the reason for their marriage registration was based solely on the advice of fortune tellers. However, they failed to produce other witnesses who could testify to the fact that they did not live together as husband and wife, nor did they provide a copy of their house registration to demonstrate their separate living arrangements.
Furthermore, both petitioners allowed three years to pass before bringing this case to court, seeking a judgment declaring their marriage void. The circumstances presented by both petitioners seem to indicate that they did agree to be husband and wife under the provisions of the Civil and Commercial Code, Section 1458.
Given the lack of substantial evidence and the delayed nature of their petition, there appears to be no valid reason for the court to rule that the marriage of both petitioners is void. (Judgment of the Supreme Court No. 5351/2545)
The defendant in this case had a legitimate wife. Additionally, the defendant entered into an agreement with the plaintiff. Remarkably, the plaintiff knew that the defendant already had a wife. Importantly, both parties agreed to be husband and wife from the date of the contract. Consequently, the defendant will pay the plaintiff 1,000 baht per month. This marriage is void as on is already married. (Judgment of the Supreme Court No. 3972/2529)
Given that the marriage between the plaintiff and Mon is void under the Civil and Commercial Code, as specified in Sections 1452 and 1495, due to Mon already having a spouse at the time of marrying the plaintiff, it holds the same effect as if they were never husband and wife from the beginning. Consequently, the plaintiff cannot treat the money received by Mon as their income under the Revenue Code, particularly in Section 57 ter. As a result, the plaintiff bears no duty or responsibility to file and pay taxes for such amounts. (Judgment of the Supreme Court No. 659/2545)
The man and woman performed the wedding ceremony. However, the woman refused to register the marriage, stating that it does not constitute a legal marriage. Consequently, in this situation, the man has the right to claim back the gold and dowry. It is essential to note that the refusal of one party to consent to the marriage registration does not entitle the other party to compel them through court action, even though the marriage has already taken place. (Judgment of the Supreme Court No. 137/2481)
When the marriage is voided because of Section 1449, 1450, 1458 or 1452. Note that the person who acted in good faith can claim compensation. Likewise if the voiding causes the person who acted in good faith be destitute or have insufficient income from their property or business. This person can claim a living allowance until final judgment. Likewise Section 1526 as well as Section 1528 makes provision for this allowance. This is an overall view of annulment of marriage in Thailand.
Note that there is a time limit on claiming damages. The prescription period for claiming compensation or living allowances is two years. This from the date of the final judgment which voided the marriage in cases of marriages made against Section 1449 (an insane person), 1450 (blood relatives), or 1448 (under age). Alternatively, the prescription period starts from the day when the void of the marriage becomes known in cases of marriages made against Section 1452 (bigamy).
Regarding child custody and child maintenance in cases of voided marriages (Section 1499/1). The spouses must make a written agreement on which party exercises parental power over any child. This or the contribution to the child’s maintenance. If an agreement cannot be reached. The Court will make a decision on the matter. If there are grounds for depriving a spouse of parental power under Section 1582. Likewise the Court may issue an order to deprive that spouse of such power and appoint a third person as a guardian. In addition taking into consideration the happiness and interest of the child. The provisions of Section 1521 will apply. See also child custody litigation.
Finally, Section 1500 safeguards the rights of third parties. Those who acted in good faith before the voiding of the marriage was entered into the Marriage Register under Section 1497/1. The rights acquired by such third parties will not be affected by the marriage being declared void.
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