Divorce Law in Thailand

What is the Divorce Law in Thailand? Divorce is always an immensely challenging process and this is no different to Thailand. The divorce process in Thailand is emotionally as well as financially draining. Many do not always see how difficult this can become.

The family courts in Thailand is also full and slow due to the number of child custody issues. Most expats who get divorced in Thailand tend to proceed with an administrative divorce or what many Americans like to call a no-fault divorce in Thailand. The administrative and judicial process can also be smoother and more manageable if couples decide that they agree on all the aspects of the divorce.

Divorce Law in Thailand

Divorce Law in Thailand

When you looking at the most common form of divorce in Thailand. This being the administrative or unopposed divorce. These are all governed by the Commercial and Civil Code of Thailand. Likewise we will explain the legal framework that will explain how divorce in Thailand is conducted when there are no disputes.


Administrative Divorce in Thailand


Note that the administrative divorce which is also called an administrative divorce or uncontested divorce. This type of divorce all those couple who have mutually agreed to dissolve their marriage. There are requires for this divorce as well. You can see what these are below.

Firstly, the marriage must have been registered in Thailand. Alternatively, you will note that this is also the same as those who registered their marriage at the Thai Embassy while abroad. This type of divorce is viable if the one person is Thai. Speak to our divorce lawyer in Bangkok if an administrative divorce is possible for your circumstances.

Note that the hallmark of an administrative divorce in the country is that there is no disagreement between the two spouses. Likewise this includes not having a dispute when it comes to child custody or for that matter property division. Note that both spouses need to attend the process at the District Office or Amphur office. Again note that when it comes to an administrative divorce you cannot have a lawyer act on your behalf even with a power of attorney. If you are living abroad then you will need to come to Thailand to complete the unopposed divorce.

The advantage as you will see with the administrative divorce is that it can be completed in less than a day at the District Office in Thailand. They will then issue you with a divorce decree. Lastly also note that documents will need to be translated into Thai as well as foreign documents being notarized. Lastly your foreign documents will need to be translated as well as certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Thailand, before proceeding with your unopposed divorce.


The Complexity of Judicial Divorce


The administrative divorce with a divorce agreement is an easy to follow process in Thailand. This however is not always possible and litigation does occur. When couples don’t agree to a divorce or the issues such as property and children. Likewise the requirements for the administrative divorce is not met and a judicial divorce is the only other option. This becomes a contested divorce and the court proceedings now need to be followed. In addition each spouse will now need an attorney to state their case in court. The family court in Thailand is very busy and you can expect this to take a while.


Judicial Divorce in Thailand


When you are making an application for a judicial divorce in Thailand then certain requirements need to be met. These grounds for divorce are clearly outlined in the Commercial and Civil Code of Thailand and include:

  • Adultery has been committed by a spouse.
  • Likewise desertion by one for more than a year.
  • The husband now has another woman as a wife.
  • Misconduct by a spouse.
  • Serious insult to a party or harm caused by another to the spouse or ascendants.
  • One party causing emotional or physical harm to the other.
  • Where one party has committed an adultery.
  • One has been seriously ashamed or insulted.
  • The husband having given financial support to another woman.
  • Where the husband now has been in jail for longer than a year.
  • Likewise lived apart for longer than a period of three years.

You will need to meet the requirements by mentioning in your application what those grounds are. This is a mandatory requirement in Thailand. There are a number of grounds for divorce and the court will expect to have one of these as a minimum. The grounds for divorce mentioned above are an example as there is also the option to apply for a divorce on the bases of insanity. This is rare and complex and has been covered elsewhere.


Legal Representation and Court Proceedings


You will need to appoint a law firm when you are starting a judicial divorce. Since you don’t know the procedures you can speak to our divorce lawyer in Bangkok for advice. We are an experienced law firm in Thailand with many years of experience in family law. Our family lawyer can assist you during this time.


Steps for Judicial Divorce


Once you have retained a lawyer for the divorce, you will need to know what is needed in terms of evidence for your reason for this divorce. Each couple is different and our family lawyer will point you into the right direction. Should a private detective be needed then this will also need to be discussed.

Firstly you will need to start the process and file the formal petition with the correct court. You can find a basic break down of the courts system in Thailand on this website. When attending to the hearings both spouses will need to appear with their attorneys. There may be an option as does occur where you will only need to appear when the process starts and only when called for. The courts to understand that many expats don’t live in Thailand and accommodation can be made for this.

Once the divorce has been granted, you can register the divorce at the District Office. This will be the final process if the courts have not done this already.


Steps in Administrative Divorce


Note that the administrative or uncontested divorce is different to the judicial divorce. The process is easier and the process is very straightforward. There is like a judicial divorce procedures as well as documents that are needed.


Requirements for Administrative Divorce


The requirements are for the unopposed divorce in Thailand you will note are for those marriages which have been legally registered in Thailand. Likewise the marriage must have been officially registered. Traditional marriages are not legally bounding. Both spouses must have no disagreement. There should also be no disputes during the divorce. These are mainly issues with child custody, property in the country and other issues.


Documentation for Administrative Divorce


What you will need in terms of documentation is your original marriage certificate. These are both versions of it. The single page as well as the multipage marriage certificate. Both spouses must be present when this is presented.

The passports of the spouses will be needed. Speak to our family lawyer about this as the Thai wife will need to present her Thai ID card to prove who she is and that her identity and nationally is confirmed. The Thai house registration book of both spouses, if both are Thai. This confirms the residential address of the party.


Why obtain a Lawyer for This?


Firstly to navigate the system on your own will not be a good if you don’t know the process. This could be a judicial divorce or an unopposed or no-fault divorce. Always take professional advice and guidance when getting divorced as this is only a brief overview. Note that the administrative divorce also needs a divorce agreement drafted. This covers how marital property will be divided as well as parental rights of the children as well as child maintenance.


What is the role of a family lawyer?


Our role is to ensure that both parties can agree to a divorce and draft all the documents for your divorce at the local Amphur office. Should this be a litigated divorce then we are there to ensure that you get the best representation during your divorce. These are stressful times and it can become complex and expensive. We ensure that the best interests of our client are protected during both the administrative divorce as well as the judicial divorce. Speak to our family lawyer in Bangkok for more information. 




In conclusion you will note that divorce in Thailand could unfold through two distinct avenues: administrative (uncontested) and judicial (contested) divorce. Administrative divorce offers a smoother and more efficient process for those couples who mutually agree to end their marriage and meet specific requirements. Conversely, for those couples who cannot reach an agreement or fail to satisfy the criteria for administrative divorce. Likewise the judicial divorce process involves court proceedings and necessitates legal representation.

By understanding the intricacies of divorce in Thailand and availing themselves of the right legal support, couples can navigate this challenging period with greater confidence, paving the way for a new chapter in their lives. Lastly see the articles on the Thailand divorce lawyer on here.