Talaq (Divorce) Procedure

The Islamic divorce process in Thailand or Islamic divorce procedure in Thailand is explained here. Speak to a talaq divorce lawyer.  If you are getting divorced in Thailand as a Muslim, then there are certain procedures that will need to be followed. There have been many amendments in Thailand and repealing of laws. Such as the Muslim Family and Inheritance Law in Thailand which was repealed in 1943. The topic was part of a research project in Thailand and Malaysia as to Thai law and Sharia law relating to marriage dissolution without a Sharia Court.

Islamic Divorce

The topic is more for discussion into the possible drafting of new laws in Thailand with regard to Southern Thailand and Talaq, as a divorce is called in Arabic. The issue is raising its head again after reports in the US have asked if writing Talaq three times is valid on Facebook as a divorce under Islamic law. There is a rather extensive topic on the Huffington Post in this regard. Here we will look at the history and current Islamic law in Thailand with regards to divorce proceedings.

islamic divorce process

The process in Thailand was that the husband would first say Talaq in front of the village Imam. Then the second in the office of the Muslim Religious Committee Council Committee (MRCC). These also called the Majlis which had been available in the Southern Provinces. After the Talaq has been confirmed. The Imam or Majlis will issue you with a certificate of having witnessed the Talaq.

Talaq in Thailand

Each of the parties gets a copy. The wife, husband, and the local Muslim Council will keep a copy. This has no legal standing in Thailand and the Imam and Majlis do not act as a Registrar. Under current Thai law (Administration of Islamic Organizations Act 1997) they have the authority to issue but not to register marriage and divorce certificates. The thai divorce certificate comes from the government.

Under Section 26 of the Act, it states that –

In any province having a Provincial Islamic Committee. The Committees have the following powers:

– authority to the issue but not to register marriage and divorce certificates.

talaq divorce lawyerThe traditional Islamic courts have no legal standing as their rulings cannot be legally enforced. A very small minority would get divorced in this format but it does occur. You can of course divorce in the traditional way with Islamic family law. However, you would still have to complete the normal divorce proceedings. This according to Thai law for the divorce to be legally binding.

This is not unheard of as Islamic marriages in Thailand first start with Islamic law and when the Islamic process is complete. The formal Thai laws would follow with a visit to the Amphur Office to register the marriage. Much in this way many prefer to get divorced in the Islamic way by having Talaq heard three times and obtaining their certificate and complete the divorce in the standard Thai courts. If it is an unopposed divorce, then an administrative divorce at the Amphur offices.

Speak to our family lawyer about family law in Thailand and about your Talaq in Thailand if you wish to get divorced but want to start the process in the traditional Islamic divorce proceedings. See our talaq divorce lawyer.

Islamic Law in Divorce

There is an entire article on Islamic Divorce in Thailand. There is however a very interesting case in the Supreme Court that warrants attention. The following case is of interest to those who may be Muslim in Thailand and want a divorce.

Both the plaintiff and defendant are Muslims and live in Narathiwat Province. They got married following Islamic law and registered their marriage as per the Civil and Commercial Code. The plaintiff asked for a divorce from the defendant. There was the reasons for the divorce according to the Civil and Commercial Code. Since it’s a family matter, it falls under the Act on the Application of Islamic Law in certain provinces,(See the article on the history of the law) allowing Islamic law to be used for family and inheritance issues. This instead of the Civil and Commercial Code.

So, when the Narathiwat Provincial Islamic Committee decided that the plaintiff was divorced from being the defendant’s wife. They then followed Islamic law instead of Civil and Commercial Code Section 1516. The divorce letter stated that it was based on religious principles and rules, making it a legal divorce according to Islamic law. It’s valid and enforceable just like a divorce under the Civil and Commercial Code. Likewise it can be registered accordingly. The plaintiff doesn’t need to go to court. The First Instance Court decided to dismiss the plaintiff’s case and was satisfied with the decision.

Supreme Court Judgment No. 4230/2015

Mediation and Islamic Law

In Thailand, mediation is becoming more common with both contested (judicial) as well as with uncontested (administrative) divorce processes:

For an Uncontested Divorce:

1. Optional but Recommended: While you are not under obligation it might be a good idea to try mediation mainly as this might solve any issues with regards to the children and custody. This will also make a judicial divorce shorter.

2. Helps Make Agreements: In Thailand the mediator does not take sides. This can help you and your spouse talk things out and agree on issues such as property, debt as well as the children.

3. Makes Agreements Official: Whatever the parties agree to on during mediation. This can be written down and certified by a notary services lawyer in Bangkok.


For Contested Divorce:

1. Mediation Ordered by Court: The family court might suggest having a go at mediation. You might also try this before you litigate the divorce. Find a mediator in Thailand that can take you through the process. See if everyone can be reasonable.

2. Guided by a Mediator: Someone who’s not on anyone’s team will help you both figure things out, hear each other out, and come up with solutions.

3. Privacy and Flexibility: Whatever you talk about in mediation stays between you two, and if you don’t agree, it doesn’t count in court unless you both decide it does.


Why Mediation:

– Yes is it faster and more cost effective than going to court.

– Likewise it is less stressful and can make everyone feel better, especially if there are kids involved.

– You get more say in what happens instead of just letting the court decide.

Unfortunately mediation is not always the answer or provide a solution. If you both can’t find common ground or there are big disagreements, it might not work, and you might end up in court after all.

No matter what kind of divorce you’re going for. It is really important to talk to a Thai family lawyer who knows what is best. They can walk you through everything, tell you what your options are, and help you figure out if mediation is the way to go for you.

Standard Divorce Process in Thailand

First things first, you must have valid reasons to start a judicial divorce. This is listed in Section 1516 of the Civil and Commercial Code. These reasons include issues such as adultery, serious damage to reputation, abuse, abandonment, living apart for a while, and finally insanity.

Judicial divorce (contested) process in Thailand:

Here’s the process:

1. Get a Lawyer: Contested divorces can get pretty complicated, so it is a good idea to hire a Thai Family lawyer who is a specialist in family law. They will assist you and represent you in court.

2. File a Petition: Your lawyer will draw a divorce petition explaining why you want the divorce and what you want in terms of child custody as well as property. Likewise how any debt will be divided. This gets filed with the Family Court in the correct area.

3. Serve and Respond: Your spouse gets served the divorce petition and has time to respond. She will either disagreeing with your reasons or suggest other terms. This response will come from her lawyer.

4. Pre-Trial Conference and Mediation: The Thai family court might schedule a meeting before the trial. This is to see if you can solve issues through mediation. It’s a good idea to try and avoid a long trial if possible as it becomes costly and lengthy. The Thai Family Court is already very busy with an increase in “protection orders”due to the rise in domestic violence and divorce matters.

5. Trial: If the parties cannot agree after mediation, it goes to trial. Both of you get to present your sides, with evidence as well as witnesses.

6. Judgment: The judge will make the final decision on the divorce outcome. Likewise, deciding issues such as who gets custody, who keeps what property, and if there is any alimony and how much.

7. Appeal: If either of you don’t like the judgment, you can appeal it within a certain time frame.


Few things to keep in mind:

– Having a contested divorce takes time and is costly.

– Likewise you have to prove your reasons for the divorce and provide evidence.

Remember, it’s usually better for everyone if you can settle issues peacefully through mediation. A good lawyer will try to find common ground and keep the legal drama to a minimum.

Administrative divorce documents (uncontested):

So, when it comes to administrative divorce forms in Thailand, they might look a little different depending on where you go, but here’s a basic rundown of what you’ll usually see:

Personal Info Section:

• Both of your full names, ID numbers, and addresses.
• Where and when you were born.
• Your nationalities.
• Marriage Details: When and where you got married.

Info from your marriage certificate, like the number and who gave it to you.

Divorce Statement:

You both have to say you want the divorce. Sometimes, it might mention if you have children and how you are going to share the children, who holds the parental power or custody and access and maintenance of them.

Info about Witnesses (if needed):

Some forms might ask for witnesses to sign who saw you both agree to the divorce.


• The district official fills this out after they check your papers and talk to you.
• It says when the divorce got registered and has the Amphur stamp on it.

Other Things to Know:

You’ll probably need to give them your original marriage certificate. Likewise your IDs and passport and your house registration papers (if you’re Thai). This would normally be your Thai wife.

Better to have a lawyer draft the divorce agreement for you in the event that you or your spouse might forget an important issue. They might also notarize the document for you.

If you’re not sure about something, don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s important to get it all sorted out properly.

Few extra things to know:

Most time you will not need a family lawyer for this type of divorce. It is however always advisable to speak to one and to ensure that the divorce agreement is properly drafted as well as understood.

Most time this is the fastest way to get divorced. If their office is busy or if there are documents short. Then it may take a bit longer. .

As stated above, it is best that that divorce agreement is properly drafted. Using a family lawyer is best as you might forget certain issues such as debt and how the children will be shared. You can also ask a notary services lawyer to have the document certified.

Remember, this is just a basic rundown. For your own situation, it’s best to talk to a Thai lawyer who can give you advice tailored to your needs and make sure everything goes smoothly.


Divorce Complications with Administrative Divorce:

You can write a divorce consent letter anywhere before actually registering your divorce in Thailand. Most will have this done by a divorce lawyer in Thailand and then have the divorce filed at the District Office. So, it’s a valid consent letter according to the Civil and Commercial Code, Section 1514, paragraph two.

The divorce was all good according to the Civil and Commercial Code, Section 1515 and the Family Registration Act, B.E. 2478, Section 18, even if the registrar didn’t tell the district office or the Central Registration Office as per the family registration rules.

(Divorce not notified Central Registration) – Supreme Court Judgment No. 595/1991

When a husband and wife both agree to divorce. Now it has been properly completed as stated in Section 1514 of the Civil and Commercial Code. However, if the husband won’t go ahead and register the divorce as agreed upon, the wife has the option to take legal action. She can file a lawsuit to compel her husband to go through with the divorce registration.

(Husband refuses to go to Amphur) – Supreme Court Judgment No. 3838/2528

Types of Divorce

When a couple decides to get divorce in Thailand there are only two forms of divorce. The first is an administrative divorce. This is the easiest type of divorce as both parties have agreed to the property, child maintenance and custody of the children.

This type of divorce does not require a court as is completed at the local District Office where you live. The second is a litigated or judicial divorce. This takes longer as they need to go to court. The administrative divorce is an uncontested divorce as stated the child custody as well as marital debts and property has been divorced by agreement.


Judicial Divorce (Contested):

For when you don’t agree: If you can’t decide on children, you going to go to court.

Takes longer and is more complicated: Involves going to court, maybe with witnesses and lawyers, so it’s more time-consuming and expensive.

You need reasons: You have to have a legit reason for splitting, like cheating or being mean.

Usually but not always, the courts you will need to appear at least once. Your lawyer will do the rest if you live overseas.

It’s smart to talk to a good Thai lawyer to understand your choices and pick the right kind of divorce for you. They can walk you through the legal process, make sure you’re treated fairly, and try to make things smooth if they can.


Administrative divorce (uncontested)

In Thailand: Well firstly, to get this type of divorce, both partners have to totally agree on everything. Who gets the children and what property and debt. Note that your marriage must be officially recognized in Thailand. You cannot complete a foreign divorce in Thailand. Both parties also have to be in Thailand when the divorce occurs.


The step-by-step process:

Firstly you will need to gather all your documents. Collect all the important documents like your marriage certificate, passport and if you have children then also the children’s birth certificates.

District Office: Go to the Amphur office where you registered your marriage.

Provide the documents: Meet with the person in charge. Provide them with your documents along with a written request for the divorce.

Provide advice: They may talk to each of you separately. This is to ensure that you and your partner are both confident with the decision. Likewise if needed, they may give you some advice or counseling.

Divorce Registered: If everything looks good, they will make it official and give you a divorce certificate.


The information contained on our website is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. For further information, please contact us.

Divorce in Thailand

Firstly this page covers Islamic divorce in Thailand. You should also look at the Islamic Marriage in Thailand as well. There is also another page called Muslim marriage in Thailand as well. There is also the history on Islamic Family Law in Thailand. Lastly there is also the Islamic Marriage for Malaysian Nationals which you can read.