Thai Child Support

In Thailand, if the child is born out of wedlock then the mother of the child has full custody of the child. Thai law does not see the biological father as the legitimate father until he has acknowledged this. Read further on Thai child support. So the father is not liable for maintenance until such time. This is normally done through the child legitimation process in Thailand.

child support

Thai Child Support

There are three ways to get the child legitimated. This can be done when you marry the mother of the child. Likewise, if the father has completed the legitimation process at the Amphur. Finally, there can also be a court order for this. Read the Child Legitimation in the Civil & Commercial Code.

Should there be a change in your financial circumstances? Both parties can agree to lower child maintenance. This is mainly for those who got divorced by mutual consent or an administrative divorce. Likewise, the court will need to review this to effect a reduction in child support.

Note that some have divided child support in several ways. Many times the parent keeps their children on their medical aid. Likewise, others will decide who pays the school fees as well. Food, shelter as well as clothing will vary as this is normally covered with the monthly payment in child support. These you should discuss when getting divorced. Likewise also see the issues around child custody in Thailand

Maintenance, also known as alimony, may be claimed between husband and wife or parent and child after marital separation or divorce. Read further on Thai child support.  This includes child support and spousal support.


Civil and Commercial Code 

Section 1598/38 introduces the concept of maintenance, which can be claimed between husband and wife or parent and child under certain circumstances. The Court decides the extent of maintenance after considering the ability of the person responsible for providing maintenance, the recipient’s condition in life, and the specifics of the case. According to the Civil and Commercial Code, specifically in section 1564, it is mandated that parents must provide proper care and education for their children during their minority. This responsibility cannot be denied by either party. Speak to our Thai family lawyer for more assistance.

Case Example

Regarding the determination of child support for minors under Section 1598/38, the court takes into consideration the capabilities of those responsible for providing support, the status of the recipient, and the circumstances of the case. In this case, the court found both the plaintiff and the defendant capable of supporting the two minor children equally. As a result, the court ordered the defendant to pay child support for both minors at 15,000 baht per month, which amounts to 7,500 baht per person per month. This decision aligns with the circumstances of the case.

However, the defendant’s claim that the share of the property given to the plaintiff should be considered alimony for the two minor children is not valid. The court views the division of Sin Somros differently from the defendant’s duty as a father to support the maintenance of both minor children. Therefore, the defendant cannot claim to be exempt from the obligation based on these reasons. Judgment of the Supreme Court No. 1568/2552


Exchanging property for child support

You cannot exchange the property of a minor by agreement for alimony. Only the courts can decide what may happen to the property of a minor child. Should the courts not have approved this then the agreement is not valid.

Case Example

The plaintiff, being the legitimate mother of the minor, has agreed to accept money for child support. As part of the compromise agreement, she relinquishes the right to claim alimony again. This compromise agreement involves the property of a minor, and it falls under the purview of the Civil and Commercial Code, Section 1574 (12).

However, Section 1574 (12) of the Civil and Commercial Code explicitly prohibits the use of parental power to enter into a compromise agreement concerning the property of a minor without court approval. Regardless of whether the minor may benefit or suffer any loss from the compromise agreement, obtaining court permission is essential. In this case, the plaintiff, exercising parental authority, did not receive court authorization to enter into the compromise agreement. Therefore, the compromise agreement is considered void and unenforceable. Judgment of the Supreme Court No. 9414/2542


How much child support

Moving on to Section 1598/40, maintenance is typically provided through periodical payments in money, unless the parties agree otherwise or there are special reasons for an alternative arrangement. The Court has the authority to determine the manner of furnishing maintenance and whether it should be in money or other means. For child maintenance claims, the Court may also consider providing maintenance through educational or vocational institutions if deemed appropriate. Likewise see also the article on child custody mediation.

Case Example

According to the Civil and Commercial Code. Likewise, under Section 1461, husbands and wives are obligated to support each other based on their respective abilities and status. Note that the defendant, being the husband, is legally required to provide support to his wife. However, the defendant argues that the new wife has a substantial income. This would in his mind exempt him from the responsibility of providing support. In contrast, Section 1564, states that both fathers and mothers share the duty of providing care and education for their minor children. Hence, both the plaintiff and the defendant should jointly contribute to child support and education, dividing the expenses equally between the two minor children.

In line with the Civil and Commercial Code, Sections 1598/38 and 1598/39 outline the court’s considerations in determining alimony. The court takes into account the capability of the person responsible for providing maintenance, the recipient’s status, and the circumstances of the case. Additionally, the court retains the authority to modify the maintenance expenses later if necessary.

As the plaintiff and defendant have different incomes, and the defendant now has a new wife and child. Likewise, his financial obligations extend beyond caring for only one minor. Thus, when determining alimony for the minors, the court must consider the defendant’s income, family expenses, the financial needs of the minors, as well as their age and level of education. These factors play a significant role in the court’s decision regarding the appropriate amount of child support. Judgment of the Supreme Court No. 1605/2534


Prescription of a maintenance claim

Transitioning to Section 1598/39. Note that any interested party can request alterations to the maintenance. This if there have been changes in circumstances, means, or conditions in the parties’ lives. The Court may cancel, reduce, increase, or re-establish the maintenance amount accordingly. Read further on Thai child support.

Case Example

Section 1598/38 grants parents and children the right to sue for maintenance exclusively between them. Regarding alimony requests, Section 1565 specifies that the prosecutor can raise the case against the defendant, or the father or mother can initiate the case themselves.

Additionally, Section 1564, mandates that parents have a joint duty to care for and educate their minor children. Thus making them joint debtors. In this scenario, the liability is divided equally unless Section 296 specifies otherwise. The plaintiff and the defendant, who are divorced but agreed to place the children under the plaintiff’s care, did not agree on unilateral support.

The plaintiff supported the minor child only until reaching the age of majority. As a result, the plaintiff has the right to sue the defendant for child support. This covering the period from the child’s emancipation before the date of divorce until the child reaches legal age. The court has the jurisdiction to determine the child support amount under Section 1522.

The statute of limitations for filing a child support claim for a minor child is 5 years from the date of payment by either parent. In the case of unilateral alimony payments, the right to claim maintenance from the other party arises from the date of payment and can be enforced under Section 193/33 (4) in conjunction with Section 193/12.


Failure to Support

Finally, Section 1598/41 clarifies that the right to maintenance cannot be waived, attached, transferred, or subjected to execution. Note that from this clause is that the payment cannot be attached or subjected to execution. This means that it cannot be attached by a court order for debt. This ensures the protection of the entitled party’s right to maintenance. This is an example where maintenance is demanded even while they are still married.

Case Example

In the situation where the defendant refuses to live with the plaintiff and fails to provide conventional support. The plaintiff, under Section 1598/38 of the Civil and Commercial Code, retains the right to sue for support without the necessity of filing for divorce. Judgment of the Supreme Court No. 2486/2535

This is a very broad overview of Thai child support or alimony in Thailand. If you are an expat and sending money from abroad. Then you might consider opening another bank account at home and providing your ex-wife or girlfriend the ATM card in Thailand. This allows her to draw money without any issues. You will also have proof of payment and it is easier to do than Western Union or MoneyGram. Speak yo our Thai Divorce Lawyer for more assistance. Read further on this website on Thai child support. Lastly see also the Hague Convention on Child Abduction on here.