Divorce in Thailand

When a marriage falters irrevocably, there are two ways in which to bring it to a legal end; contested divorce and uncontested divorce. Contested divorces generally involve a lot of expenses whereas uncontested divorces, which are also known as administrative divorces, are usually cheaper. Many other countries have also adopted these two divorce options.

Foreigner Divorce in Thailand

Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce is the preferred form of divorce in Thailand because it is less complicated and less time consuming. Uncontested divorces do not require parties to have a ground to sever their marriage. A mutual agreement to end the marriage is enough. These divorces are conducted at the local register, known as amphur or khet, and both of the spouses must be physically present while filing the divorce.

Contested divorce

Contested divorce is a court divorce. One of the parties is given recourse to go to the courts to end his/her marriage if any of the grounds provided under Thai law is applicable. This is usually availed of, if there is a definite ground for divorce but only one of the parties is amenable to ending the marriage, or if one party has been absent, and the absence has been detrimental to the other. Disagreements over child custody and marital property sharing could also lead to this kind of divorce. Contested divorce is a solution for couples who have not registered their marriage in Thailand but have been living or working in Thailand for a considerable period of time.

Divorce – Thai & Thai

Most Thai couples choosing to end their marriage opt for uncontested divorce. Thais prefer this method because it reduces conflicts between the husband and the wife and their families. For issues like child custody and marital property, Thai couples mostly prefer to arrange them privately. There are rare cases when the couple has not been able to settle the issues and have consulted a lawyer to assist them in the drafting of a Thailand divorce agreement which is then registered at the amphur.

Divorce – Thai & Foreigner

Marriages between foreigners, mainly men, and Thai citizens has been quite common for some years, but unfortunately, the cultural and linguistic differences between some of these couples have strained their relationship, resulting in a divorce.

In these cases, the Thai spouse will naturally prefer an uncontested divorce as it is known to be more favorable to the Thai spouse. The foreign spouse should approach an uncontested divorce with great caution because not all countries recognize this kind of divorce. Foreigners planning to get remarried in their home country might sometimes face problems with a Thai uncontested divorce.

Divorce – Foreigner & Foreigner

Foreigners who want to obtain a divorce in Thailand should consult a lawyer for proper guidance on the issue. The Thai lawyer should be able to guide you as to whether your home country will recognize a Thai divorce or not.

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