Many expats in Thailand who wish to live in Thailand for the remainder of their lives don’t normally want a prenuptial agreement as Thai law is different to the laws of their own home country. This however is not the correct way of thinking as your assets in the UK or Australia could still be at risk.
Before you get married in Thailand always seek proper legal advice first. If you wish to register a prenuptial agreement then you will need to have your prenuptial signed before the marriage is registered as the marriage registration and the prenuptial has to be signed and handed in together at the Amphur office in Thailand.
If we look at the divorce statistics for Thailand or the fact that more than 40% of marriages in the US ends in divorce a prenuptial agreement makes sense. Many do see the advantages of having a prenuptial agreement before getting married in Thailand and registering this prenuptial agreement at the same time they register their marriage in Thailand. What advantages you may ask does this agreement hold today in and outside of Thailand?
- Most times a properly drafted prenuptial agreement can lower your divorce costs. This is a good option to have in Thailand where holding property as a foreigner is very difficult.
- The prenuptial agreement also protects your all your assets abroad;
- Prenuptial agreements can also affect your last will and testament;
- Your business in Thailand and business partners can be protected by a prenup;
- The prenuptial agreement will also protect your assets from your wife’s creditors.
Prenuptial agreements have to be drafted to reflect the laws of Thailand and that of you home country. Most expatriate law firms will do this for you. Have an attorney in Thailand draft the prenuptial agreement for you according to local and the laws of your home country and also ensure that it is signed in accordance with the law. You might not know but a deaf person in Thailand is not allowed to be a witness at the singing of agreements.
Some of the most common mistakes with prenuptial agreements in Thailand tend to be invalid provisions. You cannot place an invalid provision in the prenuptial. An example of this is that you place a provision of child custody or maintenance in the agreement. You cannot place none existent property or investments in the prenuptial agreement. The most common problem in the West with prenuptials tend to be that it is not considered fair. This is one of the main problems during a divorce. The courts may not find some of the clauses fair. A good example of this was a divorce in the UK where the wife had to pay the condo maintenance in Thailand while her husband claimed the property in full during the divorce.
Note that you cannot make amendments to the prenuptial agreement once it has been singed and registered even if both parties agree. Speak to a competent family lawyer in Thailand for guidance and assistance before you register your marriage in Thailand.