If you are getting divorced in Thailand then there are only two options. The first is an unopposed divorce by agreement also called an administrative divorce. The other is a costly litigated divorce which can take more than a year to complete if there are disputes about property or the children.
An administrative divorce of divorce by mutual agreement is very common when there is nothing to fight over. The agreement needs to be drafted and handed in to the Amphurs office in Thailand to grant the divorce. If there are no objections to the drafted divorce agreement then the matter is settled fast and easy. Many times couples can settle the issue of property and child custody by agreement without much issue.
What does the District Office look at?
- They are going to ensure that both parties had signed the agreement and also ensure that there are at least two competent witness to view the signing of the agreement in accordance with Thai law. Note that the Civil and Commercial code does not allow a deaf person to sign the agreement as a witness. If you or your wife are deaf then you need to contact an attorney for advice and assistance.
- In terms of Section 1520 of the Civil and Commercial Code there needs to be a designated person who will exercise parental control over the children. This would also give control over all property in the name of the child. If you place property or assets in the child’s name then you need to consult a family lawyer about this. If you have property registered in the name of one of your children then after the divorce your ex-wife who has parental control now exercise control over that property
- Section 1522 of the Civil and Commercial Code also stipulates that you need to settle the issue of child support or alimony. You have to place a number in the agreement and also the method of payment which becomes important if you are leaving Thailand for good after the divorce.
- Section 1532 of the Civil and Commercial Code stipulates that the real estate and other property also needs to be divided as it is at the date of the divorce being granted.
Once the documents have been inspected and accepted by the Amphurs office then you will now be divorced. The divorce agreement can be difficult to complete as you will need to state where the children will live, child support and access to the children which is very important. Many time post-divorce the women demand even more money and when they do not get it they deny access to the children. This issue has again made news headlines in Thailand when these types of disputes end in violence.
Always take proper legal advice when you get divorced and never complete a divorce agreement without taking legal advice or at the very least have a family lawyer in Bangkok look over the documents before you sign them. Mistakes can be very costly to correct later.