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Divorce in Thailand.

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divorce in thailand
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This is a guide through the process of getting a divorce in Thailand.

As in many European law systems, Thai law foresees two ways to terminate a marriage. It can be done either with mutual consent or based on one of the legal grounds.

Let’s see how marriage is terminated in Thailand.

Types of divorce in Thailand

The following are the types of divorce under Thai law:

  • Contested divorce (judicial divorce)
  • Uncontested divorce (administrative divorce)

Contested divorce

One can choose a contested divorce when one or both spouses do not agree on all aspects of the separation (eg custody rights or marital property) or is not willing to divorce. The marriage will be dissolved by the judgement of the Central Juvenile and Family Court in Thailand.

The spouse who requests the divorce is called the Plaintiff. With the lawyer, the Plaintiff must identify the ground for filing the divorce. Once the ground is identified and the evidence is verified, the pleading must be prepared.

The pleading must be submitted with the following documents:

  • Photocopy of the marriage certificate
  • Photocopy of the Thai identification card for the Thai spouse
  • Photocopy of the passport for the foreign spouse
  • Photocopy of the Tabien Baan for the Thai spouse
  • Photocopy of the children’s birth certificates (if any)
  • Evidence proving the ground(s) for divorce

Grounds of filing for a divorce in Thailand

According to section 1516 of the Civil and Commercial Code, the main grounds to file for divorce are when one spouse:

  1. Has given maintenance to or honoured another person as wife or husband, committed adultery or had regular sexual intercourse with such other person
  2. Is guilty of misconduct (criminal or otherwise)
  3. Has caused serious harm or torture to the body or mind, or has seriously insulted the other or his or her ascendants
  4. Has deserted the other for more than one year
  5. Has disappeared or left his or her domicile for more than three years and being uncertain whether he or she is living or dead
  6. Fails to give proper maintenance and support to the other
  7. Has been an insane person for more than three years and such insanity is hardly curable so that the continuance of marriage cannot be expected
  8. Has broken a bond of good behaviour
  9. Is suffering from a communicable and dangerous disease which is incurable
  10. Has a physical disadvantage so as to be permanently unable to cohabit as husband and wife

Occasions which contested divorce is available

There are four occasions when contested divorces are available, which are:

  1. The marriage is not registered in Thailand
    Couples who did not register their marriage in Thailand must rely on the contested divorce system. The Thai court takes into account an unregistered marriage under the following circumstances:

      • At least one spouse is Thai
      • At least one spouse has been working in Thailand for a period of time and has a valid work permit
      • At least one spouse is a permanent resident of Thailand
  2. There is a ground for divorce but only one spouse is willing to divorce
  3. An agreement regarding child custody and marital property cannot be reached
  4. The law of the foreign national does not recognise uncontested divorce

Uncontested divorce

An uncontested divorce is also known as administrative divorce, which is much cheaper, and the procedure is simpler. The uncontested divorce is for registered marriages in Thailand and was registered in accordance with the Thai Civil and Commercial Code.

The married couple does not have to give a reason for why they want to separate, they just both have to be present at the Amphoe to express their mutual wish to end the marriage.

Required documents

The required documents for the uncontested divorce are as follows:

  • If divorcing at the same Amphoe as the marriage was registered:
    • Marriage certificates
    • Identification card (Thai spouse)
    • Tabien Baan for the (Thai spouse)
    • Passport (foreign spouse)
  • If divorcing at a different Amphoe:
    • Marriage certificates
    • Identification card (Thai spouse)
    • Tabien Baan for the (Thai spouse)
    • Passport (foreign spouse)
    • Legalised translation of the foreigner’s passport

Once the divorce is final, the Amphoe will issue a divorce certificate. Two things have to be taken into account:

  • For the foreign spouse: the divorce certificate must be translated into English and legalised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before it can be registered at the embassy
  • For the Thai spouse: the Amphoe where the birth of the Thai national was registered must be informed of the divorce

Divorce agreement

The divorce agreement or settlement agreement is a contract between the divorced couple which contains provisions regarding child custody, marital property, alimony and/or child support.

The divorce agreement is signed by both parties in front of witnesses and made into a part of the court record or administrative record.


After a divorce, it is important to have a well-written contract as evidence. Acclime has experienced lawyers that can assist you with this.

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