Contested Divorce in Thailand Ending a Marriage under Thai Law
Under section 1501 of the Thai Commercial and Civil Code a marriage in Thailand can be terminated by one of three different methods.
1. Death of a spouse
2. Cancellation by Court
The death of one of spouse is easy to understand.
2. Cancellation By Court
Approaching the Court in Thailand to cancel a marriage is not frequently brought into being. It is only in special cases with extremely good reason that the Court can be approached to cancel a marriage. This is eligible in circumstances where the plaintiff becomes aware of facts or factors relating to the marriage or the defendant that he or she was not aware of before the marriage. The facts or factors need to be of such nature that the plaintive would not get married if he or she were aware of these particulars before the marriage.
When the Court cancel a marriage it is not regarded as a divorce and it is considered that the marriage never took place.
According to Thai Law, there is no differentiation between Thai nationals and foreign persons. Not considering a persons nationality, under Thailand Law, all inhabitants are acted towards in the same way.
Two forms of divorce can be obtained in Thailand:
1. Contested divorce
2. Uncontested divorce
A contested divorce can be requested by one of the parties for one or more of the following reasons that you will found under section 1516 of the Thai Commercial and Civil Code:
A different female is awarded status and is maintained as the wife of the husband and/or adultery is committed by one spouse
One of the two parties to the marriage has committed a crime and is found guilty or other form of misconduct.
One of the two parties have caused severe mental, emotional and or physical injury to the other party or have severely affronted the other party and or one or more of this parties family.
One of the parties to the marriage has forsaken his marriage party for a period that exceed one year.
One of the parties to the marriage has been sentenced to a prison term by Court and has been in prison for longer than a 12 month period, provided that the plaintive is not guilty of any involvement, approval or aware of the crime or misconduct of the defendant. Moreover that should the parties remain married and live together the plaintive will suffer undue harm or tribulation
Both parties, out of own accord does not live together any more for a period longer than 3 consecutive years.
One of the parties to the marriage are believed to gone astray, and or left the mutual residence for longer than three years. In addition it is not ascertainable if the person is still alive.
Be deficient in maintaining a marriage.
One of the parties has been declared to be in poor mental health for more than three consecutive years with no prospect of recovery.
One of the parties has failed to remain committed to the bond of good behavior.
One of the parties is be diagnosed with a transmissible and contagious hazardous illness which is not curable and that can result in harm to the other party.
One of the parties are affected by a physical impairment to such an effect that it is not possible to enduringly live together as husband and wife.
The Procedure for a contested Divorce:
1. A petition must be filed at the Court
2. Where claims of monetary compensation are applicable (like getting back 50% of the “common” or “marital property” called “Sin Somros” in Thai) a deposit of 2% of the value of the claim must be paid to the Court.
3. If the ruling is made in your favor, judgment can be made that the other party must pay back the deposit.
4. In the event where children were born out of the marriage, you will first have to go trough juvenile division proceedings that will provide the court with a report in this regard.
5. When parties can not agree during the negotiation session in Court, a trial date will be set.
6. The burden of proof is on the plaintiff and the plaintiff must be present during proceedings. Should the defendant do not attend, only the evidence presented by the plaintiff will be taking into consideration.
7. This process can take between 3 to 12 months in normal circumstances. That doesnt include appeals.
There are 3 main tasks that the Court will:
A) Verify is there is enough evidence about the ground. If not, the Court wont grant a divorce and it will stop.
B) If there is enough evidence to divorce, the Court will decide about the children of the couple. If there arent any children, then it goes to next step. The Court will rule according to the best interest of the children.
C) The Court will separate the common property between spouses in 50-50%. In cases where adultery is the ground, a Thai court can also allows damages to be paid if damages are claimed to the Court.