• Marriage
  • Divorce
  • Child Custody
  • Child Support
  • Adoption
  • Marital Property
  • Prenuptial Agreement
  • Thai Will
  • Notary

Registering Your Marriage in Thailand

Marriage in Thailand by non-Thai couples or Thai National and foreigner couple is easy to arrange and can be quickly accomplished. The legal Thailand marriage registration can be done at any district office in any province on any working day between 8am and 3pm. To marry in Thailand you need original passports and proof that you are single. If you have previously been married which ended in divorce or death you need the original certificates. If never been married you need to show the Ministry of Foreign Affairs a statutory statement of non-attachment notarized by your home embassy in Bangkok. Your Embassy may require proof of evidence to this fact.

A statutory statement required by the Thai officials will cost 1,000 Thai Baht each (US$30). Your home embassy in Bangkok will normally charge a fee for notarizing it and the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) charges a minor fee for registering it and issuing a certificate to enable you to legally marry at any location in Thailand. An additional fee will be necessary to have the Thai Marriage certificate officially translated into Thai after the ceremory.

Special attention should be made about pre marriage planning. Assets of the foreigner should be protected. A Thailand prenuptial agreement prepared by our licensed Thailand lawyer is highly recommended. Prenuptial Agreements in Thailand should be prepared in both the Thai and English languages. If, for example, the foreigner is a US Citizen with assets in USA and Thailand, the prenuptial agreement should be prepared in such a manner that it is recognized and legally binding in both USA and Thailand. Prenuptial Agreements are less likely to be contested when prepared and signed well in advance of the marriage date. We recommend you choose a Thailand law firm to assist you with your Marriage Registration in Thailand so that your marriage is properly registered to avoid having legal difficulties in the future.

There are 2 types of divorces in Thailand. These are Contested Divorces which tend to be very costly and then there are Uncontested Divorces which are much cheaper and are normally called Administrative Divorces. Speak to a Divorce Lawyer in Thailand before signing any agreements with regards to your divorce in Thailand.

Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce is the administrative form of divorce in Thailand. It is preferred because it is swift and straightforward. For this divorce, parties do not need to have a ground to sever their marriage. Their mutual agreement to end the marital consortium is enough. The spouses must be physically present when applying for an uncontested divorce. It is conducted at the local register which is known as the amphur, amphoe or khet.

Contested Divorce

Contested divorce is judicial or court divorce. One party to the marriage is given recourse to go to the courts to end his/her marriage if any of the grounds provided under Thai law is attendant. 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 absentee, and the absence has been a detriment to the other. Another reason to have this divorce is if there are disagreements on child custody and marital property sharing which the parties cannot settle by themselves, and the court's intervention is necessary to put an end to the marriage and the accompanying issues. Contested divorce is also the remedy of some couples who have not registered their marriage in Thailand but have been residing or working in Thailand for a reasonable length of time.

Divorce - Thai & Thai

Thai's usually end their marriage through an uncontested divorce. They favor this option because it averts further conflict between husband and wife, as well as their families. As much as they can, Thai couples will settle issues on the sharing of child custody and marital property privately. Only in rare cases when a compromise can no longer be reached do they consult with a lawyer to assist them in the drafting of a Thailand divorce agreement which they will register at the amphur when they get their divorce in Thailand.

Divorce - Thai & Foreigner

The rapid exposure of Thailand to the world in terms of commerce and tourism has resulted in many marriages between Thai nationals and foreigners. Unfortunately, differences between cultures and language have strained some relationships and Thailand divorce has become inevitable in these cases. ....

Almost always, the Thai spouse will suggest an uncontested divorce if the marriage registration took place in Thailand, as the uncontested divorce is more known and favored by Thais. Foreigners must take extra care before proceeding to have an uncontested divorce. The reason is that not all countries recognize this form of divorce. Many countries now recognize the uncontested divorce but only under special circumstances. It may pose more problems especially if the foreigner has plans of remarrying.

Child Custody in Thailand

Thailand child custody issue always arises when spouses having children are divorcing or when spouses decide to live separately. Additionally, the child custody is often an issue for an unmarried couple who has children born out of marriage.

What are the custodial rights under Thai law?

Under the Civil and Commercial Code of Thailand (CCCT), the term of the rights of custody is called “parental power”. The parental power is exercised by the father, the mother, or a third person who is a legal guardian of the child until the child reaches the legal age (20 years old), and a person exercising parental power has the right as follows:

To determine the child’s place of residence

To discipline the child reasonably

To require the child to work, consistent with his or her abilities and status

To demand the return of the child from someone else, including another parent who does not have custody rights and unlawfully detains the child

To manage the property of the child with the restriction that selling, mortgaging, and exchange the property of the minor child must obtain the approval of the court

Child custody in Thailand can be obtained by two procedures as follows:

By the mutual consent of the parties

By the decision of the court

Two Procedures for obtaining the child custody in Thailand

1. Child Custody agreed by mutual consent

Thailand Child custody for married spouses ...

If the parents divorce in Thailand by mutual consent or the uncontested divorce, and the divorce has the child custody in Thailand involves the parents can enter into a divorce agreement concerning how the custody shall be shared between them. In addition, the agreement can also include the visitation of the child and the child support. However, in order for the agreement on the child custody to be valid, it has to be signed by two witnesses and registered with the district office at the time of registering the divorce.

Thailand Child custody for an unmarried couple

If the unmarried couple has a child born out of the marriage, the mother of the child only has the sole custody over the child. However, prior to considering whether the father should exercise the custody rights over the child, the child must be registered as a legitimate child of the father first. To legitimize a child, the father has to register a legimation of the child in Thailand with the local district office. If the mother and the child consent to such legitimation; then the registration allows the father to have the joint custody or sole custody over the child upon the agreement between the father and the mother of the child.

2. Child Custody decided by the court

Child custody in Thailand for a married spouse

If divorce is granted by the court’s judgment or contested divorce, the judge in the divorce case will decide who should be granted the child custody; otherwise, the judge can appoint a third person as a guardian in place of parents if such order is for the happiness and interest of the child. Nevertheless, the judge can also, at the time of divorce or later, takes away the custody if a parent given the rights of custody is incompetent, misconduct, or has abused his or her parental power. Either a parent without custody or the public prosecutor on the child’s behalf can file a petition to change the custody at any time.

Child custody in Thailand for an unmarried couple

If the father of the child born out of the marriage files a legitimation of child in Thailand, the custody issue can be petitioned together with the legitimation case. The court in the same case will decide whether the father is suitable to exercise the partial or whole custody over the child.

Under Thai family law, both parents are bound to financially support or maintain their children until they reach the legal age (20 years old). When children live with both parents, there is rarely an issue concerning the child support. However, the child support in Thailand issue can arise when the parents are separated or divorcing, and when the child is born outside marriage. Generally, child support in Thailand along with child custody in Thailand issue can be decided in written agreement or by the court order.

The Use of Child Support Payments

Child support money should be used for the child’s expenses, including food, shelter, clothing, medical expenses, and educational needs but not to be spent for the custodial parent’s own benefits


When parents are divorcing and the child support issue cannot be settled by the agreement, the court often orders the noncustodial parent to pay the custodial parent an amount set as financial support. Likewise, child support may be also ordered to be paid by one parent to another when both parents have joint custody or shared the child-raising responsibilities. Basically, the court will decide the amount of child support by taking account of the condition of the child and the financial ability of the parent obligated to pay for the support.


When a child is born out of marriage, the biological father of the child is not bound by law to pay for the financial support unless the legitimation of the child in Thailand issue is brought to the court; then the court will decide such issues concerning legitimation, child custody, and child support in the same case.

Thailand Child Support by Mutual Consent ...


The issue of child support can be decided by parents in the divorce agreement. The amount of child support and the method of payment may be set according to the agreement of the parents. Once the divorce agreement containing the child custody and the child support settlement is signed in the presence of the two witnesses, the agreement needs to be registered with the district office at the time of registering the divorce for the validation. If the noncustodial parent fails to pay the child support as agreed, the custodial is entitled to file a petition to the court for the enforcement.


In general, the biological father of the child is not obligated to pay for the child support. However, the father is not barred to enter into an agreement on child support payment with the mother of the child, and such agreement is enforceable once it is registered with the district office

Adoption in Thailand is the act of legally placing an adopted child with adoptive parents other than the biological parents of the child. An adoption order has the effect of severing parental responsibilities and rights of the natural parents and transferring those responsibilities and rights to the adoptive parents.

Thailand Domestic Adoption

This type of adoption is only available for adoptive parent (s) who has domicile inside Thailand.

Thailand Inter-Country Adoption

This type of adoption is exclusively for foreigners who wish to adopt a Thai child and intent to bring and raise the child outside Thailand.

Preliminary Qualifications of an applicant for adoption in Thailand:

• An applicant must be over 25 years of age and must be at least 15 years older than an adopted child.

• A foreign applicant must have a legitimate spouse, assuming the applicants are applying as a couple, and this doesn’t apply to a Thai adopter.

• A foreign applicant must be legally qualified to adopt a child under the law in the country of his or her domicile, and that country has established diplomatic relations with Thailand.

Foreigners who can apply for adoption in Thailand:

• A Foreigner who has domicile outside Thailand can submit the Thai adoption application through the Competent Authority in their country and the non-governmental child welfare agencies licensed to deal with the Child Adoption Center of the Department of Social Development and Welfare (DSDW) of the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security of Thailand.

• A Foreigner who has domicile inside Thailand with the proof of residency and house registration can submit the Thai adoption application where the domicile is. The applicant who has domicile in Bangkok can submit the application to the Child Adoption Center of DSDW. The applicant resides outside Bangkok can submit the application at the DSDW of each province.

• A Foreigner who has temporary domicile inside Thailand with the proof of work permit issued by the Labor Department of the Ministry of Labor of Thailand has been residing in Thailand at least 6 months prior to filing the application and is able to complete the six month period of pre- adoption placement in Thailand can submit the Thai adoption application along with the required documents certified by their embassy or consular in Thailand to the Child Adoption Center of DSDW.

It is always a relief if both parties can easily agree on who-gets-what. However, this is not always the case. Almost always, there will be issues on how marital property shall be split between the spouses after the divorce is granted. Under Thai Law, properties during divorce may fall into two categories; Sin Suan Anne as separate property & Sin Somros John as marital property.

Property Types in Thailand...

These are the property types in Thailand when it comes to marital property. Thai courts view these two property types when you are getting divorced in Thailand. Speak to our lawyers online or in person if you are not certain about which property belongs in each.

Sin Suan Anne "Example"

- considered as separate property to a marriage are the following:

• Property belonging to either spouse before marriage;

• Property for personal use, clothes or ornaments;

• Property acquired by either spouse during marriage by will or gift;

• Khongman (dowry).

Sin Somros John "Example"

– considered as marital property are as follow:

• Property acquired during marriage;

• Property acquired by either spouse during marriage through a will or gift;

• Fruits of the Sin Suan Anne (fruits of the separate property);

In case of doubt as to whether a property is Sin Somros John or not, it shall be presumed to be Sin Somros John.

Sin somros John is commonly the subject of marital property division in divorces. But sometimes, even Sin Suan Anne becomes the topic of argument. A 50-50 division of the Sin Somros John is the most reasonable arrangement. If the couples investments during marriage include money or company shares, sharing becomes less difficult. However, houses and vehicles are the usual investments of couples during their marriage, and these cannot be physically split in half without altering or losing the use and value of the property. A compromise on who among the parties will enjoy the property has to be met in order for them to arrive at a divorce agreement. They may also opt to sell all the marital property and share the proceeds of the sale.

If you entered into a Thailand prenuptial agreement, make sure your Thai lawyer will take into consideration the provisions on property division therein specified.

Thailand prenuptial agreement or “Thai prenup” is a written contract created by two people before they are married. A Thai prenup typically lists all of the property each person owns (as well as any debts) and specifies what each person's property rights will be after the marriage. In some jurisdictions, a prenuptial agreement is known as an “antenuptial agreement” or in today’s terminology, as a “premarital agreement.”

Thai Prenuptial Agreement is governed by the Thai Civil and Commercial Code. It is important that you seek counsel from a registered Thai lawyer, attorney or solicitor familiar with the laws in your home country and in Thailand before preparing a prenuptial agreement with a Thai national fiancée.


. Under the Thai Civil and Commercial Code, there are several requirements for making a Thailand prenuptial agreement:

• First, the contract must be in writing.

• Additionally, each party must receive separate legal counsel.

• Finally, the parties must sign the Thai prenuptial agreement in the presence of two witnesses prior to the marriage registration, and

• The Thai prenuptial agreement must be registered at the local district where the parties decide to register their marriage.

Last Will & Testament

It is strongly recommended that you have a Last Will & Testament prepared in both your home country and in Thailand. It is not a pleasant thought to think of your demise. However you should plan in advance regarding your estate so the affairs are in order in the unfortunate event of your passing. The last thing you want to do is cause additional stress to your family during this period. Your property in Thailand becomes of value once you sign the contract and make an initial payment; hence even before the transfer of the property you will have an asset to consider for your estate planning.

We provide legal services for drafting of a Thai Will. The document will detail your assets in Thailand, such as property, bank accounts, vehicle, and personal items. Typically upon the death of a foreigner in Thailand, the government officer will ask the family for a copy of a Will or they will seek the deceased person’s lawyer for this document. Having a Will drafted in your home country to cover assets in Thailand may be problematic and burdensome to your family as documentations will need to be translated, notarized and approved by a government body. We recommend a separate Will for your assets in Thailand.


Thai Will and Estate planning is not something we like to think about. What Happens Upon Your Demise? This is certainly not something we would like to think about but it is important to have good estate planning to ensure your loved ones are taken care of should you finally pass away. If there is no In a Thai will, the intestate’s assets must be distributed in accordance with the classes of relations as stipulated in the CCC Article 1629 which are, in order of priority:

1. descendants;

2. parents;

3. brothers and sisters of full blood;

4. brothers and sisters of half blood;

5. grandfathers and grandmothers;

6. uncles and aunts.

Before any distribution of the estate to the relatives, half of the estate, known as Sin Somros, will belong to the spouse, if any.

The rest will be equally distributed accordingly. If there are no living relations and no Thai will, the estate will devolve on to the State. As such, we do strongly recommend making a Thai Will to cover all of your properties and assets in Thailand. For those who own land under a company on a freehold basis, upon your demise your property would not simply be passed on to your heirs. Instead, it would be passed on in the form of shares. In the other words, your heir will receive shares of the company as opposed to the actual property itself which can involve complex legal mechanisms. It is therefore imperative that you arrange for the drafting of a Thai will.

Notary Service in Thailand

In most countries, a Notary Public is known as an official who is licensed by the State to perform functions such as the authentication of signatures or documents, and the witnessing of affidavits or statements of persons under oath. Notarization of a document is important as the act of notarization itself creates a guarantee on the authenticity of the document, or to the act of the signatories to the instrument.

While there are no notaries public in Thailand, some lawyers are given the authority to function as Notarial Services Attorney in the country. In Thailand, it is the Lawyers Council of Thailand which regulates the practice of notarial services in the State. A Thai lawyer is required to undergo and pass a professional training course for the service before he is registered as a Notarial Services Attorney.

Once authorized to perform, a Notarial Attorney may execute the following functions:

1. Verification to the authenticity of signatures in a document;

2. Certification of identity of parties to an agreement;

3. Administration of oaths and affirmations;

4. Attestation and certification of certain classes of documents

5. Be witness to the signing of parties to a document.