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Divorce in Thailand

Our Lawyers specializes in Family Law for more than 15 years. We are professionally certified Thai Family lawyers and have hands-on experience in handling over 200 divorce cases. As there are different routes to go about a divorce, it is essential to understand what type of divorce will be appropriate for your situation. Our lawyers can advise on the best option for you, considering your situation, place of registering the marriage, nationality, etc. 

Under Thai Law, there are 2 types of divorce in Thailand which is:

  1. Uncontested Divorce (Administrative Divorce or Divorce by Mutual Consent)
  2. Contested Divorce

Uncontested Divorce

An Uncontested Divorce or Divorce by Mutual Consent is also known as administrative divorce; in this type of divorce, both spouses must agree to the terms of the dissolution of their marriage. This type of divorce is simple, saves time, and is cheaper than a contested divorce. The divorce parties must be physically present in their attendance at the district office (Amphur or Khet) and give their consent to divorce before the district officer. 


Requirement for Uncontested Divorce

  • If the parties to be divorced is foreigner, they must have registered their marriage in Thailand.
  • If one of the spouses is Thai, even if they register the marriage outside of Thailand, they can register the divorce in Thailand. If divorce parties have never recorded their marital status in Thailand, they need to record their marriage status and obtain the official Marital status Certificate (Khor. Ror. 22) at the district office before registering for the divorce. 
  • Marriage certificate
  • Identification card (For Thai nationals)
  • Household registration booklet (Tabien Baan) (For Thai nationals)
  • Passport (foreign spouse)
  • Legalized translation from the Ministry of foreign affairs (MFA)of the foreigner’s passport


Before the divorce parties register the divorce, the district office will let both parties agree on matters of marital property, debt, child custody, child alimony, and spouse support (if any) by signing the divorce agreement. As the agreement at the district will be written in Thai, we do suggest our clients have an interpreter accompanying them or hire a lawyer to draft the agreement ahead of time to confirm that all the issue in the divorce agreement is correct, the same as the Thai version (official version), and will sufficiently protect the client’s rights.

After registering for the divorce, the divorce parties will each receive the divorce certificate. The divorce certificate should be translated into English and legalized by the Ministry of foreign affairs (MFA) if this will need to be used as supporting documents for personal matters outside of Thailand. The foreign party can bring the legalized divorce certificate to the record or inform the relevant authorities in their country. 


Contested Divorce in Thailand 

Contested divorces or judicial or court divorces, as it is commonly known in Thailand, are not rare occurrences. This type of divorce is, for the most part, a result of disagreements between the couple over issues such as marital property, custody of children visitation rights, or one spouse being unwilling to divorce. It is also an option for divorce for the foreign spouse who had not registered their marriage in Thailand but is currently residing in or has marital property in Thailand. 

In Thailand, a contested divorce may be initiated when either spouse feels that he or she is being unfairly treated in the marriage or wishes to end a marriage for reasons such as domestic violence, abuse, or infidelity. In most cases, the two spouses will come to an agreement regarding the division of assets and other issues related to their separation; however, realistically, this is not always possible, and it may be necessary for the court to intervene and make the final determination.

While contested divorces are more common than other types of divorce, many people find them stressful and complicated. For this reason, it is in your best interest to seek advice from an experienced attorney who can help you navigate through the legal process and ensure your rights are protected throughout the process. In order to initiate court proceedings for a contested divorce in Thailand, you must first meet with an attorney to discuss your case and develop an appropriate strategy and have an experienced family law attorney by your side during this process who advises on how to best protect your interests and ensure that you receive fair treatment by the Court.

There are three steps to commencing a contested divorce in Thailand: first, you must file a petition with the Court; second, your spouse must file a response and counterclaim; and third, a Court hearing is held to determine child custody, child alimony, divide the marital property, support, and other important issues that are contested. In the event that you and your spouse can resolve your differences through negotiation or mediation, the Court will let both parties sign the divorce provident in Court and it will pass compromise judgment. 

If both of the parties are unable to arrive at an agreement resulting in no solution, you may need to consult a lawyer to set a date for trial. During the hearing, the judge will preside over the proceedings and make the final decision based on the evidence presented at the hearing and make a ruling on issues such as alimony or child support, the distribution of property and assets, and the custody of any minor children. 

In contrast to countries in the western world, such as the United States or the United Kingdom, Thai law does not require that couples be separated for a certain amount of time before seeking a divorce.
This means that it is possible for a couple to divorce immediately following an argument or conflict that occurs during the course of their marriage. In Thailand, there are multiple grounds for divorce under section 1516 of the Civil and commercial code. 

Section 1516, the Ground for divorce in Thailand are as follows;

  1. Where the husband has given maintenance to or honored such other woman as his wife, or the wife has committed adultery, the other spouse may enter a claim for divorce.

  2. One spouse is guilty of misconduct, notwithstanding whether such misconduct is a criminal offense or not, which causes the other spouse:

    (A) to be seriously ashamed;

    (B) to be insulted or hated on account of a continuance of being husband or wife of the spouse having committed the misconduct; or

    (C) to sustain excessive or trouble where the condition, position, and cohabitation as husband and wife are taken into consideration; the latter may enter a claim for divorce.

  3. One spouse has caused serious harm or torture to the body or mind of the other or has seriously insulted the other or his or her ascendants, the latter may enter a claim for divorce.

  4. One spouse has deserted the other for more than one year, the latter may enter a claim for divorce;

    4.1 One spouse has been sentenced by a final judgment of the Court and has been imprisoned for more than one year in the offense committed without any participation, consent, or in knowledge of the other spouse, and the cohabitation as husband and wife will cause the other party to sustain excessive injury or trouble, the latter may enter a claim for divorce.

    4.2 the husband and wife voluntarily live separately due to being unable to cohabit peacefully for more than three years or live separately for more than three years by order of the Court, either spouse may enter a claim for divorce.

  5. One spouse has been adjudged to have disappeared, has as left his or her domicile or residence for more than three years, and being uncertain whether he or she is living or dead.

  6. One spouse has failed to give proper maintenance and support to the other or committed acts seriously adverse to the relationship of husband and wife to such an extent that the other has been in excessive trouble where the condition, position, and cohabitation as husband and wife are taking into consideration, the latter may enter a claim for divorce.

  7. One spouse has suffered insanity for more than three years continuously and such insanity is hardly curable so that the continuance of marriage cannot be expected, the other may enter a claim for divorce;

  8. One spouse has broken a bond of good behavior executed by him or her, the other spouse may enter a claim for divorce.

  9. One spouse is suffering from a communicable and dangerous disease that is incurable and may cause injury to the other, the latter may file a claim for divorce.

  10. One spouse has a physical disadvantage so as to be permanently unable to cohabit as husband and wife; the other may enter a claim for divorce.

If you have any further questions or need more information, please contact us. We do provide free consultation as an initial assessment and provide legal advice base on your situation.