Divorce in Thailand

Dissolution of marriage is sometimes inevitable. No matter how hard couples try for their marriage to work, on certain occasions, ending it by way of a divorce can be their only choice.

The precursors of legally ending their marriage vary couple by couple and in Phuket in particular and Thailand in general, the type of divorce process that these couples prefer differs too although the end of it is just the same.

Among the likely cause of divorce in tourist-frequented places like Phuket is the clash of cultures. Expatriates married Thais or foreigners married to other foreigners with different cultural background are common in the island.

And so when a couple decides to end their marriage in Phuket, there are two processes that they will have to consider.

Divorce by Mutual Consent (Uncontested Divorce)

This type of divorce process is faster, easier and lesser in terms of costs on emotional, physical and financial terms.

All that the divorcing couple has to do are the following:

  1. Agree that they are ending their marriage through mutual consent.
  2. They place their agreement, including their terms on their properties and children if there are any, into writing and sign it. They also need at least two witnesses who must also sign the agreement.
  3. They have to register their divorce with the Amphur (Local District Office) in Phuket to make it official where the officer issues them a certificate.

But, apart from the written divorce agreement, they also need to bring with them the necessary documents in the registration of their divorce such as: photos, marriage certificate and passports.

A lawyer or lawyers is/are not really necessary with this divorce type as the process is relatively straightforward and simple that even foreigners can proceed with themselves. But a need for a lawyer’s services may arise especially on making sure that the steps are diligently followed, the supporting documents are in order and that the divorcing couple understands everything on their documents as the Thai authorities utilizes the Thai language in every government issued documents.

They may have to ask a personality to translate these documents and the application form to end their marriage through divorce and the best representation of such is a divorce lawyer in Phuket.

Divorce by Judgment (Contested Divorce)

If marrying someone with a different cultural background is one huge investment, this type of divorce requires a lot more emotional, financial and physical investment from the couple. The contested divorce is highly exhaustive as the whole process can last for several months before it can arrive on a resolution.

Additionally, issues within the marriage are constantly being brought out into open because a divorce by judgment can only be given if there are legal grounds to end it such as: adultery, desertion of a spouse and seriously disrespected the ascendants among six other grounds.

On this type of divorce, the court acts as the mediator between the two parties but in case that no agreement on matters like child custody and property custodianship then the court has to render judgment with its wisdom is to be based on the testimonies and documents of the parties.

If the court grants a divorce, it is also responsible in informing the Amphur. A divorce can only become official if and when the Amphur issues a divorce certificate.

Unlike the uncontested divorce, involving each party’s lawyers is really needed on this type of divorce process.

While any Thai-registered lawyer can handle a divorce case, a divorce lawyer from a reputable law firm is highly recommended.

Why is this so?

It is because divorce lawyers already have the necessary expertise and knowhow on handling the legal, emotional and documentary aspects of the whole process. Moreover, these lawyers from reputable law firms do have the necessary skill in translating the documents as well as in effectively communicating with their clients especially in places like Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, and Pattaya where the likelihood of foreigners being involved on a divorce proceeding is high.