What You Need To Know About Contested Divorce In Thailand

By: panit p

If you feel as if your marriage is over, it is necessary to think long and hard about divorce in Thailand if you currently live there. It is never a pleasant situation but once the resolution has been made by at least one of the married couple, the sooner it is settled, the better. If both parties are in agreement, an uncontested divorce in Thailand will save time, stress and money. However, if only one person wants the divorce, it will be necessary to enter into contested divorce proceedings which are decidedly less straightforward.

Contested Divorce In Thailand
Although Thailand has many things in its favour, swiftly dealing with a couple keen on contesting a bitter divorce is not one of them! Like with virtually every other country in the world, a contested divorce in Thailand involves a court date, time and potentially a great deal of expense. Such proceedings occur when one individual feels as if their spouse has broken the marriage agreement. While a couple may agree to divorce, things could become complicated when it comes to sharing property and in terms of child custody.

Grounds For Divorce In Thailand
There are a host of legal grounds for divorce including the usual issues relating to the poor behaviour of a spouse. Adultery and physical or mental abuse of a spouse are naturally automatic grounds for divorce. Interestingly, if a spouse has deserted for a year or has been jailed for more than 12 months, a divorce can be requested. Likewise, a divorce can be sought after if a spouse vanishes for 3 years or has been suffering from a mental illness for the same length of time. Other grounds include failure to provide adequate financial support, if a spouse has a physical disability or if a spouse suffers from a serious and potentially infectious disease.

The Court Case
This can be a long and drawn out affair depending on the parties. The average court divorce in Thailand takes 6 months to settle though it is not unusual for more complex cases to take years. Cases involving property and child custody are usually the lengthiest. If one of the divorcing parties is non-Thai, the divorce decree will be translated into English. Thereafter, it will be legalised by the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is also important for the divorced party to check with his/her Foreign Embassy in Thailand to find out if the decree has to be submitted or reported there. Thai nationals have their decrees recorded at their local amphur.

It may dawn on both parties that a contested divorce in Thailand does not benefit either of them. In such cases, it is possible to make the switch to an uncontested divorce by initially withdrawing the contested divorce case and filing an uncontested one instead.

Whether it is decided that the marriage cannot work for cultural reasons or else one spouse is guilty of breaking the bond of marriage, a divorce in Thailand is the way to solve the issue. Choose between the complex contested divorce proceedings or speed things up with the fast and inexpensive uncontested option.

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