Filing of Divorce in Thailand

Divorce in Thailand can be a complex process, especially for foreigners unfamiliar with the legal system. This guide explores the grounds for divorce in Thailand, the legal procedures involved, and considerations for foreign couples seeking to dissolve their marriage.

Grounds for Divorce in Thailand

Unlike some Western countries with “no-fault” divorce options, Thailand has specific grounds for which a spouse can file for divorce. These grounds fall into two main categories:

  • Adultery: If a spouse can prove their partner has committed adultery.
  • Desertion: If a spouse has deserted the other for a continuous period of at least three months without reasonable cause.
  • Cruelty: If a spouse has subjected the other to physical or mental cruelty that makes living together unbearable.
  • Insanity: If a spouse has been declared legally insane for at least three years with no hope of recovery.
  • Mutual Consent: Both spouses can mutually agree to dissolve the marriage without assigning blame.

While mutual consent is the most amicable option, it requires both parties to be in agreement and meet specific requirements, such as having no minor children together.

The Legal Process for Filing for Divorce:

The process for filing for divorce in Thailand typically involves the following steps:

  1. Consultation: Contacting a lawyer experienced in Thai family law is crucial. They will advise you on the best course of action based on your specific circumstances.
  2. Grounds for Divorce: Gather evidence to substantiate your claim for divorce based on one of the recognized grounds.
  3. Mediation (Optional): Thailand encourages couples to attempt mediation before going to court. A mediator facilitates communication to reach an agreement on child custody, property division, and spousal support (if applicable).
  4. Filing the Petition: If mediation fails, your lawyer will file a petition for divorce with the court, outlining the grounds for divorce and any existing agreements on child custody and property division.
  5. Hearings: The court may schedule hearings to hear arguments from both parties and consider evidence presented.
  6. Judgment: If the court finds the grounds for divorce valid, they will issue a final judgment dissolving the marriage.

The duration of the process can vary depending on the complexity of the case and whether there’s an agreement on child custody and property division.

Considerations for Foreign Couples:

Foreign couples seeking a divorce in Thailand face some additional complexities:

  • Jurisdiction: Determining which court has jurisdiction over the case can be crucial. Factors like nationality, residency, and location of marriage registration are considered.
  • Marriage Registration: If your marriage was not registered in Thailand, additional steps might be required to establish its legal validity before filing for divorce.
  • Prenuptial Agreement: Having a prenuptial agreement outlining how assets will be divided in case of divorce can simplify the process.

Important Note: This guide provides a general overview. Consulting with a qualified lawyer specializing in Thai family law is essential for navigating the specifics of your situation.

Financial Considerations:

Divorce in Thailand typically involves court fees and lawyer fees. The cost can vary depending on the complexity of the case and the experience of your lawyer.

  • Spousal Support: Unlike some legal systems, spousal support is not automatically awarded in Thai divorces. However, the court may order one spouse to provide financial support to the other in specific circumstances.
  • Division of Assets: Thailand generally follows a community property system where assets acquired during the marriage are divided equally between spouses. However, separate property owned before the marriage might be excluded.


Divorce can be a stressful and emotional experience. Understanding the legalities involved in Thailand, particularly for foreign couples, is crucial. Consulting a lawyer experienced in Thai family law empowers you to navigate the process effectively and protect your rights. Remember, seeking legal advice early on can ensure a smoother and more efficient path towards dissolving your marriage in Thailand.

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