Child Support in Thailand

Child Support in Thailand. Thai law mandates that both biological parents, regardless of marital status, are financially responsible for supporting their children until they reach the age of 20. This obligation applies to married couples, divorced couples, and couples who never married.

Child Support Arrangements

There are two main ways to determine child support in Thailand:

  • Mutual Consent: Parents can create a written child support agreement outlining the amount and method of payments. This agreement should be clear, comprehensive, and address factors like:

    • Living expenses, including housing, food, utilities, and transportation
    • Education costs, covering tuition, fees, and school supplies
    • Healthcare costs, encompassing medical insurance, doctor visits, and medications
    • Extracurricular activities and hobbies
  • Court Order: If parents cannot agree on child support terms, they can file a lawsuit with the family court. The court will hold a hearing to determine the appropriate amount based on the following:

    • Child’s Needs: The primary factor in determining child support is the child’s well-being. The court will consider the child’s age, standard of living, and any special needs they may have. This includes expenses for food, shelter, clothing, education, and healthcare.
    • Financial Ability of Parents: The court will consider each parent’s documented income, earning potential, and existing financial obligations, such as debt payments or support for other dependents. This ensures a fair distribution of financial responsibility based on each parent’s resources.
    • Type of Custody: In cases with joint custody, the court may order one parent to pay support to the other, depending on the living situation and financial resources of each parent. For example, if one parent has primary custody and the child spends most of their time in their residence, the other parent may be ordered to contribute to the child’s living expenses in that household.

Special Considerations

  • Out-of-Wedlock Children: The biological father of a child born outside of marriage is not legally obligated to pay child support unless he acknowledges paternity through a court process. This process involves filing a petition with the court and may require DNA testing. Once paternity is established, the court can determine child support based on the factors mentioned above.

  • Support Beyond 20: While the legal obligation ends at 20, parents can agree to continue providing financial support for their children’s higher education or other needs. This can be formalized through a new agreement or addendum to the existing child support agreement.

  • Impact of Inflation: Child support agreements or court orders may not automatically adjust for inflation over time. Parents may revisit the agreement periodically to ensure it continues to meet the child’s needs as they grow older and expenses increase.

Enforcing Child Support Orders

  • Court Action: If a parent fails to comply with a court-ordered child support agreement, the other parent can file a lawsuit to enforce the order. The court has the authority to:

    • Hold the parent in contempt of court
    • Order wage garnishment to withhold a portion of the parent’s salary
    • Seize assets to recover outstanding child support payments
  • Seeking Legal Guidance: Child support issues in Thailand can be complex. Consulting a lawyer with expertise in Thai family law is highly recommended. They can guide you through the process, ensure your rights are protected, and help you navigate any legal challenges that may arise. A lawyer can also advise on options for enforcing child support orders, such as those mentioned above.


Understanding child support laws in Thailand is crucial for parents, especially those separated or divorced. By prioritizing the child’s well-being, considering relevant factors like living expenses, education costs, and healthcare, and potentially seeking legal guidance, parents can ensure their children receive the financial support they need to thrive.

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