Getting divorced in Thailand has two formats. Either you are going into litigation or you are about to get an administrative divorce. In other words an uncontested divorce. Having a barrister in Thailand ensures that justice is done.
Who may avail of the uncontested type of divorce?
Only parties who registered their marriage in Thailand may avail of this type of divorce.
What are the advantages of going through an uncontested divorce?
This divorce is very swift. And as it is non-confrontative in nature, there is less emotional stress to the parties, as well as to their families.
How is this divorce done?
Husband and wife return to the same local registry office (known as amphur, amphoe or khet) where they registered their marriage. Here, parties submit necessary documents and make a personal declaration of their intention to have a divorce.
I am not residing in Thailand anymore. Can my representative appear on my behalf for this type of divorce?
No. Parties must be physically present so they can make a personal declaration before the officer of their intent to divorce.
When is this divorce advisable?
This type of divorce is advisable if both parties are amenable to divorce and if they have no issue as regards marital property sharing and child custody.
If the couple is confronted by one or both issues, an uncontested divorce is still possible but these issues must first be settled privately between them and their agreement must be written in a divorce agreement.
What must our divorce agreement contain?
The agreement must provide for the rights which the parties will enjoy after the divorce is decreed. Provisions as to the sharing of marital property, custody of children, alimony and child support must be clearly defined in the divorce agreement.
If the couple entered into a prenuptial agreement prior to their marriage, the terms provided therein must likewise be regarded and considered in the drafting the divorce agreement.
We have entered into a divorce agreement. What do we need to do to make it enforceable?
The agreement must be signed by the parties before the divorce. It must also be witnessed by two other capable adults and registered at the amphur along with the divorce.
How soon can the parties be divorced under the uncontested type?
Provided that the required documents are complete, the divorce is decreed and registered in one day.
What are the documentary requirements for the uncontested type of divorce?
The parties need to present their marriage certificate (Kor Ror 2 and Kor Ror 3).
If the party is/parties are Thai, the Thai national ID and the household registration certificate must be presented. Foreign parties, on the other hand, must present their passport.
Can we get divorced in an amphur different from where we registered our marriage?
Yes, this is possible. Note, however, that additional documents are required from a foreign party before the uncontested divorce can be facilitated.
The foreign party must first have his passport certified at his Embassy or Consulate in Thailand. Once issued, the certificate then needs to be translated to Thai before it can be brought to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand for legalization. Four to five working days must be allotted for these requisites to be completed.
Is this type of divorce recognized in all other countries?
The uncontested type of divorce is not recognized in some countries.
Thus, if the marriage is one that is mixed (one between a Thai national and a foreigner), regard must be given to the divorce laws of the foreign party, as some jurisdictions do not recognize the uncontested form of divorce. There are likewise some countries which recognize the uncontested type alone.
Are there other things we need to do after the divorce is granted?
Yes. For the benefit of the foreign party, he or she must have the divorce decree translated to English. After the translation, it must be legalized at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand. He or she must also check with his/her Embassy/Consulate in Thailand on whether or not the decree needs to be submitted or reported there.
For the Thai national, the decree must be recorded in the amphur nearest to his/her residence. Thai women likewise need to report the divorce and have their names changed back to their maiden name.