If you are going to get divorced by consent then you will need to complete the divorce agreement in Thailand. Normally a lawyer in Thailand will complete this for you. This will then be handed in at the local Amphurs Office normally where you got married and the divorce will be granted there. An unopposed or administrative divorce does not require a court application.
If there is nothing to fight over, then most times all the issues are settled with a divorce agreement in Thailand. It is not uncommon for people to settle their disputes such as custody, property and maintenance by agreement. Most times the property is sold but where there are children normally they would settled on a cheap but decent apartment once they sell the house or villa. Selling of a business becomes a problem only when there is a dispute. Normally the partners in the business do not wish to add a new partner to the business. This creates disputes which most times has to be settled in court.
The District Office will look at a number of issues.
Parental Control or child custody is normally the first issue. Who will be responsible for the care of the child or children and do they have any property in their names. Many who did not take legal advice will try and place property in the name of their child. Their wife would get custody of the child and be responsible for the property which she would be able to sell. These types of disputes do occur.
There also needs to be an arrangement in the divorce agreement for alimony or maintenance. This is important if you are going back to your home country. Will this be paid monthly and how will this be done. In the past some have made use of an international debt card to lower the cost of paying alimony. This is covered in Section 1522 of the Civil and Commercial Code and the District Office is going to look for this.
Property will need to be divided as at the date of the divorce. This is covered in Section 1532 of the Civil and Commercial Code. This would include movable and immovable property which you may own. Most expatriates normally let go of the car or the motorbike as they cannot take I with them when they go home.
Litigation in Thailand can be costly and violence has been noted many times in well-known murder trails in Thailand. Most times the main disagreement had been about child custody and property. The former tends to be the most complex and common. Access to the children after the divorce is also a major issue when the ex-wife demands more money than had been agreed to in the divorce agreement and starts to deny access to the child or children. Again this is very common and has always presented a problem post-divorce.
Always take proper legal advice when you get divorced and never complete a divorce agreement without taking legal advice or at the very least have a family lawyer in Bangkok look over the documents before you sign them. Mistakes can be very costly to correct later.
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