It is not uncommon that while on holiday while having fun someone ends up pregnant. This is more common than what you think. Many of these issues tend to arise in Pattaya with its wild nightlife and all night parties. This is where child legitimisation comes in. When the dust settles, you are overseas and the woman you met has had a child. What gets done now?

Now that you have a child it does not mean that you have any rights. Child custody and parental rights stays with the mother as you are not married to her. There are only 3 methods for you to have parental rights.

Legitimization of ChildrenThe first method is if you are married. Having your name on a birth certificate gives you no rights. If you are married at the time of birth then you would be the holder of the parental rights. The second option is if you had been married at the time and got divorced. This would however be part of the divorce process. The court would make a ruling in this regard. The final option is legitimisation of the child with the consent of the mother and have this completed at the local Amphurs office or district office in Thailand.

If you are not married yet you still want to have parental rights then you have two legal options. The first is by consent from the mother. This does not always work well so you might have to consider an application to court. The court register will notify the mother and give her 60 days to consent. Should she not reply then the court will assume that she will not give her consent.

You will need to file a petition to the courts and the mother needs to be served notice in this regard. They will then proceed to hear the evidence in the matter. The courts can only grant the legitimisation on the following grounds at the time of conception:

  • – Both parties openly cohabitated at the time of conception;
  • – The is evidence that they had intercourse at the time and that the child is the applicants;
  • – Where the applicant allowed the child to use his surname and/or provided child support;
  • – Where the birth certificates indicates that the child is his;
  • – Documents showing that the applicant acknowledged that it’s his child;
  • – Proof that there was seduction or elopement at during the period of conception;
  • – Where there was rape or adduction during the period of conception.

Note that once the courts have determined that the child can be legitimised the applicant will become responsible for child support or alimony. The courts will normally provide custody and child support orders as a part of the court ruling.

Should you have any questions about this then you will need to speak to a family lawyer in Thailand about the process as well as the cost. The Family Court is very busy and the process may take a while if the woman does not consent to the legitimisation.

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