Below is a very brief overview of prenuptial agreements in Thailand and its use today. There are a number of people who do get married in Thailand and take their Thai fiancée or spouse back to their home country. Noted below are the prenuptial agreement standards for the most common expatriate nationalities in Thailand.
US Citizens: The Uniform Premarital Agreement Act has been enacted in about 26 US States as drafting a prenuptial agreement before this had been very difficult as each state had its own format. Prenuptials are however valid in all 50 US states. It is best to ensure that the agreement has been properly drafted and that the most errors are avoided as it has to be valid in the US as well as in Thailand. This is explained further down.
UK Citizens: The prenuptial will carry some weight in the United Kingdom however today it is used more as a guide. This is because over the years many abuses had occurred where the prenuptial agreement had been exploited to push many spouses into debt. The most controversial case in the UK and Thailand was a British citizen who married a Thai and forced her to pay all the levies in Thailand on his property. When they divorced he claimed all the property without making any allowance for her contribution to the household and property maintained. The prenuptial was set aside in that case.
Australian Citizens: If you are from Australia then there are a number of financial agreements which do fall under the Australian Family Law Act (“FLA”) – these are agreements before marriage which is normally called a prenuptial agreement. The prenuptials are enforceable however much like the UK the courts do not allow the agreement to be used to abuse the other.
The most common issue is what is needed for the agreement to be valid:
- – The prenuptial agreement is in writing;
- – The prenuptial was drafted before the marriage;
- – There exists no other agreements between the parties in the event of a divorce;
- – The prenuptial agreement was registered with the marriage;
- – There were two competent witnesses (deaf people cannot witness in Thailand);
- – Your wide had independent legal advice and also fully understood the agreement;
- – You have proof that a law firm explained this to her and she understood;
- – The agreement has not been terminated or set aside by a court of law;
- – Each of the parties has a copy of the prenuptial agreement;
- – Fraud had been committed;
- – You are trying to defraud a creditor using the agreement (common issue);
- – The prenuptial agreement is void, voidable or unenforceable (common issue);
- – The prenuptial was drafted but things have changed – Illness or disability;
- – One party to the agreement engaged in unconscionable conduct;
You need to seek proper lawyer in Thailand for the prenuptial agreement. The prenuptial case from the UK is only one listed however there is another well known Australian case where he married a Thai with a prenuptial agreement in order to defraud his creditors back in Australia.
Always seek proper legal advice before getting married.