Divorce for expatriates living in Thailand
How we can help: Our firm advises British expats overseas and those expats with links to England on divorce and family law.
This article sets out the applicable law and procedures for expats wishing to divorce in Thailand. The article includes details the financial provision available for expatriates divorcing in Thailand, as well as the provisions available for children.
Where to divorce if you live in Thailand
If you are a British expat living in Thailand and you are considering divorcing or separating from your spouse or partner, you will be wondering where to begin and what law will apply to you. You may think that you need to divorce in the country in which you were married; this is not the case. If you or your husband/wife were born in England, or have connections to England, you may be able to divorce through the English courts. You can read more about whether you can divorce in England on our jurisdiction advice page. If you contact us, one of our lawyers will telephone you without charge to give advice whether you can divorce in England.
We advise British clients across Southeast Asia, and assist them to divorce through the English courts, and achieve a financial settlement under English law.
Family Law in Thailand for Unmarried Couples
We have also assisted many unmarried clients in Thailand to seek financial support from their partner. These claims can include maintenance, provision of school fees for a child, provision of a home and other capital claims. Unmarried expatriates can make use of the Schedule 1 claim procedure through the English courts. These claims can include an order that one parent provide the legal fees for another parent.
Child Disputes and Abduction in Thailand
Our lawyers advise on a range of children disputes involving British expat families living in Thailand. Our lawyers can advise on and draft a parenting plan for families requiring assistance post separation, or can assist to implement safeguards for children visiting or relocating to Thailand. We have assisted clients whose children have been abducted to England from Thailand, and have secured the children’s safe return.
Using the Family Laws in Thailand to Resolve Disputes
Sometimes, British expats living in Thailand may not have jurisdiction to divorce in England, or they may be advised that divorcing in Thailand will lead to a more favourable financial outcome. For those expats considering divorce in Thailand, it is important to note that financial claims can be made in England after a divorce abroad under Part III Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984. When choosing to divorce abroad, careful advice should be taken about the potential claims that can be made in other countries, so that the right protective measures can be taken.
British expat divorce in Thailand
British expatriates residing in Thailand, may in certain circumstances divorce there. They must be married to a Thai national, have their marriage registered in Thailand or have been living in Thailand for a lengthy period of time.
There is an uncontested divorce process in Thailand, which is largely administrative. It is inexpensive and fairly quick. However British expatriate must be aware that this divorce process is unlikely to be recognised as a valid divorce in England.
The alternative is to obtain a ‘contested’ divorce through the Thai court process. Although more time consuming and costly as a Thai lawyer is involved, if conducted correctly will result in a divorce that is recognised in England.
As a British expatriate considering divorce in Thailand, it is essential to seek advice from a specialist lawyer in Thailand before pursuing a Thai divorce. Please contact us for details of family law specialists in Thailand, or for assistance with divorce through the English courts.