Couples who registered their divorce in Thailand may file for contested divorce if:
- One party has a ground to divorce the other spouse and the latter is unwilling to sever the marriage hence it is contested;
- There are issues on marital property sharing and child custody, and the issues cannot be settled amicably between the parties.
As a general rule, no. However, couples who did not register their marriage may request the Thai courts to assume jurisdiction over their divorce on the basis of important considerations, like:
- One party is a Thai national; or
- One or both parties have resided or worked in Thailand for a considerable period of time.
The Thai Civil and Commercial Code provides for the following grounds for divorce:
- The husband has taken another woman as his wife;
- The wife has committed adultery;
- One party is guilty of misconduct;
- One spouse has seriously harmed the body or mind of the other;
- One spouse has seriously insulted the other spouse or his/her ascendants;
- One spouse has deserted the other for more than a year;
- One spouse has been imprisoned for more than a year;
- The spouses have voluntarily lived separately for more than three years;
- The spouses have lived separately for more than three years;
- One spouse has disappeared for more than three years;
- One spouse has failed to give proper maintenance or support;
- One spouse has been suffering from insanity for at least three years;
- One spouse has broken the bond of good behavior;
- One spouse is suffering from a communicable and dangerous disease;
- One spouse has a physical disadvantage.
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 return to the use of their maiden names.