Grounds for Divorce in Thailand

Grounds for Divorce in Thailand

Thai law makes provision for a divorce in Thailand in terms of Section 1516. This specific section covers the reasons or grounds on which a divorce in Thailand may be granted. Even though your reasons for a divorce in Thailand might fall under one of the subsections of Section 1516, they might not be as clear cut as stipulated on this page. You may want to also read the page on ‘Divorce in Thailand: Defences’ together with this. The husband has given maintenance to or honoured such other woman as his wife or the wife has committed adultery, the other spouse may enter a claim for divorce.

Point 1 as it explains is where the husband has another girlfriend or Mia Noi or has committed an act of adultery. The circumstance of adultery should be maintenance to or honored such other woman as his wife. Or the wife has committed an act of adultery. The wife would therefore file for a divorce in the first instance and you would file on the act of your wife committing an act of adultery. [See: Divorce in Thailand: Defences]

One spouse is guilty of misconduct, as in that of a criminal nature or not. If it causes:

  • To be seriously ashamed;
  • To be insulted or hated on account of the act of misconduct committed by your spouse;
  • To sustain excessive injury;
  • The innocent spouse may file for divorce in Thailand under the above circumstances.

Point 2 is an issue of misconduct that may embarrass or endanger the innocent party in the marriage. As an example your wife goes around town telling everyone that you are a known criminal and wanted by the FBI. Alternatively she has hired Somchai to beat you to a pulp as you had failed to buy her a larger wedding ring. [See: Divorce in Thailand: Defences]

One spouse has caused harm or torture to the body or mind of the other alternatively has seriously insulted the other parties’ ascendants. The innocent party would therefore file for a divorce.

Point 3 is broad ranging for a number of reasons. These could range from physically being tortured by your spouse, or causing mental anguish. This further extends to seriously insulting your spouse’s ascendants, such as his/her parents or grandparents. One spouse has deserted the other for more than one year. The latter may file for a divorce.

This might occur when married couples have an argument and one spouse decides to board an international flight and not return after a year. The remaining spouse in Thailand would then file for a divorce in Thailand. Alternatively, one spouse runs off and even though still in Thailand, not make his or her presence known for more than a year. “Desert” in this clause means separation de facto and animus deserendi. And this also means the separation without any fields of contact more than one year i.e. letter, e-mail, telephone etc.

(4.1) One spouse has been sentenced to prison for more than a year where the innocent spouse was not implicated in the criminal offence.

(4.2) The couple part ways and live separately for more than 3 years as they are unable to live together peacefully.

Subsection 4.1 and 4.2 are self explanatory.

One spouse has been adjudged to have disappeared or has left his/her domicile or residence for more than 3 years and being uncertain if he/she is dead or alive.

Point 5 points to a disappearance that has been adjudged (determine or decide by judicial procedure), hence the court has decided that you have officially disappeared. One spouse has failed to give proper maintenance and support to the other or committed an act or acts seriously adverse to the relationship of husband and wife.

Point 6 might be described as where the one spouse who earns income refuses to provide the other with money to pay the accounts, purchase food etc. Alternatively the spouse may have committed an act which would affect the marriage adversely. The later having a wide discretion. One spouse has been insane for 3 years continuously and is incurable.

Point 7 is self explanatory however the procedure for the declaration of insanity is not explicitly described or called for in the section. One spouse has broken the bond of good behavior. (A bond of good behavior is a written agreement to behave yourself)

Point 8 would be best interpreted for you by your divorce attorney in Thailand. One spouse is suffering from a communicable and dangerous disease which is incurable and may cause harm to the other.

Point 9 would be where one spouse has developed an incurable communicable disease. These could range for a variety of diseases. This may be used during your divorce in Thailand. One spouse has a physical disadvantage so as to be permanently unable to cohabit as husband and wife.

Point 10 is self explanatory however it is very broad by description however see the grounds for divorce in Thailand – Defenses. Applying for a divorce in Thailand is a complicated legal procedure. There is always money, property and possibly children involved in the process. Always seek legal assistance from a reputable law firm in Thailand when starting the legal process for a divorce in Thailand.


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