Child Support in Thailand

Parents are obligated by law to provide for their children, including giving them proper education and taking care of them in case of sickness. This is commonly known as Child Support.

It is not very common in Thailand for fathers with custody rights to request support from their biological fathers. In fact, unmarried biological fathers don’t have any legal rights unless they go through the process of legitimization in a district office.

What is child support?

Under Thai family law, parents are legally bound to support or maintain their children until they reach the legal age of 20 or finish their education. This legal obligation is known as parental power or authority.

Generally, child support is money sent by the father of a child to help with the financial expenses of raising the child. It should cover food, shelter, clothing and other needs of the child. The amount should be reasonable, based on the relative income of the Parties and other factors.

While a couple can make arrangements for child support in their divorce agreement or in other ways, the court has final say over these issues. Considering this, it is always wise to seek the advice of a Thai Family Lawyer before making any agreements regarding child custody and/or child support in Thailand.

How is child support determined?

In Thailand, child support is determined by an agreement between the parents or a court order. It is based on the income of the parent who is required to pay and the financial circumstances of the custodial parent. The amount of child support should be sufficient to cover the basic expenses of the children. It cannot be used for the purposes of either parent’s personal benefit.

In a divorce, if the mother and father agree on the child support, they can put this in writing in their Divorce Agreement. This will be legally enforceable as soon as the agreement has been registered at the district office.

In the case of a child born out-of-wedlock, the biological father is not obligated to pay child support unless he acknowledges his paternity through a process called “child legitimization”. Nevertheless, he should provide for his children by other means. This may include a letter of assignment wherein he assigns his rights to the child to another person or entity, such as a guardian or curator.

What are the responsibilities of the parent who is required to pay child support?

The law dictates that both parents are bound to financially support or maintain their children until they reach the age of 20 years old. Such responsibilities or duties are also known as parental power or authority (Clause 1563 CCCT).

A child support settlement can be agreed upon between the parents in a written agreement or by the court order. The amount of the child support should be sufficient to cover the child’s living expenses including food, shelter, clothing, medical expenses and education needs. The child support funds should not be used for the custodial parent’s own benefit.

The non-custodial parent may file a petition to the court for enforcement of the child support if the parent who is required to pay fails to fulfill their obligation. The courts will consider the relative incomes of the parties and expenses when deciding such cases.

How can child support be modified?

As with any legal issue, circumstances change over time. For this reason, it is important to modify your child support agreement as needed. A modification can be requested if either parent’s income changes significantly, or if there is a change to custody or visitation arrangements.

A child’s best interest is the main consideration in any case of child support. This is why it is so important to seek the advice of a family lawyer if you are involved in a dispute regarding your child’s upbringing.

The child support issue often arises in the context of a divorce or separation and can also apply to children born outside marriage. While it is possible for parents to agree to a child support arrangement in a divorce agreement, if they cannot agree, a court will decide. The amount of the child support is usually determined based on the financial resources of the parent who will be required to pay the child support, as well as any other expenses that the child may have.

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