Filing of Divorce in Thailand

There are many reasons to end a marriage and there are various ways to do so under Thai law. One way is by registering a divorce on mutual consent.

Most couples prefer to settle issues regarding their children and property privately as opposed to going to court for a contested divorce. However, when compromise cannot be reached it is necessary to get a divorce registered by the court.

Registration of Marriage

A divorce is possible in Thailand if both spouses agree to end their marriage. An administrative divorce registration can be filed at the district office (Khet or Amphur) where the original marriage was registered. It is important for you to consult with a Thai family lawyer before you go to register your divorce, because there are certain documents that need to be prepared. It is not allowed for you to bring any documents that are not verified to the district office.

If both parties cannot come to an agreement on property division and child custody, you will need to file a petition for divorce with the court. You will need to prove that one of the grounds for divorce applies in your case, such as adultery, infliction of serious injury or abuse, or desertion for over a year. If you can prove the grounds for divorce, you may be able to get a quick and inexpensive uncontested divorce.

Filing a Petition for Divorce

In Thailand, divorce by mutual consent may be registered at the district office (“khet” or “amphur”) where the marriage was originally registered. Both spouses must attend the registration in person, unless they agree to have their Thai family lawyer act on their behalf.

It is recommended that both parties draw up a divorce agreement with the help of their lawyer prior to filing an uncontested divorce. The agreement should contain a settlement of all issues including division of properties, child custody and maintenance. The agreement must be acknowledged by 2 witnesses. (Supreme Court 1639/2522 Dr Wisut Tansirimongkol vs Oranut Tansirimongkol).

A contested divorce may be filed on various grounds including 3 years of separation, one year desertion and adultery. If a contested divorce is filed the court will settle the matters regarding children of the couple and property division based on Thai law. The court will also assess the validity of any prenuptial agreement.

Filing a Response to the Petition for Divorce

In Thailand, spouses can get an administrative divorce based on mutual consent at the district office (known as amphur, amphoe or khet). This type of Thai divorce does not require either party to have any grounds for termination of marriage. However, it does involve paying fees. The fees are usually calculated at 2% of the claims on marital property. There may also be a fee for court delivery (the cost of delivering the summons to the Respondent).

A petition for divorce can be filed by the Plaintiff or the Respondent. The Plaintiff can file the action on his or her own or with a family lawyer’s assistance. It is advisable that both parties solicit the help of a family law attorney in order to settle their arrangements regarding the division of marital property, alimony and child custody. In the absence of any agreements, the court will resolve the issues according to Thai laws. If the couple has children, they are required to make a mandatory appearance before the Juvenile Observation and Protection Center.


Regardless of how well a couple starts off their marriage, life happens and it may lead to the end of their relationship. The first step in the process of getting a divorce in Thailand is deciding which grounds to use for ending the marriage.

Depending on the grounds used for divorce the proceedings may need to go through court hearings. This is especially true if a petition for divorce is accompanied by claims on property and/or maintenance.

If both spouses are in agreement to divorce with no disagreement on the terms (link to section Divorce Laws in Thailand) then an administrative divorce can be registered at the local district office (Khet in Bangkok; Amphur in the provinces). Two witnesses are required for this and it must be done in the presence of a consular official or a government employee.

In a contested divorce, one of the parties will seek a dissolution of the marriage in court based on any of the grounds in the Thai Civil and Commercial Code. These include 3 years separation, one year desertion, adultery and failure to provide maintenance.

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