Filing of Divorce in Thailand

Thailand, known for its stunning beaches and vibrant culture, also has a distinct legal system for handling divorce. Navigating the process can be complex, so understanding the different paths to divorce in Thailand is crucial. This guide explores the two primary options – uncontested (mutual consent) divorce and contested divorce – detailing their requirements, procedures, and potential challenges.

Types of Divorce in Thailand:

  • Uncontested Divorce (Mutual Consent):

    • This is the faster and simpler option, suitable for couples who have reached an agreement on all aspects of the divorce, including child custody, division of assets, and spousal support (if applicable).
  • Contested Divorce:

    • This option is necessary when couples cannot agree on the terms of the divorce. It involves filing a petition with the court, outlining the grounds for divorce and requesting a judge to determine child custody, property division, and spousal support.

Uncontested Divorce (Mutual Consent):


  • Agreement on All Issues: Spouses must be in complete agreement on child custody, property division, and spousal support (if applicable). A written agreement outlining these terms is recommended.
  • Marriage Registration Location: The divorce can be filed at the district office (Amphur) where the marriage was registered, or, in some cases, at a different Amphur.
  • Documentation: Required documents include marriage certificates, identification cards (Thai spouse and passport for foreign spouse), and potentially a legalized translation of the foreign spouse’s passport (if filing at a different Amphur).


  1. Prepare the Agreement and Documents: Ensure the written agreement is complete and have all necessary documents ready.
  2. Visit the District Office: Both spouses must appear in person at the Amphur to file the divorce documents and witness statements (if required).
  3. Finalize the Divorce: After a waiting period (typically around 30 days), the divorce is finalized, and official documentation is issued.


  • Faster and Simpler: Uncontested divorce is a quicker and less stressful process compared to contested divorce.
  • Lower Cost: The process involves minimal court fees compared to contested divorce.
  • Reduced Conflict: Reaching an agreement beforehand minimizes potential arguments and emotional strain.

Contested Divorce:

Grounds for Divorce:

Thai law outlines specific grounds for filing a contested divorce. These include:

  • Adultery: One spouse has committed adultery.
  • Misconduct: One spouse’s misconduct causes shame, insult, or injury to the other.
  • Cruelty: One spouse has inflicted physical or mental abuse on the other or their parents.
  • Desertion: One spouse has deserted the other for more than a year.
  • Imprisonment: One spouse has been imprisoned for over a year for a criminal offense.
  • Separation: The couple has lived separately for more than three years.
  • Disappearance: One spouse has disappeared for an extended period.


  1. Consult a Lawyer: Engaging a lawyer experienced in Thai divorce law is crucial due to the complexities involved.
  2. File a Petition: The lawyer drafts and files a petition with the court, outlining the grounds for divorce and desired outcomes regarding child custody, property division, and spousal support.
  3. Court Hearings: The couple attends court hearings to present evidence and arguments.
  4. Judge’s Decision: The judge issues a final ruling on the divorce, child custody, property division, and spousal support (if applicable).
  5. Appeal Process: Either spouse may appeal the court’s decision within a specific timeframe.


  • Time-Consuming: Contested divorce can be a lengthy process, taking months or even years to finalize.
  • Costly: Lawyer fees, court fees, and potential investigations can make contested divorce expensive.
  • Emotional Toll: The adversarial nature of contested divorce can be emotionally draining for both spouses.

Additional Considerations:

  • Child Custody: Thailand prioritizes the child’s best interests when determining custody arrangements.
  • Division of Assets: Thai law generally divides marital assets equally unless there’s a prenuptial agreement or extenuating circumstances.
  • Spousal Support: Spousal support is not always awarded, but the court may order it based on factors like financial disparity and marital misconduct.


Understanding the options for filing for divorce in Thailand empowers couples to make informed decisions. While an uncontested divorce is the preferred option for its speed and simplicity, contested divorce becomes necessary when an agreement cannot be reached. Consulting a qualified lawyer throughout the

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