Bangkok Law Firm

Category: Family Law

Child Legitimation in Thailand

Child legitimation is a legal process that grants legal recognition to a child born to unmarried parents, establishing the child’s legal relationship with both the mother and the father. In Thailand, like many other countries, child legitimation holds significant importance, as it not only provides legal rights and privileges to the child but also acknowledges the parental responsibilities of both parents. This process ensures that children born out of wedlock are not deprived of the benefits and protections afforded to those born within a marital union.

Legal Framework:

In Thailand, child legitimation is primarily governed by the Civil and Commercial Code, particularly in Sections 1588 to 1600. These sections outline the procedures and conditions under which a child born to unmarried parents can be legitimized. The process involves the mutual consent of both parents and underscores the fundamental principle that every child has the right to be recognized and cared for by their parents, regardless of their marital status.

Procedures for Legitimation:

To legitimize a child in Thailand, both parents must submit a joint application to the local district office, where the child’s birth has been registered. This application should be signed by both parents in the presence of a district officer. Along with the application, both parents must provide their identification documents, including their Thai national identification cards or passports.

In cases where one parent is unable to be present due to reasons such as distance or incapacity, a power of attorney can be used to delegate the authority to another person, allowing them to represent the absent parent during the legitimation process.

Benefits of Child Legitimation:

Child legitimation in Thailand carries numerous legal and social benefits for both the child and the parents:

  1. Inheritance Rights: Legitimated children have the right to inherit from both parents, ensuring they receive their rightful share of the family’s assets and property.
  2. Citizenship: Legitimated children are entitled to citizenship rights, including the right to hold a Thai passport and other privileges granted to citizens.
  3. Name Change: Legitimation allows the child’s name to be changed to include the father’s surname, recognizing their lineage and identity.
  4. Medical and Educational Benefits: Legitimated children can access medical and educational benefits provided by the government, fostering their overall well-being.
  5. Parental Rights and Responsibilities: Legitimation establishes the father’s legal rights and responsibilities towards the child, including custody, visitation, and financial support.

Implications and Considerations:

While child legitimation brings about numerous advantages, it’s important to be aware of the legal and emotional implications:

  1. Parental Agreement: Child legitimation requires the consent of both parents. In cases of disputes or unwillingness of one parent, the process may be more complicated.
  2. Non-Rescindable: Once legitimation is completed, it cannot be undone. Both parents should be fully aware of this fact before proceeding.
  3. Parental Responsibilities: Legitimation means that the father assumes legal responsibilities towards the child, including financial support and other obligations.
  4. Cultural and Social Factors: In some cases, cultural or social factors may influence decisions about legitimation. Open communication between parents is vital.


Child legitimation in Thailand exemplifies the country’s commitment to ensuring the rights and well-being of children, regardless of their parents’ marital status. This legal process goes beyond recognition—it strengthens the bond between parents and their children and provides a solid foundation for the child’s future. As Thailand continues to evolve and adapt its legal frameworks to meet the needs of modern families, child legitimation remains a fundamental aspect of safeguarding the rights and interests of its youngest citizens.

Child Support in Thailand

Child support is a crucial aspect of family law in Thailand, aimed at safeguarding the welfare of children in cases where parents are separated or divorced. It is a legal obligation that ensures that both parents contribute financially to the upbringing and maintenance of their children, even when they are no longer living together as a couple. This system is designed to prioritize the best interests of the child, promoting their well-being and ensuring they have access to the resources they need for a healthy and stable life.

In Thailand, child support is governed by the Child Support Act of 1998. This legislation outlines the rules and procedures for determining, collecting, and enforcing child support payments. The Act recognizes the importance of financial support in a child’s life and sets guidelines for calculating the amount to be paid by the non-custodial parent. The primary goal is to provide a fair and equitable solution that considers the child’s needs and the financial capacities of both parents.

Calculation of Child Support:

The calculation of child support in Thailand is based on a percentage of the non-custodial parent’s income, taking into account the number of children involved. The Act provides a clear formula for determining the monthly payment amount. Typically, the non-custodial parent is required to pay a percentage of their income, ranging from 5% to 30%, depending on the number of children. This percentage may vary if the non-custodial parent has multiple children with different custodial parents.

It’s important to note that the Act also considers various factors such as the child’s age, health, educational needs, and standard of living when determining the appropriate amount of child support. This ensures that the child’s unique circumstances are taken into account, preventing a one-size-fits-all approach and promoting a fair outcome.

Enforcement and Collection:

While the Child Support Act establishes the legal framework for child support in Thailand, ensuring compliance can sometimes be challenging. The Act empowers the Department of Legal Execution to enforce child support orders and collect payments on behalf of custodial parents. In cases where the non-custodial parent fails to make the required payments, the Department can use various methods to enforce compliance.

These enforcement methods may include wage garnishment, property seizure, suspension of certain licenses, and even imprisonment in extreme cases of non-compliance. The goal is to create a strong incentive for non-custodial parents to meet their financial obligations and provide the necessary support for their children.

Challenges and Future Directions:

While the child support system in Thailand is designed with good intentions, it is not without its challenges. One common issue is the difficulty in accurately determining the income of non-custodial parents who may be self-employed or have variable income sources. This can lead to disputes over the calculation of child support amounts.

Moreover, cross-border cases can pose challenges when one parent lives in Thailand and the other in a different country. Ensuring the enforcement of child support orders across international borders requires international cooperation and adherence to relevant treaties and conventions.

To address these challenges, ongoing efforts are being made to improve the child support system in Thailand. This includes streamlining procedures for calculating and collecting child support, enhancing transparency in income reporting, and facilitating communication between custodial and non-custodial parents.


Child support in Thailand plays a vital role in ensuring that children receive the financial assistance they need to thrive, even in the midst of parental separation or divorce. The Child Support Act of 1998 provides a legal framework that promotes fairness and equity in determining child support payments, taking into consideration the child’s best interests and the financial capacities of both parents. While challenges exist, the system continues to evolve to meet the changing needs of families in a rapidly changing world. Ultimately, child support is a testament to Thailand’s commitment to the well-being of its children and the importance of shared parental responsibilities.


Child Custody in Thailand

Child custody matters are emotionally sensitive and legally intricate, requiring careful consideration of the child’s best interests. In Thailand, as in many countries, child custody decisions are based on factors that prioritize the child’s welfare, stability, and emotional well-being. This article offers insights into child custody laws in Thailand, the types of custody arrangements, factors influencing custody decisions, and the role of legal professionals in ensuring a smooth process.

Legal Framework for Child Custody:

Child custody in Thailand is governed by the Civil and Commercial Code and focuses on the best interests of the child. Thai courts make custody decisions based on the principle that the child’s welfare is of paramount importance.

Types of Custody Arrangements:

In Thailand, child custody arrangements can be categorized as follows:

  1. Joint Custody: Both parents share the responsibility for making major decisions about the child’s upbringing, education, and healthcare.
  2. Sole Custody: One parent has the authority to make decisions for the child, and the child primarily resides with that parent.
  3. Visitation Rights: The non-custodial parent is granted visitation rights to spend time with the child.

Factors Influencing Custody Decisions:

Thai courts consider several factors when making child custody decisions:

  1. Child’s Best Interests: The child’s physical, emotional, and psychological well-being are the primary concern.
  2. Parental Capabilities: The court assesses each parent’s ability to provide a stable and nurturing environment for the child.
  3. Child’s Wishes: Depending on the child’s age and maturity, their preferences may be taken into account.
  4. Existing Relationships: The court considers the child’s existing relationships with parents, siblings, and other family members.

Child Custody Arrangements and Visitation Rights:

Child custody arrangements and visitation rights are determined through court orders:

  1. Parenting Plan: Parents can create a parenting plan that outlines custody arrangements, visitation schedules, and major decision-making responsibilities.
  2. Court-Mediated Agreements: If parents agree on custody arrangements, the court can formalize these agreements.
  3. Court-Ordered Custody: In cases of disagreement or when parents cannot reach an agreement, the court will make a custody determination.

Role of Legal Professionals:

Legal professionals play a crucial role in child custody matters:

  1. Legal Expertise: Attorneys provide guidance on custody laws and procedures, ensuring that parents understand their rights and responsibilities.
  2. Mediation: Legal professionals can facilitate mediation between parents to reach amicable agreements.
  3. Representation: Lawyers represent parents in court, presenting arguments that advocate for the child’s best interests.

International Child Custody Cases:

In cases involving international elements, such as parents from different countries, child custody matters can become complex:

  1. Jurisdictional Issues: Determining the appropriate jurisdiction for custody proceedings can be challenging.
  2. Hague Convention: If one parent removes the child from their habitual residence without consent, the Hague Convention may come into play to facilitate the child’s return.
  3. Legal Assistance: Legal professionals experienced in international child custody cases can navigate the complexities of jurisdiction and legal frameworks.

Child Custody and Co-Parenting:

Child custody arrangements often lead to co-parenting, requiring effective communication and cooperation between parents:

  1. Parenting Agreement: Parents can create a detailed parenting agreement that outlines custody arrangements, visitation schedules, and decision-making processes.
  2. Communication: Open and respectful communication between parents is essential for the child’s well-being.
  3. Consistency: Maintaining consistent routines and rules across households contributes to stability for the child.


Child custody matters in Thailand revolve around the child’s best interests, ensuring their well-being and stability. Whether through joint custody, sole custody, or visitation arrangements, the court’s decisions are guided by a commitment to fostering a nurturing environment for the child’s physical, emotional, and psychological development. Legal professionals play a critical role in providing legal guidance, facilitating mediation, and advocating for the child’s welfare during custody proceedings. Through cooperation, open communication, and a focus on the child’s best interests, parents can navigate child custody matters in a way that prioritizes the well-being of their most precious asset—their child.

Marriage in Thailand

Marriage is a significant and cherished institution in Thailand, marked by cultural traditions, legal formalities, and emotional celebrations. With its rich history and diverse culture, Thailand offers a unique backdrop for couples seeking to celebrate their love through Thailand marriage. This article provides insights into the customs, legal requirements, types of marriages, and the role of marriage in Thai society.

Cultural Traditions and Customs:

Thailand’s cultural diversity is reflected in its various marriage traditions:

  1. Buddhist Ceremonies: Many Thai couples opt for traditional Buddhist ceremonies that involve blessings from monks and rituals performed at temples.
  2. Traditional Thai Wedding: This ceremony includes rituals like the “Rod Nam Sang” where guests pour water on the couple’s hands to offer blessings.
  3. Islamic Marriages: Muslim marriages in Thailand are conducted in accordance with Islamic customs and laws.
  4. Minority Ethnic Groups: Different ethnic groups within Thailand, such as hill tribes, have their own unique marriage customs.

Legal Requirements for Marriage in Thailand:

For a marriage in Thailand to be legally recognized, certain requirements must be met:

  1. Age: Both parties must be at least 17 years old to marry. Those aged 17 require parental consent.
  2. Marital Status: Both parties must not be currently married or in a registered partnership.
  3. Consent: Consent from parents or guardians is required for individuals aged 17 to 20.
  4. Witnesses: Two witnesses are required to sign the marriage register.

Types of Marriages:

Thailand offers different types of marriages, each with its own legal implications:

  1. Traditional Thai Marriage: While not legally binding, traditional Thai ceremonies hold cultural significance.
  2. Civil Marriage: This type of marriage is legally recognized by Thai authorities and often involves a simple ceremony at a local district office.
  3. Religious Marriages: Marriages conducted according to religious customs, such as Buddhist or Islamic ceremonies.
  4. International Marriages: For couples with different nationalities, legal and documentation requirements may vary.

Marriage and Thai Society:

Marriage plays a central role in Thai society, encompassing both cultural and legal dimensions:

  1. Family and Community: Marriage is seen as a way of uniting families and communities, emphasizing the importance of social connections.
  2. Social Status: Marriage can enhance an individual’s social status, particularly in traditional communities.
  3. Respect for Traditions: Many Thais prioritize maintaining traditional customs during their weddings to honor their cultural heritage.
  4. Commitment and Love: Like anywhere else, Thai marriages are founded on love, commitment, and shared aspirations.

Marriage Registration Process:

The process of registering a marriage in Thailand involves several steps:

  1. Visit District Office: Visit the local district office (Amphur) where at least one partner is registered as a resident.
  2. Document Submission: Submit required documents, including passports, Thai identification cards, and a certificate of non-impediment.
  3. Declaration: Make a joint declaration of your intention to marry in the presence of witnesses.
  4. Issuance of Marriage Certificate: Upon verifying the documents, the district office issues a marriage certificate.
  5. Translation and Authentication: For international marriages, documents may need to be translated and authenticated.

Role of Legal Professionals:

While legal professionals are not mandatory for marriage registration, they can provide valuable assistance:

  1. Document Verification: Attorneys can ensure that all required documents are correctly prepared and submitted.
  2. Advice on International Marriages: For couples from different countries, legal professionals can guide them through international requirements.


Marriage in Thailand is a multifaceted celebration that encompasses cultural traditions, legal formalities, and emotional connections. Whether through traditional ceremonies, civil unions, or religious rituals, marriage in Thailand holds deep cultural significance. Understanding the legal requirements, choosing the type of marriage that suits the couple’s preferences, and seeking guidance from legal professionals when needed are important steps in ensuring a smooth and memorable wedding experience. As couples embark on this journey together, they not only honor their love for one another but also contribute to the rich tapestry of Thailand’s diverse cultural heritage.

Filing of Divorce in Thailand

Filing for divorce is a significant legal step that marks the end of a marriage. In Thailand, as in many countries, divorce procedures involve a combination of legal formalities, emotional considerations, and financial implications. This article provides an overview of the process of filing for divorce in Thailand, including the legal grounds for divorce, key steps in the procedure, legal requirements, and the role of legal professionals.

Legal Grounds for Divorce:

In Thailand, divorce can be sought on specific legal grounds outlined in the Civil and Commercial Code. These grounds include:

  1. Adultery: If one spouse engages in extramarital affairs, the other spouse may seek divorce based on adultery.
  2. Unreasonable Behavior: Divorce can be sought if one spouse’s behavior makes it intolerable for the other spouse to continue the Thailand marriage.
  3. Desertion: If one spouse abandons the other without consent and without reasonable cause, the abandoned spouse can seek divorce.
  4. Separation: If spouses have lived apart for three consecutive years without cohabitation, either spouse can seek divorce.

Key Steps in Filing for Divorce:

The divorce process in Thailand involves several key steps:

  1. Consultation with Legal Professionals: Prior to initiating the divorce process, it’s advisable to consult with legal professionals to understand the legal implications and options available.
  2. Gathering Necessary Documents: Essential documents such as marriage certificates, identification documents, and evidence supporting the grounds for divorce need to be gathered.
  3. Negotiation or Mediation: If possible, spouses may engage in negotiation or mediation to reach an agreement on issues such as property division, child custody, and financial support.
  4. Filing the Divorce Petition: The divorce petition is filed with the appropriate court, along with the required documentation.
  5. Court Proceedings: The court reviews the petition and may hold hearings to consider the evidence and hear from both parties.
  6. Judgment: Once the court is satisfied with the grounds for divorce and any related matters, a judgment of divorce is issued.

Legal Requirements and Considerations:

Several legal requirements and considerations come into play during the divorce process in Thailand:

  1. Residency Requirement: At least one spouse must be a resident of Thailand for at least one year before filing for divorce.
  2. Notification to the Other Party: The spouse filing for divorce must provide notice to the other party, allowing them to respond to the divorce petition.
  3. Child Custody and Support: If children are involved, custody and child support arrangements must be addressed as part of the divorce process.
  4. Property Division: In the absence of a prenuptial agreement, the court will divide marital property based on Thai laws.

Role of Legal Professionals:

Engaging legal professionals during the divorce process is highly recommended:

  1. Legal Guidance: Attorneys provide legal advice and guide clients through the complexities of divorce laws and procedures.
  2. Negotiation: Legal professionals can facilitate negotiation and mediation, aiming to reach amicable agreements on issues like child custody and property division.
  3. Document Preparation: Lawyers ensure that all required documents are correctly prepared and submitted to the court.

Emotional and Financial Considerations:

Filing for divorce involves emotional and financial considerations:

  1. Emotional Support: Divorce can be emotionally challenging. Seeking support from family, friends, or therapists can be beneficial.
  2. Financial Planning: Proper financial planning is essential to navigate property division, alimony, child support, and potential changes in financial circumstances.


Filing for divorce in Thailand is a legally intricate process that requires careful consideration of both legal and personal aspects. Understanding the grounds for divorce, gathering necessary documentation, addressing child custody and property division, and seeking professional legal guidance are essential steps in ensuring a smooth process. While divorce involves legal procedures, it’s also an emotional journey that requires emotional support and financial planning. Engaging legal professionals ensures that the divorce process is conducted in compliance with Thai laws and regulations, providing individuals with the guidance and expertise needed to navigate this life-changing event.

Thailand Marriage Registration

When two people decide to get married, they need to register the marriage as legally binding in Thailand. This is done at a local district office (called an amphur in Thailand).

To be able to register your marriage, you will need to submit some documents to the amphur and show them along with two witnesses. Once you have this, the registrar will issue you a marriage certificate in Thai which can then be translated into English and/or your own language.

If you are a foreign national, you will need to obtain an affirmation from your embassy. This is an affidavit that confirms that you are legally free to marry. It must then be translated into Thai by an approved Foreign Ministry translator and certified.

You will then need to take this document to your nearest Amphur or Khet. They will be able to tell you whether or not they are able to register your marriage as a Foreigner and what is required of you. They will also inform you of how long the process will take and the best time to go.

The Amphur or Khet will ask you to bring your passport with you. This will then be checked and they will then contact the embassy and the ministry of foreign affairs to ensure that all the paperwork is correct. Then they will contact you back with a date for the registration.

It should take a couple of days at most for the registration to be completed. This does not include the time it takes to obtain the embassy papers and translations etc.

Once the embassy has done their checks they will call you back and tell you that it is ready to be registered at the Amphur or Khet. This will then take another day or so for the Amphur to be able to complete the marriage registration.

In most cases you will be asked to fill out an application form and provide a photocopy of your passport and an authenticated affirmation. You will then need to provide 2 witnesses and have the documents translated into Thai by an approved translation service.

A lot of the embassies are very strict on this and they will not accept your application unless you have all the proper documentation. In some cases they will require that the documents are sent to them by mail and then they will verify them before allowing you to marry.

This is very important to make sure that you have everything in order, because if there are any errors on the registration it could be rejected by the Amphur or Khet and this can cause a lot of problems for you.

If you have any questions about marriage registration or need help with obtaining the necessary documents, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our family lawyers. They will be able to assist you and make the process as stress-free as possible for you.

You should also consider registering your prenuptial agreement at the same time as the marriage registration. This will enable the parties to have legal proof of their rights on their assets and prevent future disputes.

Thai Fiancee Visa - Bangkok Law Firm

Thai Fiancee Visa – Bangkok Law Firm

Obtaining a Thai K-1 Visa does come with its own problems. Many times people consider the costs – which is small considering an appeal – and do it themselves. There are certain conditions which will prohibit a Thai K-1 Visa approval. Getting married or engaged can be a happy time in your life until something goes wrong with the Thai visa application. This can be due to many issues. These are a few examples:

Certain conditions and activities may make an applicant ineligible for a visa. Examples of these ineligibilities are:

  1. Trafficking in Drugs
  2. Having HIV/AIDS
  3. Overstaying a previous visa
  4. Practicing polygamy
  5. Advocating the overthrow of the government
  6. Submitting fraudulent documents

The most common issue in Thailand both for Americans and British citizens are the previous overstaying of a Thai visa. This I would think is the most common problem. The governments frown on this and usually do not allow another visa application. You need to speak to an immigration attorney about how to apply for a waiver with regards to this and how long it normally takes. Speak to any of our immigration attorneys with regards to appeals and waiver applications