There are a number of issues to look at when getting divorced in Thailand as an expat. These most people tend to overlook and in hindsight wish that they would have considered a better option when getting divorced. Below are a few examples of some of the problems that have made it to the newspapers as divorce oversights with expats.
1. If you are married to a Thai and are living in Thailand on a marriage visa, then this visa cannot be extended once you are divorced. Before the divorce is granted or an undefended divorced is filed with the Amphurs Office in Thailand you have to ensure that you have other options available. If you have minor children in Thailand then you can apply for a guardian visa or a retirement visa if you are over 50 years of age. It is best to view your options before the divorce is finalised.
2. Foreigners cannot own a villa or house in Thailand outright and in their name. Many place the house in the name of a business or in the name of their children. If you have placed the house in the name of your minor child and you do not get child custody or what they call parental power. Your ex-wife could very well sell the house you live in as she gets to control all the property in the name of the children.
3. You fail to defend a divorce and your wife alleges that you had damaged her image with your behavior and your extra-marital affair. She then filed for compensation or damages and claims your property as compensation during the divorce. Never ignore a divorce application when you have been notified of this. It could cost you everything you own in Thailand.
4. You own a business in Thailand and have a partner. During the divorce the company becomes part of the settlement. Will your business partner allow for this or is he/she going to offer to buy out your share of the business? Many business partnerships in Thailand have seen their end during a messy divorce and where people have not taken proper legal advice.
5. You bought a car while in Thailand and your wife demands this as part of the settlement. Considering that you are going to litigate over a car you always need to consider what the litigation costs and time is going to be over smaller property items. Sometimes it is best to cut your smaller economic losses than to waste money pursuing it. Major issues are large Thai property with a Chanote.
These are some of the more overlooked issues in Thailand when getting divorced and nobody is thinking straight. Always take sound legal advice from an experienced lawyer in Thailand before you embark on needless litigation over small property issues. Search this website for more information about getting divorced in Thailand.
There are also articles on divorce requirements as well as child custody on this website. Always speak to a divorce lawyer in Thailand as this website acts only as a guide to see all the options while in the country.