Arguments regarding child support are a very common issue in Thailand’s family courts. It may arise from divorce cases or even between non-married parents, and also with married couples who are not divorcing but are having disputes over financial issues. Usually it is the mother of the child filing the legal complaint against the biological father, but sometimes it is also possible for the father with custody rights to seek child support or other financial compensation on behalf of the child.
If the parents are married and they come to a settlement regarding child support, then an agreement can be written as part of the divorce agreement or settlement agreement. Thailand courts usually encourage both parties to a court case for the resolution of a debate regarding settlement agreement. Non-married parents can still file a claim in the court of Thailand for child support. If the parents cannot agree to the terms of child support, then they can file a complaint in court and demand child support. The Thai Family Court will decide on the case and will consider various factors determining the terms of child support.
Thai courts decide on child support cases based on the existence of a duty to pay child support, which is under the Thai Family Law. If such a duty exists, the court will then put into considerations the relative incomes of both parents, the expenses of the child and other factors that determine the amount for child support.
Here are some tips when planning to go through a Child Support case:
· One may file a petition to the court where the agreement is granted, in cases such as reducing or rearranging child support payments.
· For parents residing overseas, child support will be enforced for failure to comply with the court order. The court will seize properties in Thailand and have them sold at an auction, where the proceeds will be paid for the Child Support. For those with no property in Thailand, the Thai court will work cooperatively with the court where a property is located, and will seize that property to pay for the child support.
· Once a property is in auction, the parent denying child support can still have the properties returned by settling the child support payment first. Once the payment is paid or settled in a writing agreement, the family lawyer in Thailand can file a petition in court to release the property from auction.
· To make sure that child support payment set for the child’s tuition fees is not being used for another purpose by the custodial parent, it is highly recommended to pay child tuition fees directly to the schools.
· In Thailand, children are only allowed to open bank accounts when they reach the age of 15. Then will be able to deposit the child support money to the child’s bank account directly.