Is my Thai wife entitled to the house?

I invested 1,8 million baht in a house in Thailand and registered it on the name of my wife. Now she wants to divorce but refuses to share my investment. Today she closed the house and I had to sleep outside.

Posted in Family law, Inheritance, asked by Stephan, 2 years ago. 2784 hits.

bangkoklawonline

Only the common assets and debts are divided


In a divorce (or at death section 1533 civil code) common property must be divided in equal shares, not personal assets. So it depends if the house is a joint marital asset or a personal property of your wife. As foreigners are not allowed to own land in Thailand the property is likely registered as a personal property of your wife and not part of the common property of husband and wife.

If your wife did not declare the marriage, as she should have, and found guilty of giving false information to the land office officials (criminal offence) when registering ownership (not declaring the marriage), the land departments enforcement and punishment measures in land holding as an agent for a foreigner could be applied and used against you and your Thai wife.

You cannot ask for division of the house as part of the common property.

If you paid for the house through a gift to your wife there could be grounds to revoke your gift or if a prenuptial agreement has been made and the purchase through a gift has been anticipated you could claim for compensation or return of the money expended on the property. You could also argue that the declation signed at the land office is voidable based on section 1469 civil and commercial code.

Section 1533 Civil and Commercial Code: Upon divorce, the Sin Somros (common property, jointly owned marital assets and debts) shall be divided equally between man and woman.

To give yourself a better bargaining position in a divorce you could:


1 make a prenuptial agreement before you marry and anticipate on buying assets in Thailand (one way or another foreign husbands always end up buying land in Thailand on the name of their Thai spouse)

2 when you buy real estate during the marriage, and you pay for it, put it in writing that the gift for the purchase to your wife is strictly conditional, have her sign this, and register a usufruct over the house

3 keep evidence of all your personal finances and payments you make during the marriage, and if you pay for something expensive in Thailand make it clear that you paid for it with personal money and have your wife sign for this (so it does not become a marital property). Keep for example all documents related to the money transfer into Thailand, and FET form, if any

4 if your Thai wife behaves improperly, like locking you out the house, report this to the police and keep evidence of this as this will benefit you if the divorce becomes contested and goes to court.

Note that property of husband and wife is not created in a Buddhist marriage as this does not count as a marriage under Thai law.

Consultant
2 years ago
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