Family law in Thailand is the area of the law that deals with family-related issues and encompasses marriage, adoption, divorce, custody, death, and inheritance. Below the section of Thai family law governing divorce and termination of marriage.

CHAPTER VI

TERMINATION OF MARRIAGE (DIVORCE)

table of contents

Section 1501. Marriage (Thai marriage) in Thailand is terminated by death, divorce or being cancelled by the Court.

Section 1502. A voidable marriage terminates upon cancellation decided by judgment of the Court.

Section 1503. An application to the Court for cancellation of marriage on the ground of its avoidable shall be made only in the case where the spouses have not complied with Section 1448, Section 1505, Section 1506, Section 1507, and Section 1509.

Section 1504. An interested person other than the parents or guardian who have given their consent to the marriage is entitled to apply for cancellation of the marriage on the ground of its voidability.

If the court has not cancelled the marriage until both man and woman have completed the age required under Section 1448 or if the woman has become pregnant before such completion, the marriage shall be deemed to be valid from the time it was made.

Section 1505. A marriage which is made on account of mistake as to the identity of the other spouse shall be deemed to be voidable.

The right to apply for cancellation of the marriage on account of mistake as to the identity of the spouse shall be terminated after the lapse of ninety days from the date of marriage.

Section 1506. A marriage is voidable if it is made by the spouses on account of fraud to such an extent that without it the marriage would not have been made.

The provisions of paragraph one shall not apply to the case not apply to the case where the other spouse has not known the fraud committed by a third person.

The right to apply for cancellation of the marriage on account of fraud shall be terminated after the lapse of ninety days from the day on which the spouse has known or should have known of the fraud, or after the lapse of one year from the date marriage.

Section 1507. A marriage is voidable if it is made by the spouses on account of duress to such an extent that without it the marriage would not have been made.

The right to apply for cancellation of the marriage on account of duress shall be terminated after the lapse of one year from the day on which the spouse is free from duress.

Section1508. Where the marriage is voidable on account of mistake as to the identity of the spouse, fraud or duress, only the spouse who mistook the identity of the other, or was induced by fraud or duress to contract the marriage may apply for the cancellation of such marriage.

In case where the person entitled to apply for the cancellation of the marriage has been adjudged incompetent, the person who may apply to the Court for an order effecting an insane person to be an incapacitated person under Section 29, may also apply for the cancellation of such marriage. Where the person entitled to apply for the cancellation of the marriage is an insane person not yet adjudged incompetent, the said person may apply for the cancellation of such marriage but must apply concurrently to the Court for an order effecting him to be an incapacitated person. If the Court gives an order revoking the application for an order effecting him to be an incapacitated person, the Court shall also order revoking the application made by the said person for the cancellation of the marriage.

The order of the Court revoking the application made by the person for cancellation of the marriage under paragraph two does not effect the right of the spouse to apply for the cancellation of the marriage; provided that the spouse exercise his or her right within the remaining period of time. If the remaining period of time is less than six months as from the day on which the order of the Court revoking the application made by the said person for cancellation of the marriage is given, or if there remains no such period, the period of time shall correspondingly be extended to the completion of six months as from the day on which the order of the Court revoking the application made by the said person for the cancellation of the marriage is given.

Section 1509. The marriage made without consent of the persons mentioned in Section 1454 is voidable.

Section 1510. Where the marriage is voidable on account of having been made without consent of the persons mentioned in Section 1454, only the person who can give the consent under Section 1454 may apply for the cancellation of the marriage.

The right to apply for the cancellation of the marriage under this Section is extinguished when the spouse has completed the age of twentieth year or when the woman has become pregnant.

The action for the cancellation of the marriage under this Section is barred by prescription after one year from the day where the marriage is known.

Section 1511. The marriage which is cancelled by judgment of the Court shall be deemed to have terminated on the day when the judgment becomes final; provided, however, that it may not be set up to the prejudice of the rights of third persons acting in good faith unless the cancellation of the marriage has been registered.

Section 1512. The provisions concerning the result of divorce by judgment of the Court shall apply to the result of cancellation of the marriage mutatis mutandis [Ed. Latin, the necessary changes having been made].

Section 1513. If it appears that the spouse sued on cancellation of the marriage has known of the ground of the avoidability, such spouse is required to make compensation for the damage to the body, reputation or property of the other arising from such marriage, and the provisions of Section 1525 shall apply mutatis mutandis.

If the other spouse becomes destitute due to the cancellation of the marriage under paragraph one and derives insufficient income out of his or her property of business which used to be carried on during the marriage, the spouse against whom the action has been brought is also required to be liable to living allowances as provided in section 1526.

Section 1514. Divorce may be effected only by mutual consent or by judgment of the Court.

Divorce effected by mutual consent must be made in writing and certified by the signatures of at least two witnesses.

Section 1515. Where marriage has been registered as provided by this Code, divorce by mutual consent is valid only if the registration thereof is effected by both the husband and wife.

Section 1516. Grounds of action for divorce are as follows:

  1. one spouse has given a maintenance to or honored such other person as wife or husband, committed adultery or had regular sexual intercourse with such other person, such other spouse may enter an action for divorce;
  2. one spouse is guilty of misconduct, notwithstanding whether such misconduct is a criminal offence or not, if it causes the other:
    • to be seriously ashamed;
    • to be insulted of hated or account of continuance of being husband or wife of the spouse having committed the misconduct;
    • or to sustain excessive injury or trouble where the condition, position and cohabitation as husband and wife are taken into consideration;

      ....the latter may enter a claim for divorce;
  3. one spouse has caused serious harm or torture to the body or mind of the other, or has seriously insulted the other or his or her ascendants, the latter may enter a claim for divorce;
  4. one spouse has deserted the other for more than one year, the latter may enter a claim for divorce;
    • 4/1 one spouse had been sentenced by a final judgment of the Court and has been imprisoned for more than one year in the offence committed without any participation, consent or in the knowledge of the other, and the cohabitation as husband and wife will cause the other party sustain excessive injury or trouble, the latter may enter a claim for divorce;
    • 4/2 The husband and wife voluntarily live separately because of being unable to cohabit peacefully for more than three years, or live separately for more than three years by the order of the Court, either spouse may enter a claim for divorce;
  5. one spouse has been adjudged to have disappeared, or as left his or her domicile or residence for more than three years and being uncertain whether he or she is living or dead;
  6. one spouse has failed to give proper maintenance and support to the other, or committed acts seriously adverse to the relationship of husband and wife to such an extent that the other has been in excessive trouble where the condition, position and cohabitation as husband and wife are taking into consideration, the latter may enter a claim for divorce; 
  7. one spouse has been an insane person for more than three years continuously and such insanity is hardly curable so that the continuance of marriage cannot be expected, the other may enter a claim for divorce; 
  8. one spouse has broken a bond of good behavior executed by him or her, the other spouse may enter a claim for divorce;
  9. one spouse is suffering from a communicable and dangerous disease which is incurable and may cause injury to the other, the latter may file a claim for divorce;
  10. one spouse has a physical disadvantage so as to be permanently unable to cohabit as husband and wife, the other may enter a claim for divorce.

Section 1517. No action for divorce may be instituted by the husband or wife, as the case may be if such spouse has consented to or connived at the acts under Section 1516 (1) and (2) upon which the action for divorce is based.

If the ground of action for divorce under Section 1516 (10) has resulted from the act of the other spouse, the action for divorce based upon such ground may not be instituted by such other spouse.

Where the action for divorce based upon the ground under section 1516 (8) has been instituted, the Court may not pronounce judgment to effect the divorce if the behavior of the husband or wife that causes the bond to have been executed is a minor cause or of no importance in relation to peaceful cohabitation as husband and wife.

Section 1518. The right to institute an action for divorce would be terminated if the spouse entitled thereto has committed any act showing his or her forgiveness to the act done by the other that has caused the right to institute the action for divorce.

Section 1519. In case where one spouse is an insane person and if there gives rise to the ground of action for divorce irrespective of whether it arises before or after the insanity, the person entitled to apply to the Court for an order effecting the instance person to be an incapacitated person under Section 28* shall have the power to enter an action against the other spouse for divorce and liquidation of the property. In such a case if no order of the Court effecting the insane spouse to be an incapacitated person has yet been given, the said person shall apply to the Court in the same case for an order effecting the insane spouse to be an incapacitated person.

The said person may, if deemed suitable, also apply to the Court for giving the order under Section 1526 and Section 1530.

In case where the spouse alleged to be an insane person has not yet been adjudged incompetent, and if the Court deems that such spouse should not be judged incompetent, the case shall then be dismissed. If the spouse is deemed suitable to be adjudged incompetent but an order to effect the divorce should not yet be given as yet, the Court shall adjudge the spouse to be an incapacitated person and may not give order concerning the guardian or appointing other person to be guardian under Section 1463 while the application for divorce will be dismissed, and the Court may in this connection give an order determining living allowances. In case where the spouse is deemed to be insane and should be adjudged incompetent by the Court and the application for divorce should also be granted, the Court shall issue an order in the judgment effecting such spouse to be an incapacitated person, appointing a guardian and allowing the divorce.

In case there the Court deems that the ground upon which the claim for divorce is based is not proper to the condition of the incapacitated spouse who is going to divorce the other spouse, ir it is not proper under such circumstances that divorce should be allowed, the Court may not pronounce the judgment to effect the divorce.

Section 1520. In case of divorce by mutual consent, the spouses shall make an agreement n writing for the exercise of parental power over each of the children. In the absence of such agreement or an agreement thereon cannot be reached, the matter shall be decided by the Court.

In case of divorce by judgment of the Court, the Court trying the divorce case shall also order that the parental power over each of the children belongs to any party. If, in such trial, it is deemed proper to deprive that spouse of the parental power under Section 1582, the Court may give an order depriving that spouse of the same and appointing a third person as a guardian, by taking into consideration the happiness and interest of the child.

Section 1521. If it appears that the person exercising parental power of the guardian under Section 1520 behaves himself or herself improperly or there is a change of circumstances after the appointment, the Court has the power to give an order appointing a new guardian by taking into consideration the happiness and interest of the child.

Section 1522. In case of divorce by mutual consent, an arrangement shall be made and contained in the agreement of divorce as to who, both of the spouses or either spouse, will contribute to the maintenance of the children and how much is the contribution.

In case of divorce by judgment of the Court or in case the agreement of divorce contains no provisions concerning the maintenance of the children, the Court shall determine it.

Section 1523. In case of divorce by judgment of the Court on the ground as provided in Section 1516 (1), the husband or wife is entitled to compensation from the husband or wife and such other person receiving maintenance or honor ot suh other person causing such divroce.

The husband is entitled to claim compensation from any person who has wrongfully taken liberties with his wife in an adulterous manner, and the wife is entitled to claim compensation from other woman who has openly shown her adulterous relations with the former's husband.

However, the husband or wife is not entitled to claim compensation if he or she has consented to or connive at the act done by other party under Section 1516 (1) or allowed other person to act as provided in paragraph two.

Section 1524. If the ground of action for divorce under Section 1516 (3), (4) or (6) has arisen through an act of the party at fault with the intention to make the other party so intolerable that action for divorce has to be entered, the other party is entitled to compensation from the party at fault.

Section 1525. The compensation under Section 1523 and Section 1524 shall be decided by the Court according to the circumstances, and the Court may give an order for a single payment thereof or payment in installments as may be deemed suitable by the Court.

In case where the person who has to make the Compensation is a spouse of the other party, the share of the property received by the former from the liquidation of the Sin Somros on account of divorce shall also be taken into consideration.

Section 1526. In a case of divorce, if the ground for divorce has derived from the guilt of only one party, and the divorce will make the other become destitute deriving insufficient income out of his or her property or business which used to be carried on during the marriage, the latter is entitled to apply for the living allowances to be paid by the party at fault. The Court may decide whether the living allowances be granted or not by taking the ability of the grantor and the condition in life of the receiver into consideration, and the provisions of Section 1598/39, Section 1598/40 and Section 1598/41 shall apply mutatis mutandis.

The right to claim the living allowances is extinguished if it is not raised in the plaint or counter-claim in the action for divorce.

Section 1527. If a divorce is effected on the ground of insanity under Section 1516 (7) or on the ground of suffering from a communicable and dangerous disease under Section 1516 (9), the other spouse shall furnish living allowances to the spouse who is insane or is suffering from the disease, according to Section 1526, mutatis mutandis.

Section 1528. If the party receiving living allowances remarries, the right to receive living allowances is extinguished.

Section 1529. Rights of action based upon any of the grounds provided in Section 1516 (1), (2), (3) or (6), or Section 1523 are extinguished after one year when the fact which can be alleged by the claimant has been known or should have been known to him or her.

Grounds upon which a claim for divorce can no longer be based may still be proved in support of another claim for divorce based upon other grounds.

Section 1530. Where an action for divorce is pending, the Court may, on application of either party, make any provisional order which it thinks proper such as those concerning the Sin Somros, the lodging, the maintenance of the spouses and the custody and maintenance of children.

Section 1531. In case where a marriage has been registered according to law, divorce by mutual consent takes effect from the time of registration.

Divorce by judgment of the Court takes effect on and from the time when the judgment becomes final; however, such judgment may not be set up to the prejudice to the rights of third persons acting in good faith unless the divorce has been registered.

Section 1532. After divorce, the property of the husband and wife shall be subject to liquidation.

But as between the spouses,

  • in case of divorce by mutual consent, the liquidation shall apply to the property of the husband and wife as it was on the date of registration of divorce;
  • in case of divorce by judgment, the liquidation shall apply to the property of the husband and wife as it was on the day when the action fordivorce was entered in Court.

Section 1533. Upon divorce, the Sin Somros shall be divided equally between man and woman.

Section 1534. Where either spouse has made disposal of the Sin Somros for his or her exclusive benefit, or has made disposal thereof with an intention to cause injury to the other, or has made disposal thereof without the consent of the other in the case where such disposal is required by law to have consent of the other, or has wilfully destroyed it, it shall, for the purpose of division of the Sin Somros under Section 1533, be regarded as if such property had still remained. If the share of the Sin Somros that the other will receive is not complete to what he or she should have received, the party at fault is required to make up for the arrears from his or her share of the Sin Somros or his or her Sin Suan Tua.

Section 1535. Upon termination of the marriage, the man and woman shall be liable for common debts equally.

table of contents

Prev Next

Tags: civil law, family law

© 2012 thailandlawonline.com. All Rights Reserved.
Do not spend more than necessary for professional legal advice and service and Thai/ English documents in Thailand. All our online documents comply with Thai law and are regularly modified and registered with the government authorities in Thailand.