Defending a Divorce
If you have been issued with a notice of a divorce then you need to consult a law firm in Thailand. Leaving the notice unattended may mean that you are also going to be sued for damages coming out of the divorce. Your Thai wife might sue you for damages for an alleged adultery. This could cost you all your property in Thailand if left undefended.
In the notice you will be notified as the reasons for the divorce. These are listed under divorce requirements in Thailand on this website. Defending a divorce can be costly as it will require legal counsel as well as a private investigator which in Thailand can be costly depending on what evidence you require. There are mainly two reasons for getting divorced in Thailand. The first is adultery which is the most common. The second are gambling debts which are also common and conflict occurs when one party does not want to settle the gambling debts of the other. Gambling debts in Thailand are not uncommon. See the article on usufructs for more details on property issues.
The Civil and Commercial Code of Thailand lists the reasons for a divorce. The most common would be Section 1516 (1) which states that you are maintaining another woman as a wife. This normally occurs with the issue of a mia noi or minor wife in Thailand. There is also a second reasons normally added being that you have committed a misconduct which has left him/her embarrassed or insulted. This reason many times has more to do with in-laws wanting what they think you should be providing and are not causing conflict.
The next most common reasons in Thailand would be Section 1516 (9) of the Civil and Commercial Code on Thailand which is when a divorce is filed because the one party has an incurable illness that is transmittable. These could be a number of issues such as HIV/AIDS or Hepatitis B.
These reasons can be defended however you would need to consult a divorce lawyer in Thailand. Maybe your wife gave you permission to have a minor wife. Maybe she has a transmittable illness because she had it before you got married. These types of divorces grow complex very quickly and a private investigator may take 2-3 months to find the evidence you need to defend yourself.
The last option could be the use of Section 1516 (8) of the Act. This section is very vague in that the divorce application is based on “one party has broken the bond of good behavior” and this can be ascribed anything. The Thai courts would however want more details for this however most times it is used as an additional reason for divorce and not the main reason
Divorces in Thailand with regards to expats have taken violent turns in the past. The local Bangkok Post newspaper has many of these stories. Some of these when there had been legal battles over minor children have ended in murder.
Always speak to a divorce lawyer in Thailand when dealing with Thai family law.
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