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Divorce in Thailand on Grounds of Desertion or Abandonment

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing divorce in Thailand.

For those who are unaware, there is a divorce system in Thailand which is dissimilar to the Common Law jurisdictions of for example the United States or the British Commonwealth, including the UK and the former colonies of the UK. Those systems as well as even the Civil Law systems of Continental Europe are somewhat different than Thailand in many ways. Thailand has a very unique legal system in and of itself.

The thing to take away from this video is there are contested and non-contested divorces. This video is discussing contested divorce. That is a divorce which basically one or both of the parties are either not present or basically one or both of the parties is not willing or are not willing to sign off on the divorce. So a non-contested divorce is basically the parties agree to dissolve the marriage and they just go ahead and sign off on it. A contested divorce in Thailand requires the proceeding go to Court. It is required that a judgment be issued with respect to divorce.

Prefacing the rest of this video, I am an American Attorney. I am the Managing Director of the firm. I am not a Thai licensed attorney.  We do have Thai licensed attorneys here at the firm and they handle Thai legal matters rather frequently. Those who are watching this video are well advised to go ahead and seek legal assistance from a qualified professional based on the specific facts of the given case. 

So with respect to divorce in Thailand, and that is specifically contested divorce in Thailand, there are different grounds for contesting divorce. So, for example in this video we are discussing specifically desertion, otherwise known as abandonment. This one is an issue that comes up rather frequently we find in contested divorces because you have got a situation, usually where you can't find the other spouse and the other spouse may be a Thai national, it may be a foreign National here in Thailand, it just depends. But quoting directly from our website and we have a section in there with the Thai Civil and Commercial Code laid out. This is Book 5, Family Title 1, Chapter 6: Termination of Marriage under the Thai Civil and Commercial Code and we are reading from section 1516. Quoting directly: "The grounds of action for a divorce are as follows: sub-section 4: "the husband or wife has deserted willfully the other spouse for more than a year, the other spouse may enter a claim for divorce."  The thing to take away from this video is, this is for informational purposes only. The Thai language will be controlling with respect to Thai legal matters so these translations should not be viewed as dispositive. 

But the thing to take away from this video is yes it is possible to seek divorce based on a claim of desertion or abandonment but there is a period of time, namely one year that has to have elapsed and how to start that clock, where the one year mark begins and ends, that generally is going to be a matter for a legal professional to try and determine. 

So the thing to take away from this video, yes it is possible to seek a divorce based on desertion, desertion or abandonment, but that legal proceeding is probably best handled by a legal professional here in the Kingdom of Thailand.