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ResourcesFamily LawPrenuptial and Premarital AgreementsThailand Prenuptial Agreements: Formalities and Attorney Review

Thailand Prenuptial Agreements: Formalities and Attorney Review

Transcript of the above video:

In this video, we're going to discuss the importance of independent attorney review with respect to prenuptial agreements. In other videos on this channel and on this website, there is discussion of prenuptial agreements specifically and generally, specific requirements with respect to the registration of prenuptial agreements simultaneously with marriage here in the Kingdom of Thailand as well as the broad strokes with respect to prenups discussed in another video. 

The reason we bring up an independent attorney review is because again, there's sort of these misconceptions or sort of, misconceptions are just mistaken assumptions with respect to how prenups operate and this video is basically designed to provide insight into how a prenup should be structured and some of the formalities that should be undertaken when drafting and reviewing the agreement between the two parties. It's necessary to cut to the chase of this.

It's necessary to have a Thai attorney and frankly, an American attorney review the prenuptial agreement with the individual, especially a Thai individual who is signing an agreement. So we deal with other attorneys here in Bangkok all the time, we refer them cases with respect to independent attorney review and basically, what you're looking to deal with here or how is this going to work? Let's say we're approached by a gentleman to go ahead and generate draft a prenuptial agreement. We go ahead and do that. I assist in the American context, one of my associates is a Thai attorney assist in the Thai context. Then that counter party - the fiancee, needs to go ahead and have their own independent review done with an American attorney as well especially with respect to the American provisions but also with respect to the Thai provisions, a Thai attorney review is a good idea as well.

Again, we review these matters over to those individuals that can provide those counterpart services. And why is this support? Sometimes people are already mistaken assuming "Well so much so just signed it" and that's going to hold them to it. Well, I'm here to tell you later on, if there is a dissolution of marriage, a judge is going to be very, very keenly interested in whether or not the counter party understood what they were signing at the time they signed the prenuptial agreement. And in the context of a Thai American prenuptial agreements, if we're talking about a judge in the United States, that judge is going to want to know whether that Thai individual could speak, read, write English, how fluently at the time they spoke it and more importantly, that they understood the agreement at the time they signed it. And this is why having a Thai-American team to be able to explain all the ramifications in Thai and all the ramifications in American legal context is so important because fundamentally, this isn't about trying to get one up on the counter party.

This is a marriage that we're talking about here. The parties are not intending to have problems with each other. It's a better idea to think about it at a standpoint of transparency and equity. It's basically everybody wants to know where they stand, the posture that they stand from a legal standpoint and from a financial standpoint with respect to the division of marital property, marital goods and the properties of the individuals involved prior to an after-marriage and in the event of a possible dissolution. And also transparency with respect to the fact where is somebody going to stand legally in the event of dissolution.  And having a Thai and American attorneys to be able to provide insight not only with respect to the language barriers but also with respect to the legal leads.

Simply speaking the language fluently does not mean one understands the ramifications of the legal jargon, for lack of better word, legal terminology inside one of these agreements. There are many, many phrases and terms that are used in a legal document such as a prenuptial agreement that are terms of art. Their definitions are different than colloquial phrases. So something like a phrase "open and notorious" in a property context, has a whole plethora of meaning especially in the United States. There's case law to back up that notion. 

That "clear and convincing evidence," what does that mean? On one level, they are sort of a common sense of co-understanding on the definitions of those words and then there's an again entire plethora of jurisprudence behind those words. These types of terminology, there's a smattering terms of art that are going to be scattered throughout a prenuptial agreement and having legal professionals there to explain the ramifications and the legal meanings of those terms and phrases is going to be very beneficial. To have this for a Thai national who's married to say, an American in going to the United States to admit, provided and accorded a full understanding of what they're signing, what it means and an acknowledgment of what they're signing means is an extremely important component from a standpoint of  transparency.

And in the event of a hopefully not occurring, but in the event that a dissolution does occur, a leader judge adjudicating the prenuptial agreement, it's not going to be so much an issue whether or not the individual understood what they were doing at the time that they signed the agreement. It's basically just going to be a matter of the judge going through making sure there's nothing that's clearly erroneous or clearly illegal in the agreement and then going ahead and implementing the terms of the agreement as set forth, and acknowledged and agreed to by the parties.