Disputes concerning child support frequently arise in family court cases. Child support disputes may arise in divorce cases in disputes between non-married parents and even in cases between married couples who are not seeking divorce, but only have a dispute regarding financial issues. Most often, the mother of a child will be filing the legal complaint against the biological father for child support. However, it is also possible for a father with custodial rights of a child to seek child support, or other financial expenditure on behalf of a child, from the mother of the child.
If the mother and father can agree to child support then an agreement can be drafted to form part of the settlement agreement. Thailand courts, similar to Western courts and other jurisdictions, will normally encourage parties to a court case to resolve a dispute with a settlement agreement. If the Parties were married in Thailand and can agree to the terms of child support in the context of divorce, it may be possible to register a divorce agreement with a government district office as a simple procedure as part of a consensual administrative divorce case. However, if the mother and father were not married in Thailand (or not married), it is still possible to file a court claim in Thailand for child support under the appropriate circumstances.
If the Parties cannot agree to the terms of child support, a complaint may be filed with the court having jurisdiction to demand child support. Cases are decided by judges in the Central Juvenile and Family Courts of Thailand. The Family Court will take into consideration various factors in arriving at a child support schedule.
In deciding a case of disputed child support in Thai courts, one of the primary issues the court most considers is whether, pursuant to applicable law, a duty to pay child support exists. If there is such a duty, the court will then consider relative incomes of the Parties, the expenses of the children and other factors to determine an amount for child support. When a client becomes involved in a disputed child support case in Thailand, we normally advise and assist with collecting and legalizing of relevant evidence of income, expenses and assets, to present along with a claim for child support or against child support or an increase in child support depending on the circumstances.