Our lawyers specialize in Thailand marriage law and arranging legal administrative marriages for foreigners in Thailand
Marrying in Thailand can be a wonderful and memorable experience. Many visiting foreigners choose to marry in Thailand because of its abundance of romantic islands and upcountry resorts. For others, it is a matter of practicality. International Marriages between residing expatriates and their Thai fiancés are also quite common. For some foreign individuals who have difficulties marrying in the country where they reside, Thailand offers a quick and convenient location for a wedding.
How is the marriage process in Thailand carried out?
The marriage process in Thailand is fairly straightforward. For foreigners to get married in Thailand, they must first obtain clearance from their respective embassies. However, do note that different embassies have different procedures for providing this clearance so it might be prudent to contact the appropriate embassy to clarify this with them before attending in person. With the clearance, a foreigner can obtain an affidavit which states the name of the foreigner as well as personal details such as citizenship and legal freedom to marry. This affidavit will have to be translated into Thai and legalized pursuant to Thai law. When all the documents are in place, the administrative marriage can then be performed at the Thai district offices known as 'amphur' or 'khet'.
Why is Thailand a good place to get married for an individual with a foreign spouse?
In Thailand, it is legal for foreigners to marry either Thai citizens or other foreign nationals provided that requirements are met. A legal Thai marriage is normally internationally recognized. For individuals with transnational issues, where one or both spouses are from different countries, Thailand is a very convenient location to register a marriage. Another advantage of getting married in Thailand is the variety of picturesque locations such as world class beach resorts, where a formal or religious ceremony can be performed following the legal administrative marriage.
Are there other advantages to marrying in Thailand?
For persons interested in prenuptial agreements, particularly those with an international angle to them, Thailand's legal system is generally more likely to uphold the enforceability of a prenuptial agreement than other western jurisdictions provided that the prenuptial agreement is registered pursuant to Thailand law.
How long does an administrative marriage in Thailand take?
Including the time involved in procuring affidavits from the appropriate embassy, having those documents translated and legalized, and having the marriage performed at a local amphur, the process can be completed in as short as 3-4 days. If there are complications such as delays with paperwork at an embassy, or different requirements for certain nations' embassies, the process could take slightly longer than usual.
Why should I hire a law firm to help with my marriage registration?
It is helpful to retain the services of a lawyer with international to supervise the marriage registration. A law office can help co-ordinate the procurement of official documents from the embassy and have them translated and legalized quickly with minimum problems. Familiarity with the formalities of a Thai marriage, access to qualified translators, and an understanding of the legalization process can reduce the risk of delays or complications.
For a US national with a Thai spouse, a good law firm with an expertise in international law issues can even help you to secure a marriage visa to bring your Thai spouse back to the United States for marriage.
Can't we do the paperwork ourselves?
Yes, you can do the paperwork yourselves but it may be a very time-consuming process. There is a lot of legwork involved such as running from one government office to another, and many of these government offices are located in different parts of Bangkok. For persons seeking to enjoy a holiday in Thailand while having the marriage registered, going through this tedious administrative marriage process could turn your holiday into a working holiday instead. In the case where a prenuptial agreement is sought, the agreement should be done by a qualified law firm to ensure its validity, particularly if it has an international angle. A prenuptial agreement drafted by an inexperienced lawyer may run the risks of not being valid under Thailand law or international law. If there is an issue with the validity of the prenuptial agreement which then comes to light, it may be too late to rectify it. You could be left with a defective unenforceable prenuptial agreement.