Thailand Prenuptial Agreement
Background: Prenuptial Agreement Laws in Thailand
Prenuptial agreements (also known as premarital agreements or ante-nuptial agreements) are legal documents that are designed to control the legal results of a divorce. Normally prenuptial agreements deal with financial issues, such as division of assets and alimony and maintenance. However prenuptial agreements can also control more specialized issues such as requiring name changes after a divorce or the ownership of pets. Although child custody and support are issues that many clients want to include in a prenuptial agreement, these issues will not normally be enforced by courts because the welfare and care of children is normally considered an important social issue that must be determined by a court.
Thailand prenuptial agreements have many similarities to prenuptial agreements in other jurisdictions, as well as some important differences. Thai prenuptial law requires the registration of prenuptial agreements in Thailand as part of the marriage registration process. In most Western common law jurisdictions, however, prenuptial agreements are private legal documents that are not part of the governmental marriage registration record. This means that if you marry in Thailand, the prenuptial agreement needs to be registered at the Thailand government district office with the marriage registrar at the time you get married. There, pursuant to Thailand law, there will be a record of the prenuptial agreement with a government stamp and filing record.
The requirement that registering a prenuptial agreement in Thailand at the time of the marriage registration in Thailand creates some specialized issues. The marriage registration means that in a contested divorce case, the agreement would be more difficult to contest as being forged, coerced or signed without understanding. The public filing aspect also means that the document will be public and can be reviewed and copied by third parties.
International Prenuptial Agreements
Due to Thailand’s unique prenuptial laws, international prenuptial agreement planning requires specialized procedures to protect Client’s rights and interests.. The Thailand registration requirement for prenups means that if your prenuptial agreement directly refers to foreign law the registrar may decline to register the agreement. As a result, couples who have different or dual nationalities or assets and income from different nations may feel unfoarly restricted in their abilty to determine their prenuptial rights. Although this restriction presents a challenge to protect foreign assets according to foreign law, and experienced attorneys can provide practical solutions that may include, carefully worded document drafting, addendum agreement and/or separate agreements for different jurisdictions and careful drafting of agreements.
Clients with ties to Western common law jurisdictions, such the USA, UK Australia and Canada, as well as other advanced legal systems, have special protections built in to their systems to assure that agreements are a fair and that the more powerful spouse cannot coerce their partner to sign an unfair agreement. Many of these safeguards are lacking in Thailand prenuptial law. As a result, if there is a risk that a future divorce action may be litigated in a Western jurisdiction these procedural protections should be met in order to avoid a legal challenge to a Thailand prenuptial agreement.
Thailand Prenuptial Attorneys Experience
Chaninat and Leeds has been the providing quality legal services for prenuptial agreements in Thailand since 2001. Our partners and attorneys include experienced Thai and Western attorneys with years of experience in family law, divorce and prenuptial agreements. In additional to our vast practical experience, Chaninat and Leeds partners are recognized experts on international prenuptial law and have published law journal articles on international prenuptial procedures and have been providing seminars and classes to teach other lawyers the procedures for international prenuptial agreements and family law for decades.
Inrernational Prenuptial Agreements