Category Archives: International Law

UK Judge Rules Prenuptial Agreement Invalid Due To Duress

A judge has ruled that a prenuptial agreement signed by a bride three days before her wedding, was done so under duress reports The Courier Mail.

The bride told the court her husband to be told her the wedding would be off if she didn’t sign the prenup and so she felt obliged to do so. The agreement said each spouse would retain their own assets if they separated. At the time the wife only had a car, which has since been sold to pay for the family’s care, while the husband had property and a substantial amount of money.

The court heard the husband now has a $330,000 property, the former matrimonial home worth $725,000 and a business valued at $283,722.

 Read the full article here

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Adultery Will No Longer Be A Crime In New Hampshire

The USA Today, reports that the New Hampshire state Senate voted on Thursday 17 April 2014 to repeal its anti-adultery law, by sending the bill to the Governor Maggie Hassan, who is thought likely to sign it into law. Under the present law, a convicted adulterer can be punished with a fine of up to USD 1,200.

“States’ anti-adultery laws are rarely enforced, a vestige of our country’s Puritanical beginnings”, says Naomi Cahn, a law professor at the George Washington University Law School.

States with anti-cheating laws generally define adultery as a married person having sexual intercourse with someone other than their spouse.

Adultery is not a criminal offense in Thailand, but it can be used as a ground to divorce a cheating spouse. Adultery is also a civil offense in Thailand meaning that an adulterer can be sued in Civil Court by an aggrieved spouse.

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US Court Orders One Year Deadline on Hague Child Abduction

Thailand Child Abduction

Photo by Gavinaz

The US Supreme Court unanimously ruled on 5 March 2014 that the Hague Convention on Child Abduction’s a one year limitation providing for automatic return to the child country of residence , may begin to run even though the non-custodial parent may be unaware that the child has been abducted reported The Washington Associated Press.

The Hague Convention on child abduction states that a child must automatically be returned to its home country within the first year of residing in a foreign country. The Supreme Court ruling will provide a shorter window for the aggrieved parent in a custody battle to demand the automatic return of a child pursuant to the one year time period as defined by Convention.

The Hague Convention is an international convention between member nations that agree to abide by its terms. Nevertheless, the provisions of the Convention would, in general, need to be enacted in each member nation’s domestic laws. Further,  a member nation may interpret or modify its duties, as enacted in its domestic law in accordance with the legal system of that nation’s interpretation of the Convention.

In this instance, the Supreme Court’s ruling means that the one year period, after which US judges may have more discretion to deny the request for the return of an abducted child pursuant to the Hague Convention, may expire more quickly. and thereby prejudice the parent requesting the return.

The US Supreme Court’s ruling will not have a direct effect on most child custody cases in Thailand. However it may have an effect on cases in where a child is abducted from Thailand and brought to the USA and the Thailand based parent requesting the return pursuant to the Convention has exceed the one year period.

Although Thailand, along with the USA, is a signatory to the Hague Convention on Child Abduction. Thailand has only recently enacted internal domestic law to enforce the terms of the Convention pursuant to the Thailand Child Abduction Act.

Read the full article here.

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Thailand Child Protection Act

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Thailand Child Abduction Law

US Dad Forced to Pay 26 Year Old Daughter’s Law School Tuition

Photo by Jeff Hester
Photo by Jeff Hester

Opposing Views recently reported that an American father had been ordered by an appeals court to pay half of his 26 year old daughter’s $225,000 law school tuition fees.

The father, Mr Livingston, agreed to pay half of his daughter’s tuition fees in a divorce settlement in 2009. His daughter then asked him to honor the agreement in 2012 when she was accepted to attend Law school. Mr Livingston responded that he would pay $7,500 and only if his daughter lived with her mother and attended a Law school of his choice.

Mr Livingston’s estranged wife filed and won a lawsuit against him in 2012 demanding that he honor his child support agreement. Livingston recently appealed against the court’s ruling stating that he should not have to honor the divorce agreement because he has become estranged and that he had no involvement in the choice of her Law school.

Mr Livingston may have prejudiced in this decision because of the child support settlement agreement he previously signed. Had there been no signed agreement the Court may have ruled that child support should end when a child reaches the age of emancipation. Chaninat and Leeds Thailand child support attorneys state that in Thailand, the majority (emancipation) age is 20 years old. In US Courts the age of emancipation can vary but is usually considered to be between 18 and 21 years of age. However, in some cases child support obligations may be extended until college graduation.

Read the full article here.

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Ex-Husband Asks Wife To Become Housekeeper

The Telegraph reports that a businessman asked his ex-wife to carry on living in their marital home as a housekeeper after he moved in mistress in, and was apparently at a loss when she expressed her displeasure at his suggestion.

But she ended up with the last laugh, as on Wednesday 29 January 2014, the Family Division of the High Court ruled that she was entitled to nearly half of her former husband’s £13.6 million fortune.

Although the couple divorced during the 1990s they carried on living together, until he met another woman and moved her and her five year old daughter into the marital home.

She then moved out and sued for more than 6 million GBP. Her former husband argued she had previously agreed she would only ever be entitled to 3.4 million GBP, but she argued that was under duress.

This case highlights that a claim for financial assets does not necessarily need to be brought at the time of the divorce and can be brought at any time up until a new marriage happens.

It is also a helpful reminder of the benefits that prenuptial agreements bring as  litigation can be an unpredictable process.  In the event of a divorce, a prenuptial agreement can assist with dividing the marital assets. But be careful. A Thailand prenuptial agreement is null and void unless it is officially registered in Thailand before the marriage. In the US and other western countries, it is generally a private agreement between parties and is not registered with the government.

Read the full story here 

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