Marraige (and divorce) in Thailand

Last night I got a call from my friend in Thailand that started with “Do you want to hear the good news first or the bad news?” As I had suspected, the bad news was that she was getting a divorce from her husband of nearly 10 years. It was not such a surprise, in fact (and I probably shouldn’t say this….) she should have left him long ago. However right after they got married, she became a mother and the family moved back to Thailand.

As the details came pouring out and I found out a third person was involved…again, I was not that surprised. Upon further reflection, she told me that everything had changed when they moved back. And its almost like she had to get to know him all over again.

When I had just gone through my own divorce, for a brief moment I had considered packing my bags and just starting over in Thailand rather than face the questions and looks of sympathy. Then as common sense took over, I realized that I did not yet want to resign myself to spinsterhood. An over educated mid-thirty divorcee in Thailand is not quite a ‘hot commodity’ or any kind of commodity at all.

My friend is an extremely strong woman . She spent nearly 2 years (after she found out about the other woman) trying to come to terms. her words were “I am not my mom” No, none of us are our moms. In a culture where its expected that successful men have mistresses (mia noi) and multiple concurrent families, the woman is supposed to keep quiet and bear with it. As long as he can provide for everyone, what is the big deal? All I told her was, “Yes you are not your mom, but if your mom had the choices you have today, she would leave him too.”

Divorces are on the rise in Thailand. In most cases both parties are breadwinners and the woman is no longer as dependent on a man. Divorces are becoming as commonplace as here in the US. I am still questioning whether that is a good thing? Legally there is no alimony, palimony or set rules about child custody. Its pretty much up to the two or three) parties to sort out.

Its definitely not easy being an independent woman in Thailand. I made a joke about finding a new guy. My friend said in a flat voice…”I have a child. I am nearly forty…that’s not an option for me.” In my head I thought to myself, yep, I made the right decision to stay. Life is not over after a failed marriage (though it might feel like it). Its never too late to find love…

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5 responses to “Marraige (and divorce) in Thailand

  1. I too was curious on How to Divorce in Thailand. I found a Thailand lawyer to help me with the divorce from my Thai wife. My attorney in Bangkok was American. They help me with my divorce process in Thailand. I didn’t have a prenuptial agreement which caused some problems in the divorce process. My marriage was registered in Thailand so I was able to divorce at the Amphur in Bangkok in one day. The firm was Siam Legal in Bangkok. They have attornyes and solicitors from US and UK in the Bangkok office. They drafted the divorce agreement for me in Thai and English. We used the Thai divorce agreement to file with the Thailand officials for divorce filing.

  2. if both agrees and marriage register in amphur . divorce is easy as possible . simple and within few hours with no problums.

  3. i was married to a thai women i m from amerca. marriage was register in bongkok at onnut amphur. we decided to divorce after 5 years , we went back to same amphur at onnut area bangkok and simply signed papers and in few hours we were done . but both agrees and no problums ,,key word is BOTH AGREES TO DIVORCE, KHAN

  4. There’s been a lot of buzz about the subject of divorce and child support in Thailand, so I was glad to find this story. Child support responsibilities seem to get most complicated when the parents cannot agree on the terms of support. The situation gets even murkier when the parents were not legally married in the first place. It is also terribly difficult to penalize parents who do not fulfill their child support duties or, in the case of non-registered parents, avoid paying child support by denying the child. Unfortunately, raising a child costs a lot of money, and it is the child who gets hurt when the parents cannot reach a settlement agreement. A mother or father in Thailand who is unable to obtain sufficient support from the other parent should consider getting a child support attorney. From the story told in this article, it seems as though dealing with divorce and its aftereffects can be a completely overwhelming and complicated process without the help of an attorney. It is disheartening to learn that this problem exists in Thailand and in so many countries in the world. Children are expensive and parents should be prepared to raise them or at least offer as much support as they can to the parent who is taking on the responsibility.

  5. ?a alt¨¨re; si nous prenions un petitbol de longchamp homme pas chervin ¨¤ la fran?aise!

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