A prenuptial agreement is a contract in Thailand that is used for ensuring no disputes occur between a couple who may have sizable amounts of property and assets. This type of contract is created, mainly to avoid disagreements or confusion if a divorce is filed. This agreement is often called a premarital agreement or contract.
What You Need to Do to Create a Prenuptial Agreement
To produce a prenuptial agreement or prenup, you need to consult with a lawyer that is experienced in drafting this legal form in Thailand. The law states that the contract must be created as follows:
- It should always be written – a prenup should never be agreed on orally.
- Each party of the agreement must retain his or her own lawyer to proceed with the draft.
- Each party to the contract must sign the agreement with two witnesses present. This must be done before the marriage is registered legally.
- The prenup and marriage certificate must be registered in the same legal location or jurisdiction.
This type of contact is regarded well in Thailand. Make sure you translate the contract to English if you want it to be considered internationally.
Registering the Agreement – Why It is Important
You must register your prenup in Thailand for it to be valid. Otherwise, you will not be able to use it in a divorce proceeding.
Dividing the Finances and Assets
When drafting a prenup in Thailand, you need to describe what will be divided, and what property is considered joint property or individual property. The marriage finances should also be outlined in the agreement. When you are creating the document, you cannot add any limitations or instructions about divorce expenses, such as child support.
What Happens if a US Citizen Wants to Marry a Thai Resident?
You must register your Thai marriage certificate with a Thai district office if you are from the US and wish to marry someone from Thailand. You almost must be patient when taking this type of action, as you may have to wait a couple of days. To begin the process, contact the Amphur, which is the district office, about your marriage plans – where the nuptials will be held and ask what you need to do to register.
Next, you will need to visit the US Embassy in the capital of Bangkok or contact the Consulate General in Chiang Mai (the largest northern city in Thailand). This must be done to obtain the affidavit for marriage or a sworn statement regarding the marriage. If you are from the US, also be prepared to present your passport to the Amphur.
The prenuptial agreement will list each of the party’s property, including their legal rights and obligations. The agreement often describes how the assets will be allocated if the couple wishes to end the marriage. In fact, you should add this provision to reduce any possibilities of judicial conflicts.
The agreement is not set up to include information about support payments or what should be added when drafting a will.
Making Sure Divorces are Settled Amicably
Again, the prenup is basically designed to avoid problems during divorce proceedings. If the agreement clearly outlines how the property will be divided, any divorce will be less difficult to process. Also, a premarital agreement enables each party to oversee specific holdings. For example, the agreement may permit total oversight by one of the parties over items that are jointly held.
The contract can give a couple a quick understanding of who will get what if a marriage ends in divorce. Thailand law states, unless otherwise contractually noted, that all common property must be divided equally between the parties.
When you have a prenup in force, you can easily streamline the divorce process, especially if a disagreement emerges about the classification of an asset. Usually, the agreement will help confirm the item’s classification.
Why Keeping a Record of Property and Assets Is Necessary
To make sure everyone agrees with the division of property and assets, lawyers suggest that a couple keep a record of property and assets during their marriage. This record can be placed in the courtroom as evidentiary material.
The agreement, when drafted, must be written so it does not refute the Thai moral code or the country’s legislative code. If it does not follow this format, it is not considered legal under the Thai legal system. If you have sizable holdings and wish to end a marriage on amicable terms, you cannot ignore the importance of drafting and maintaining this type of paperwork.
What You Should Ask
When you establish a prenuptial agreement, you must ask the following questions:
- How will this agreement help my spouse and me settle any possible disputes about finances or property?
- How can I word the document so that everything is clear about the division of property and assets?
- What assets are important to me? How can I ensure that I can hold on to them should the marriage end?
As you can see, you need to be decisive when you form this type of contract. Consult a Thai lawyer about your rights so you can draft an agreement that is both legally supported and valid.
If you need legal advice or assistance in drafting your prenuptial agreement in Thailand, please contact us today.