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What You Should Know About Uncontested Divorce in Thailand

An uncontested divorce in Thailand is an out of court form of divorce which allows disagreeing couples to end their marriage administratively. It is non-procedural and straightforward. It is the same as what other countries call an Administrative Divorce or Mutual-Consent Divorce.

While Administrative Divorce or Mutual-Consent Divorce is similar to Thailand’s uncontested divorce, foreigners must be cautious of the fact that the requisites and procedure for each of them are different. In some countries, divorce is referred to as “divorce by mutual consent” but court ratification is still required to finalize the divorce.

In an uncontested Thailand divorce, the divorcing parties are required to show their personal intention to sever their union. No ground is required to be proved before this kind of divorce is decreed. Ratification of the decree of divorce is no longer required.

Once the divorce certificate has been issued, the divorce is final.

Marriage Registration

Not all marriages may undergo an uncontested divorce. One crucial requirement that must be met in order to avail of uncontested divorce in Thailand is that the marriage must be registered. The requirement of registration is an indispensable requirement.

Registration of the marriage must be made in any Amphur or Khet (district office) in Thailand, or Royal Thai Embassy or Royal Thai Consulate in the world. Once the marriage is registered in Thailand, the divorcing couples submit themselves and their marriage and its consequences to the jurisdiction of Thai courts.

This requirement of registration is required for all couples who want their union to be recognized in Thailand, regardless of nationality. Couples who had their marriage solemnized in Thailand but failed to register it are often surprised to know that Thailand has yet to recognize their marriage due to the lack of registration.

Now that the importance of marriage registration has been established, the next query is, how do you know if the marriage is registered in Thailand? Couples who have their marriage directly solemnized with an Amphur, an Embassy, or Consulate need not do anything further. It means that their marriage is recognized upon the issuance of the Thai Marriage Certificate.

The same is not true if the couple wants to solemnize their marriage outside the Amphur or Khet or Thai Embassy or Consulate. Registration of the marriage with Thai public authorities is still required. Under Thai law, the wedding ceremony and marriage registration are two different things. It is the marriage registration which gives the marriage legal effect and its consequences.

In most cases, the registration officer is asked to take part in the wedding rites, so he may register the marriage thereafter. Make sure that the Thai Marriage Certificate is issued to prove the registration.

Further, marriage registration is different from merely reporting a marriage status. This sometimes occurs when the marriage is done overseas. Merely reporting a change of status from single to married does not legalize the marriage and does not place the marriage within the coverage of the Thai laws.


Divorcing couples must go to the Amphur, Embassy or Consulate where their marriage was registered. However, recent developments have made registration easier.

It is now allowable for divorcing couples to go to a different Amphur, Embassy or Consulate to facilitate their application for uncontested divorce in Thailand. To do this, additional documents are required to be submitted before the divorce can be pursued:

Same Amphur, Embassy or Consulate:
1. Two (2) original marriage certificates;
2. Original Thai national ID for Thai spouse;
3. The Thai party’s Tabien baan (household registration booklet or blue book);
4. Original passport for foreigner spouse.

Different Amphur, Embassy or Consulate:
1. Two (2) original marriage certificates;
2. Original Thai national ID for Thai spouse;
3. The Thai party’s Tabien baan (household registration booklet or blue book);
4. Original passport for foreigner spouse.
5. Legalized translation of the foreigner’s passport copy.
6. Other documents that may be required by the district.


After ascertaining that the parties voluntarily agreed to file for divorce, the district officer makes a memorandum of any agreement that the couple may have entered into regarding child custody, marital property and alimony or spousal support after the decree of divorce in Thailand.

The decree of divorce is registered and entered into the records of the Amphur, Embassy or Consulate. A divorce certificate is given to each party to prove the grant of divorce and its registration, as well.

While uncontested divorce is available to foreigners, the same must be exercised with extreme caution. This is because not all foreign jurisdictions recognize uncontested divorce.

In the UK, for instance, the validity of a foreign non-procedural divorce is recognized only if:

1. The divorce is valid according to the law of the country in which it was secured;
2. Within the time frame designated by law:
a. Each party to the marriage was domiciled in that country;
b. Either party to the marriage was domiciled in that country and the other party was domiciled in a country the laws of which recognize the divorce;
and c. Neither party to the marriage had resided in UK within the period of one year immediately before that date.

It is wise to remember the important points regarding uncontested divorce in Thailand.

If you want to avail of it, it is advised to consider not only Thai laws but the laws of your country as well. You may also consider consulting a lawyer to give you legal advice on the matter.

This article was provided by Siam Legal, an international law firm with offices in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Hua Hin, Pattaya, Phuket, and Samui. Siam Legal publishes legal guides to Thailand divorce on its website.

Siam Legal International
Interchange 21 Building, 23rd Floor, 399 Sukhumvit Road
North Klongtoey, Wattana, Bangkok 10110
Tel: 662 259-8100

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