Child Custody in Thailand
Child custody in Thailand or guardianship in Thailand for the most part is very costly litigation in Thailand and they do take a while to complete. If you are wanting child custody while outside of Thailand this becomes even more difficult. You need to speak to a lawyer in Thailand for more information and assistance as these types of court battles are a huge drain economically as well as mentally.
Child Custody in Thailand
If the child was born out of wedlock then the complexity of the matter increases. You would have to have good reason for wanting the courts to give you child custody and you also need to have yourself to be declared the father first if you have not done so already. Many times a compromise can be reached with regards to custody but they are not very common. Parental control as it is called in Thailand is complex and most times litigation will be needed with reports for private investigators to gather the proof which you will need in the matter.
If the matter is taken before the courts then the court will choose who gets to have child custody. Note that the courts will either choose the mother, father or appoint a guardian if the courts feel that neither is fit for the position. The courts will also have a look at visitation rights and how this would work if one parent is back in his home country. There have been well documented cases in Thailand where the children are not returned after a visit abroad. These become even more complicated as the police will then get involved.
Since foreigners can’t own property (house & land) in Thailand in their own names without millions in investment and loads of red tape, many times the house gets placed in the name of a child. Once the mother gets child custody of the child she also gets to exercise the rights over the property in the child’s name. During a divorce this creates many issues as many foreigners prefer to stay on in Thailand after a divorce. These are one of the many things to consider with a divorce and child custody. Always take legal advice from an attorney in Thailand before you sign any documents or agree to any verbal agreements.
Note that if the child was born out of wedlock as stated above, there will need to be two applications. The first application is one of legitimisation of the child. The second is an application for child custody. The Thai Family Courts will decide how this is done. Most applications for custody is where the child is being neglected or where there of drug problems which affects the child. It would have to be serious in order to bring this before the courts and proof needs to be obtained.
Always seek legal advice in Thailand for more information and assistance. Custody battles can end in violence and these are well documented in the Thai newspapers. Some have ended in murder and extortion so it is never an easy application. Search this website for more information on child custody, divorce and property in Thailand.
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