Please note that Canadians are strongly urged to consult a lawyer in Canada regarding divorce in Thailand and/or Canada. The Embassy of Canada cannot provide advice on the laws of Thailand or Canada regarding divorce. However, we can provide a list of lawyers who specialise in family law. The information below is simply to assist with your own research.
Under Thai law (Civil and Commercial Code), divorce is permitted in two categories:
By Mutual Consent: If you were married in Thailand at a local Registrar Office (Khet or Amphoe), you may register an administrative divorce. Divorce by mutual consent must be made in writing and witnessed by at least two persons. You will need to show your marriage certificate, passport and the national I.D. card of the Thai citizen. The process takes only a few minutes. This type of divorce is possible only if the couple has no disagreements over such issues as children or property (“uncontested”.) A divorce certificate will be issued by the registrar office.
By Court Judgement: If the divorce is contested, or one party is not present, you should proceed to the courts for a divorce “for cause.” Either the plaintiff or defendant (or both) must be a resident of Thailand. There are 12 legal grounds for divorce under Thai law. We strongly suggest that you consult a legal professional in these matters. If you are overseas, you may appoint a lawyer to initiate the procedure on your behalf. However, once a court date is set, you must appear in court in Thailand. Any documents not in Thai will need to be translated and notarised by the Embassy of Canada. This process can take up to one year. Divorce certificates are usually obtained from the court where the divorce was granted. Please consult your local Court Registry.
Information on divorce may be found at the following websites. The Embassy of Canada does not endorse nor make any claim as to the accuracy of this third-party information.
Canadians who used to live in Thailand, and who have returned to Canada, must meet the one-year residency requirement to process the divorce in Canadian courts. When deciding whether to process the divorce in Thailand or Canada, one must consider that divorce proceedings in Thai courts may take more than one year. Costs involved for translation of documents, notary services, and travel costs to appear in court also must be considered. One may choose to wait until having resided in Canada for one year in order to become eligible for divorce in Canada.
Canadian courts may recognize a divorce granted in a foreign court only if the petitioner is domiciled in the place where a court of competent jurisdiction grants the divorce, with the judgement of domicile subject to judicial determination.
Information on divorce may be found at the following websites: