In Thailand, a prenuptial agreement (known in Thai as “ante nuptial” or “premarital” agreements) is a legal document that outlines each person’s property rights in the event of divorce. It can help to minimize the financial and emotional costs of a divorce by providing a clear roadmap for how each party will be rewarded for their contributions.
A prenuptial agreement is generally a good idea for people with significant assets and/or debts. However, it is important to consult a lawyer before you sign one of these contracts.
There are a few requirements that must be met in order to have a valid and enforceable prenuptial agreement in Thailand. First and foremost, a prenuptial contract must be entered into the marriage register in front of two witnesses.
Once the prenuptial agreement is registered in the marriage register, it can never be altered unless the court gives its consent. If you are a foreigner, you may also need to get the prenuptial agreement authenticated by the embassy or ministry of your home country.
1. The agreement must be in writing, signed in front of at least two witnesses and entered into the marriage register together with the marriage registration.
2. The couple must enumerate each other’s assets and debts in the agreement.
3. The drafting of the prenuptial must be done with independent legal advice and comply with public morals and laws in Thailand.
4. Any unfair terms in the prenuptial are considered null and void under Thai law and any clause in the agreement that is contrary to good morals is also void.
5. The couple must ensure that the agreement is properly prepared in both Thai and English languages.
6. The drafted prenuptial must be in the form of an annexe to the original marriage contract.
7. The drafting of the prenuptial should include a provision to avoid future litigation in relation to property and custody issues.
8. The prenuptial should not exclude the application of any other international laws and principles.
In addition, the drafting of the prenuptial must comply with the Thai marriage laws, namely section 1465 of the Civil and Commercial Code which states that all provisions in an ante-nuptial agreement should be in compliance with Thai law.
The drafting of the prenuptial can also include a provision that specifies how each partner’s asset will be divided in the event of dissolution.
These provisions are especially useful for those who own land in Thailand and intend to give it to their spouse or who want to limit the extent to which their assets will be subject to community property rules.
Although, in most jurisdictions, a prenuptial is not enforceable by law, case law is sufficiently developed that the enforceability of a well-drafted agreement can be defended.
There are many advantages to a prenuptial agreement, and most couples agree that it is worth the time and effort to put into drafting a prenuptial. In the event of divorce, couples with prenuptial agreements tend to receive more spousal support than those without them.