Child custody cases are handled in Thailand’s Family Courts. These courts place children’s best interests above anything else. They consider both parents’ behavior and child development issues closely. Thailand judges make custody decisions based on a combination of factors. Generally, a parent will get custody of a child if both parents are physically and mentally capable of raising the child.
Divorce by Mutual Consent
Divorce by mutual consent is an option in Thailand if both parties agree to the terms of the divorce. Unlike in other countries, where divorce must be filed in court, in Thailand, both parties can agree in writing on the terms of their divorce. For example, if both parties agree to share child custody and visitation rights, they can opt for divorce by mutual consent.
Child custody is one of the most significant issues that arise after a divorce, particularly for legally married couples with children. In Thailand, parental power is a legal right that can be exercised by either parent, or by a third party who has legal guardianship over the child. This power is valid until the child reaches 20 years of age. In divorce by mutual consent, both parents must agree to the terms of the divorce, which usually requires them to sign an agreement to share custody.
In Thailand, the father of a child must prove his legal paternity. If this is disputed, the father may petition the court to order a DNA test. The Thai authorities will conduct this test at his expense. Regardless of the court’s ruling, both parents must agree to this arrangement. If the father does not want the DNA test to be conducted, he or she must provide evidence to support his denial.
A biological father of a child in Thailand must marry the mother and register the child under his name in order to be recognized as the child’s father. This procedure may not be straightforward and requires professional help. If the father is a foreign national, the procedure can be more complicated.
Child Custody Petitions
Child Custody petitions in Thailand can be complicated affairs. As with any court case in Thailand, the child’s wishes are vital in the decision-making process. The court will decide the custodial arrangements, and may also award child support and visitation rights. A court may also remove a parent’s custody of the child, or change it entirely, at any time. In either case, a petition for change can be filed by a parent with custodial rights, or by the child’s prosecutor.
In a case where the child is being abducted abroad, the Hague Convention may be applied to determine which parent has custody. However, this applies only to children under 16 years of age, and only if the child “habitually resides” in Thailand. In these cases, Thai law prevails over foreign law.
Legal Paternity Rulings
In Thailand, legal paternity rulings are necessary for child custody cases. Children born out of wedlock are considered illegitimate. The father can claim rights to the child only after legitimizing him before the court. It is also important for the biological father to get custody of the child in case of a divorce.
In Thailand, the majority of fathers are ghost fathers who have no legal right to the child. However, in many cases, fathers have the right to maintain a relationship with their child. If the biological father doesn’t meet the minimum requirements, they will be denied legal custody rights.