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Advice please: Divorce and changing name


A Broad

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Hello everyone, thanks for taking time to read my question. I'll try to be as brief as possible.

Married in Thailand, registered all the paperwork there. No marriage papers were processed back home in the states. Now we're separated, maybe some 3 years now, and she wants to change her name back. We were not formally divorced and since the marriage wasn't registered here in the US, I'm OK with the status quo as I have no plans to marry another Thai gal.

So the other day she contacts me out of the blue, asking me to help her change her name back to her original name. She gave some sad story about why she needs it, with her being sick. It's a sad story to be honest, and I realize that you all don't care for details, but let's just say that the marriage didn't work out. In regards to supporting her, I was more than generous with money. Too much and it got abused. So, it's complicated, but in the end, I am not inclined to send money over to have her do this.

I've lived in Thailand for some time and know there is usually a cheap way for Thai nationals to do stuff like this. Like, is the Thai government really going to let a foreigner hold power over a national about something like this? So, this was just my assumption and I wanted to come here and ask the guys who really know. So, essentially, can she do this on the cheap, in her amphur, without me having to trek all the way there, or send a thousand dollars?

I feel like she's squeezing me for money, maybe this one last time, and I really don't want to bite. If however, there were no other way for her to change the name back without expensive fees and such, I also realize my role in this, as she has my name too. So, if there is no other way, then I have to help. I just think if she could do this reasonably, she would have done so already and that this asking is really just 10% actual plea and 90% sob story let's see what we can get out of him. What do you think? I appreciate your input.

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I hope some one comes forward to give a better answer, but for now to put your mind at ease, it's as straightforward as the marriage at the local amphur office. just register that the marriage is over. easier if you attend at the same time. hopefully you have no children together, as then gets a little messier.

last time I knew, just the usual 20b fee plus tip for witnesses if needed. 

just to add, take the original marriage certs with you, saves time.

she can then change her name back, another 20b I believe ?

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Thank you. I'm currently not in Thailand. If I were, I would be more than happy to travel to meet her. We didn't part as enemies, and so if there were a reasonable way to get this done, I would. The cost to send money and stuff over from abroad, is just a lot and I'm afraid I'm going to get a laundry list of things to pay for, all of which I won't be able to verify. Ergo, I could really use some counsel on this one.

edit: There are no children between us. Whew to that one. And as for the 20b fee, yeah that is kinda what I was thinking lol. So her asking me now, has my alarm bells ringing.

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19 minutes ago, A Broad said:

Thank you. I'm currently not in Thailand. If I were, I would be more than happy to travel to meet her. We didn't part as enemies, and so if there were a reasonable way to get this done, I would. The cost to send money and stuff over from abroad, is just a lot and I'm afraid I'm going to get a laundry list of things to pay for, all of which I won't be able to verify. Ergo, I could really use some counsel on this one.

edit: There are no children between us. Whew to that one. And as for the 20b fee, yeah that is kinda what I was thinking lol. So her asking me now, has my alarm bells ringing.

then as yr not in Thailand, I hope someone with better advise can step in. 

all I can say for now is still not to worry too much. you have been separated for more than 2 years so this is a reason for divorce. you may need to get a legal form drawn up to consent to a clean break, then send it on to her to take to the office.

good luck, and again, hope someone else comes up with the correct things to do. I can't help you, sorry. maybe a bit more googling will give you the answers.

i am in the process myself, she in thailand and me in the UK. just started it, and i got the 2 children here with me. so a bit messy.

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Edit ignore reply i didn't read OP properly!

She is divorced and by law has to change her id card from Mrs to Miss. My ex-wife wants to keep my family name and has been denied permission to keep a foreign surname by Banglamung city. To change 

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Both parties “have” to be present for an amphur divorce.

You will need to divorce in court which is no problem because you need to be seperated for two years. There are no short cuts.

In your original post you state that you are happy to status quo because you wont be marrying another “Thai” girl. You do realise that your Thai marriage is recognised worldwide so whatever nationality you got married to then you would be guilty of bigamy. It makes no difference whether you have registered it in the USA. Just pointing this out because you give the impression you think it only applies to Thai girls......lol

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I married a thai lady here in Thailand many years ago. We divorced in the U.S. 4 years after she immigrated.  Now that divorce needs to be registered here.  To do that she needs to send the divorce papers from the court to the US Department of State to be certified. Then once certified they go to the Thai Embassy in Washington DC for legalization of the documents and of the Thai translation. Only then can the paperwork be accepted by the Amphur here in Thailand. Then by law the name must be changed back to her original family name.  I just went through this and made a trip to Udon to take care of my portion. Been divorced for awhile and she is already remarried in the U.S. kind of funny that my marriage here was recognized immediately in the USA but our divorce in the USA is  not immediately recognized here and takes gobs of paperwork to get it off of the books here.........

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16 hours ago, jastheace said:

I hope some one comes forward to give a better answer, but for now to put your mind at ease, it's as straightforward as the marriage at the local amphur office. just register that the marriage is over. easier if you attend at the same time. hopefully you have no children together, as then gets a little messier.

last time I knew, just the usual 20b fee plus tip for witnesses if needed. 

just to add, take the original marriage certs with you, saves time.

she can then change her name back, another 20b I believe ?

Confirmed.

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37 minutes ago, happylarry said:

Both parties “have” to be present for an amphur divorce.

You will need to divorce in court which is no problem because you need to be seperated for two years. There are no short cuts.

In your original post you state that you are happy to status quo because you wont be marrying another “Thai” girl. You do realise that your Thai marriage is recognised worldwide so whatever nationality you got married to then you would be guilty of bigamy. It makes no difference whether you have registered it in the USA. Just pointing this out because you give the impression you think it only applies to Thai girls......lol

Not so sure.

 

Some 6 years back my Thai nephew married a Thai lady, all done and documented at the local amphur office.

 

Within 6 months they separated. Nephew called the amphur office how to proceed quickly with full divorce.

 

He went to the local amphur office alone, staff said 'both must attend' 

but then advised that he could come to the amphur office with a simple letter with Garuda insignia and amphur office address, prepared at any other amphur office, to explain the lady wanted to be divorced and signed by the lady, a senior from the amphur office and a witness attending with the Thai lady, 20Baht, all done on the spot.

 

Nephew received the above letter from his estranged wife, went to his local amphur office, divorce all completed, all done in 15 - 20 minutes, 20Baht and the documents included mention of permission for the lady to have her ID card and name in Tabien Baan book reverted to her maiden name.

 

Nephew sent divorce finalization documents (above) to his now ex wife, she went to Amphur office, name changed, new ID card issued on the spot, Tabien Baan book updated, total about 60Baht. 

 

I called my nephew just now, he confirmed he / they didn't go to any court, all done at Amphur offices.  

 

 

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You may not like it but you are going to have to come to Thailand or engage a lawyer (money) in Thailand to act for you. As above some have said that you can fill in and sign a document, that document is only available at an Amphur office and your signature must be witnessed by a Thai citizen. The other option is that you and your ex engage lawyers to represent you in the Thai court to have your marriage dissolved and you are looking at big money with lawyers and the courts. My suggestion for you is to do a quick hop to Bangkok and meet up with your ex at an Amphur office in Bangkok and do your consensual divorce with 2 witnesses for 20 baht and it will take you about 20-30 minutes. Then she can go and do a name change and get a new ID card and you can hop on a plane and return to the states. Failing to come to Thailand could end up very messy and expensive. 

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6 minutes ago, Russell17au said:

You may not like it but you are going to have to come to Thailand or engage a lawyer (money) in Thailand to act for you. As above some have said that you can fill in and sign a document, that document is only available at an Amphur office and your signature must be witnessed by a Thai citizen. The other option is that you and your ex engage lawyers to represent you in the Thai court to have your marriage dissolved and you are looking at big money with lawyers and the courts. My suggestion for you is to do a quick hop to Bangkok and meet up with your ex at an Amphur office in Bangkok and do your consensual divorce with 2 witnesses for 20 baht and it will take you about 20-30 minutes. Then she can go and do a name change and get a new ID card and you can hop on a plane and return to the states. Failing to come to Thailand could end up very messy and expensive. 

Or he can file in the US, since that is where he lives, and be divorced in the US, but then there is the issue my ex and I went went through with what needed to be completed to be divorced in Thailand. Either way he needs to spend some coin.  Divorce is not cheap unless you are already here, and have nothing, and no kids, then its the trip together to the Amphur with the Marriage certs and then be divorced that way.  We tried to do it with the Marriage Certificates and do the Thai Divorce at the Amphur, but they would not let us since she we were already divorced in the US.  It needed to be done the way we did it....end of story. Things have changed probably because of all the sham marriages for Visas...

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7 minutes ago, ThailandRyan said:

Or he can file in the US, since that is where he lives, and be divorced in the US, but then there is the issue my ex and I went went through with what needed to be completed to be divorced in Thailand. Either way he needs to spend some coin.  Divorce is not cheap unless you are already here, and have nothing, and no kids, then its the trip together to the Amphur with the Marriage certs and then be divorced that way.  We tried to do it with the Marriage Certificates and do the Thai Divorce at the Amphur, but they would not let us since she we were already divorced in the US.  It needed to be done the way we did it....end of story.

I did it here in Bangkok 4 years ago with my ex present and 2 witnesses and it was all over in 20 minutes with no hassles and cost me 20 baht, but we were both here in Bangkok.

Maybe the OP needs to think what is the cheapest way for him, he could come to Bangkok for a 3-4 days on a visa exempt meet his ex at Min Buri Amphur office and 2 witnesses and no English translator needed there as some other Amphur Offices do require them. But, yes, he does need to spend some money whatever way he goes

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could it be there are a number of unc0ntrollable debts raised, since you left?

 - that were raised by the female half of what even now, is still as a recognised coupkles partnership! Debts 'you'  had/have no idea of even existing...

 Worried you - if went there will cop these, as it would be seen as you being equally liable? 

 

if she enables getting herself away from the falang surname, the debts become yours once she disappears unhindered...  

 

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7 minutes ago, Russell17au said:

I did it here in Bangkok 4 years ago with my ex present and 2 witnesses and it was all over in 20 minutes with no hassles and cost me 20 baht, but we were both here in Bangkok.

Thats the way it should be done for here in Thailand.  He needs to come here, or she will need to go to court here to make the claim of abandonment and let the court dissolve the marriage.  However, he then risks anything that she might try and request from him granted by the court since he has no representation.  Either way it will cost him some money, as he needs to fly here and do the Amphur divorce.  I did the divorce in the US because we both lived there at the time and I had a pension that required it be done that way so the pension could be separated from her, as I had worked my final 4 years while married to her, which would have given her 50% of the final 4 years for the rest of her life.  She walked with nothing except the property here in Thailand I had bought and the house I built, which her parents live in, as well as the truck I bought.  I walked with keeping my pension intact and owing her nothing else.

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25 minutes ago, Russell17au said:

Failing to come to Thailand could end up very messy and expensive. 

I am very much in agreement with you.

 

Get on a plane..do the business..and get it over with.

 

Make sure that everything is translated and certified.

 

It might end up costing far more by going a more serpentine route.

 

One should never be satisfied with the "status quo" as peculiar things can often happen when one is in a state of suspended animation.

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9 minutes ago, tifino said:

could it be there are a number of unc0ntrollable debts raised, since you left?

 - that were raised by the female half of what even now, is still as a recognised coupkles partnership! Debts 'you'  had/have no idea of even existing...

 Worried you - if went there will cop these, as it would be seen as you being equally liable? 

 

if she enables getting herself away from the falang surname, the debts become yours once she disappears unhindered...  

 

Yes, the property and debts are another thing that he needs to think about as while they are still legally married he is responsible for 50% of any debts that she incurs plus she is entitled to 50% of anything that he buys whilst they are still legally married.

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31 minutes ago, tifino said:

 if went there will cop these, as it would be seen as you being equally liable? 

Nonsense.  Unless they are in joint names a husband is not 50% liable for debts incurred by his wife!

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2 minutes ago, Just Weird said:

Nonsense.  A husband is not liable for debts incurred by his wife!

During a marriage, 50% of all property and money earned is seen as community property.  Credit card debt accumulated during the marriage is also the same.  The caveat being that these debts must be from a qualified source such as a bank or a department store where there are records of transactions.  Just by stating that she or he owes so and so money does not qualify as a debt, even if fake paperwork, which has not been notarized or legalized, is used as usury to claim a debt.

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1 minute ago, ThailandRyan said:
7 minutes ago, Just Weird said:

Nonsense.  A husband is not liable for debts incurred by his wife!

During a marriage, 50% of all property and money earned is seen as community property.  Credit card debt accumulated during the marriage is also the same.  The caveat being that these debts must be from a qualified source such as a bank or a department store where there are records of transactions.  Just by stating that she or he owes so and so money does not qualify as a debt, even if fake paperwork, which has not been notarized or legalized, is used as usury to claim a debt.

Debts incurred solely by the wife, in her sole name, are not the responsibility of the husband.

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6 minutes ago, Just Weird said:

Nonsense.  Unless they are in joint names a husband is not 50% liable for debts incurred by his wife!

 debts might not necessarily be of the official kind... when the Collector comes, they go for whoever is still around in sight...  

 

too many scenarios... so maybe let's wait for OP to step foot over there, and see for real what the problem really is...

 

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12 minutes ago, Just Weird said:

Debts incurred solely by the wife, in her sole name, are not the responsibility of the husband.

When a couple divorces in Thailand all marital property (sin somros) is divided equally. personal property (sin suan tua) remains owned by the individual. Thus marital property is anything acquired during marriage by way of gift, purchase, or inheritance. Personal property is anything acquired before the marriage like a house, tools, equipment and any possessions. If both parties agree then the proceedings are straight forward.

 

Both parties are responsible for debts incurred from household affairs, education and medical bills. One can have a legal prenuptial agreement where property is subject to foreign laws. To be valid the prenuptial must be tendered at the marriage registration to be effective and signed by both parties and 2 witnesses. Most of these prenuptial agreements are between foreigners and Thais. 

 

If one partner is employed, property is split equally. If the wife stays home and looks after the children she has the right to half even though she is not receiving payment. The parents divorcing can agree on who pays for the children’s education and day to day living expenses and maintenance. If they cannot agree the Court will rule and may also decide on living allowances based on the ability of the grantor and the status of the receiver.

 

If she lays a claim the debts she incurred were necessary to live her life as she had when together, he may be out on a limb per the Thailand  Family Law Chapter 29.

 

To say he is not responsible for her personal debts is a chasm that must be crossed.  He will need representation here unless he and she agree to the quick Amphur wedding and he appears here with her.  

 

Proving the date they separated is key to determining the responsibility of debts

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2 minutes ago, ThailandRyan said:

When a couple divorces in Thailand all marital property (sin somros) is divided equally. personal property (sin suan tua) remains owned by the individual. Thus marital property is anything acquired during marriage by way of gift, purchase, or inheritance. Personal property is anything acquired before the marriage like a house, tools, equipment and any possessions. If both parties agree then the proceedings are straight forward.

 

Both parties are responsible for debts incurred from household affairs, education and medical bills. One can have a legal prenuptial agreement where property is subject to foreign laws. To be valid the prenuptial must be tendered at the marriage registration to be effective and signed by both parties and 2 witnesses. Most of these prenuptial agreements are between foreigners and Thais. 

 

If one partner is employed, property is split equally. If the wife stays home and looks after the children she has the right to half even though she is not receiving payment. The parents divorcing can agree on who pays for the children’s education and day to day living expenses and maintenance. If they cannot agree the Court will rule and may also decide on living allowances based on the ability of the grantor and the status of the receiver.

 

If she lays a claim the debts she incurred were necessary to live her life as she had when together, he may be out on a limb per the Thailand  Family Law Chapter 29.

 

To say he is not responsible for her personal debts is a chasm that must be crossed.  He will need representation here unless he and she agree to the quick Amphur wedding and he appears here with her.  

As I said, personal debts incurred in her own, sole name with no connection to the husband do not become his responsibility just because they are married and nothing in that comment states otherwise.

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1 minute ago, Just Weird said:

As I said, personal debts incurred in her own, sole name with no connection to the husband do not become his responsibility just because they are married and nothing in that comment states otherwise.

Take a look at Chapter 29 of the Thai Family law, he may or may not be, but unless there are papers he has signed from her saying that from the day they separated and he left, that he is not responsible for any debt she incurs, he could be on the hook.  It is not always as clear as day, more like clear as mud.  No arguments from me, just laying out facts and possibilities, without knowing more from the OP.  All marriages are different and not the same when it comes to money, loans, gifts, and prenuptial agreements.

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My wife divorced at the ampure and got her former surname back without me present after 3 years separation. 

I don't have a clue what she payed for this since I don't answer her calls or e-mails.

She had to get a written and confirmed reason for divorce done by som government official why she wanted divorce. I got a copy of this statement in my mailbox and it was full of lies and BS about me having an affair, beating her, not support her with money and so on. 

She left me 7 years ago and I still live in the same house in Chonburi that I bough back in 2006 and we own together . (still waiting for a divorce lawyer showing up on my doorstep and claiming 50% of my assets.)

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2 hours ago, tifino said:

 debts might not necessarily be of the official kind... when the Collector comes, they go for whoever is still around in sight...  

 

too many scenarios... so maybe let's wait for OP to step foot over there, and see for real what the problem really is...

 

Make sure to bring a bodyguard if/when the debt collector shows up, things can get ugly if thai wife owes money and her husband refuse to pay.

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There is one way he could get divorced in the court without returning to Thailand in person. 

My wife represented an American soldier who was working in Iraq a few years ago. She sent him a power of attorney form and a lawyer appointment form which he signed and had notarised and sent back by courier. This then allowed the lawyer to submit the paper to the court and start the case. In a divorce the first hearing is always the negotiation hearing. Both parties attend this with their legal team and a judge and try to come to a mutually agreed settlement. In this case my wife was representing the client with her power of attorney. They came to an agreement and the case was finalised without the client in person.

However, if the case had then gone to the main hearing then the client would have to appear in person for that. So if the case looks complicated then dont consider using power of attorney.

 

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Out of curiosity how much money  did u loose on her already during the marriage?

I would take that loss into consideration of any more financial burden she tries to get u sucked into.

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16 hours ago, Destiny1990 said:

Out of curiosity how much money  did u loose on her already during the marriage?

I would take that loss into consideration of any more financial burden she tries to get u sucked into.

More impotently question: How much money will he keep on giving her in the future after the divorce is settled?  

After what I understand she is still begging money from him after separating.

Too many "good samaritan" western gentlemen getting abused just because they don't understand that this is only business for many Thais.

 

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The OP writer has gone silent.  Not sure what his motives are, unless he is cringing at the thought of ending his marriage the correct way and taking the financial issues that may come with it.....

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