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Can a Thai wife get at USA assets upon divorce, even if we never go to the USA?


BananaBandit

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On 11/22/2020 at 12:10 PM, Mops59 said:

Have your parents exclude any wife of their will. So it will always be yours regardless whole you marry.

That simply wont work. Once the money has been passed to him, the will instructions have been satisfied, the power of the will is ended and the money is his to do as he likes. This means subsequently in a divorce the wife can claim some part of his assets.

 

If the inheritance is put in trust then the situation is different but he will not necessarily have freedom to do as he pleases with the inheritance (depends on trust provisions and how the law allows).

 

The real issue is he wishes to marry for a visa and risks the Thai wife marrying for money and being determined to get it using lawyers wherever it is necessary.

 

A high risk game. WILL END BADLY! May lose half the assets and  will lose visa status in event of divorce!

 

My advise is come as a tourist as long as you can (90 days?), returning to home country briefly, apply for a new visa, repeat until aged 50 then get an extension based on retirement.

 

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Madness to marry for a visa. 

 

If she turns out to be a gold digger you will be screwed one way or another.

 

Will lose visa status.

May lose assets in both countries. (Don't underestimate a gold digger)

Emotional stress.

Unforeseen, unbudgeted costs. 

 

 

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On 11/21/2020 at 9:54 PM, bkk6060 said:

A wife even if married in the US does not get your inheritance if you do not comingal the funds.

 

On 11/21/2020 at 10:23 PM, Shot said:

"Generally, inheritances are not subject to equitable distribution because, by law, inheritances are not considered marital property. Instead, inheritances are treated as separate property belonging to the person who received the inheritance, and therefore may not be divided between the parties in a divorce."

 

https://family.findlaw.com/divorce/inheritance-and-divorce.html#:~:text=Generally%2C inheritances are not subject,the parties in a divorce.

 

Several guys on this thread have flat out warned me not to marry officially. I believe their warnings are given in earnest, and I also appreciate that some of them have been done wrong and seek to help others avoid the same injustice. 

 

In my case, though, the only really sizable assets I have to worry about are related to future inheritance. And based on what I've read on this thread and on several USA lawyer websites:  the inheritance I would receive, if not comingled (introduced into joint bank accounts, used to finance a jointly-shared house, etc.), tends to go unscathed by divorce. I realize there are no 100-percent guarantees with stuff like this. But, at least in my US homeland, it appears that non-comingled inheritance is not subject to the same degree of risk and invasion that other types of assets incur through divorce. 

 

Some people on this thread have also said there's nothing to gain by getting married. They well might be correct in their case. But, in my case, I have to disagree:  My quality of life outside of Thailand is considerably lower than my quality of life inside Thailand. I am too young for retirement visa, and that won't change anytime soon. 

 

If I have to leave Thailand, who knows how long it could be before I can get back. And though I'd prefer not to officially marry anyone, I indeed care about my significant other.

 

For what it's worth, I trust her a bit more than I trust most people. But ultimately I don't trust anyone much, if there's a lot to gain. That said, due to the reasons I've just stated here, I still think it's in my best interest to get legally married in Thailand. 

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On 11/22/2020 at 9:34 AM, thaibeachlovers said:

If you don't register your marriage in the US how would she be able to claim anything? Perhaps that's just being logical and she can, but could she afford to hire a lawyer in the US?

 

To be absolutely safe, don't officially marry a Thai woman. Village weddings are great- not legal.

 

You'd be screwed in NZ though. She only has to live with a man for 2 or 3 years and it's regarded as same as a legal marriage.

3years and that is not all NZ has become quite the money grabbing country from its citizens and their foreign wives/partners even if they never live in NZ... if you  are a tax resident of NZ, ( threshold for tax residency almost now amounts to no threshold at all ) NZ is now requiring essentially all income from anywhere in the world  to be declared including the wife's income to essentially determine the amount if tax paid is too little, which it almost certainly will be, and a tax bill given to you to pay the difference

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On 11/22/2020 at 9:35 AM, ThaidDown said:

Any inheritance money received by either spouse would remain their personal property (sin suan tua) and could not be claimed by the other in the event of divorce.

 

Thai CCC section 1471 line 3 applies.

 

A lot of bad/questionable advice being dispensed on the first page of this thread...

 

But as regards the OP's specific question about inheritance proceeds, I believe ThaidDown above has the correct answer here for both Thailand and the U.S. -- inheritance funds remain the sole property of the recipient and don't automatically become marital property subject to division.

 

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On 11/22/2020 at 9:54 AM, bkk6060 said:

A wife even if married in the US does not get your inheritance if you do not comingal the funds.

I went through this knowing the law I put the inherited funds in an account in my name only knowing at the time I was going to divorce and move to LOS.

So, if you make the mistake getting married keep it separate.

 

This above is the other facet of ThaiDown's correct answer above: once you actually have received an inheritance, it's probably best and safest to keep those funds segregated/separate from any joint marital accounts/amounts. That's the safest way to ensure inherited funds remain the sole property of the recipient regardless of marital status.

 

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11 hours ago, StevieAus said:

Pretty much the same in Australia although I think the time is less.

I often wonder whether the people asking these questions would do so if their wife was from their home country ?

Only 12 months living together in Oz, do not even have to be married. Trust me, I am the voice of experience.

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8 hours ago, wwest5829 said:

 Thai law states only income/property during the marriage is subject to split upon divorce (additional fine points, such as inheritance, Thai land exclusions).

 

That's correct. Any funds/balance accrued prior to marriage remain sole property... Though it may get a bit more complicated when it comes to the EARNINGS of those funds that happen during a marriage. On that latter point, I'm not sure how that work work out in Thailand...

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8 hours ago, spidermike007 said:

As long as you never bring her to the US, I doubt it. However, if you spend significant time there together, maybe. Otherwise, she has no chance of it. Where would she even start? And to be safe, there is no reason for her to even know wait your assets are in the US. Period. 

 

Apart from the OP's specific question above relating to inheritance funds, which has already been answered, there's the broader question about can a Thai wife living in Thailand, without a U.S. green card or established U.S. residency, file for/apply for divorce from an American in the U.S.?

 

In my years here, I've never heard of any case of that having occurred. There are probably several reasons for that. One, it's easier and cheaper to do it in Thailand. Two, the wife may have a language issue dealing in the U.S. Three, the wife living in Thailand may not be able to obtain travel permission/visa to the U.S. And four, even if she could travel and had the funds to pay for a divorce attorney, it's not clear she'd have jurisdiction to file for divorce in any U.S. state court, as she's not living there, wasn't married there, etc etc.

 

Now, on the other hand, if the couple were married in Thailand but later ended up moving to the U.S. and living there together in some state for a decent period of time, and then later she or they moved back to Thailand, that MIGHT be a different proposition.

 

 

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I'd say if the OP feels he has to get married, ensure the inheritance stays on US soil, say nothing about it, and never take his wife to America. Simple enough to say he doesn't have the money to go back, or he can't get a visa.

As a lawyer once said to me, money brings out the worst in people.

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1 hour ago, BananaBandit said:

 

 

Several guys on this thread have flat out warned me not to marry officially. I believe their warnings are given in earnest, and I also appreciate that some of them have been done wrong and seek to help others avoid the same injustice. 

 

In my case, though, the only really sizable assets I have to worry about are related to future inheritance. And based on what I've read on this thread and on several USA lawyer websites:  the inheritance I would receive, if not comingled (introduced into joint bank accounts, used to finance a jointly-shared house, etc.), tends to go unscathed by divorce. I realize there are no 100-percent guarantees with stuff like this. But, at least in my US homeland, it appears that non-comingled inheritance is not subject to the same degree of risk and invasion that other types of assets incur through divorce. 

 

Some people on this thread have also said there's nothing to gain by getting married. They well might be correct in their case. But, in my case, I have to disagree:  My quality of life outside of Thailand is considerably lower than my quality of life inside Thailand. I am too young for retirement visa, and that won't change anytime soon. 

 

If I have to leave Thailand, who knows how long it could be before I can get back. And though I'd prefer not to officially marry anyone, I indeed care about my significant other.

 

For what it's worth, I trust her a bit more than I trust most people. But ultimately I don't trust anyone much, if there's a lot to gain. That said, due to the reasons I've just stated here, I still think it's in my best interest to get legally married in Thailand. 

The problem is, if it's a sizable pot then anything can happen. Buyer beware.

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Divorcing in the US would not be an option. If she has never lived in or visited the USA then she has no rights there.

 

She can apply for the divorce in Thailand and then apply to get access to the assets if the court so orders but inheritance funds are not included.

 

In reality, there is no connection at all between the place of marriage and where a couple might divorce. What matters is that a spouse on separation has a sufficient connecting factor to the country they seek to divorce in under the laws of that country and at the time they wish to bring those proceedings. 

 

The fact their partner was born in the USA does not give them a strong enough connection. Almost all states (except Alaska and Washington) require you to be a resident before you may file your divorce papers there. The required length of time varies per state, but it's at least six months in most states. When you file your divorce papers, you must show proof that you have resided in that state for the required amount of time and that does not mean you can come as a tourist and do it.

 

She will not qualify to file for divorce in the USA so it's just Thai law you need to focus on.

 

However if she was to become a widow. Well that's a different matter. So my advice is don't give her the temptation. If you do decide to marry then make sure she knows your Will leaves her nothing. You never know.

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On 11/22/2020 at 1:46 PM, uncleP said:

The US recognizes pre nups where as the UK , for example, does not. Perhaps this is the way to go, however, why get married if you already don't  trust her. 

 

maybe because he understands how many guys have lost a lot of money to sweet wonderful ladies that they trusted ...

 

"don't get married.   just find someone you are going to hate in five years and buy her a house"

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On 11/22/2020 at 3:16 AM, ThailandRyan said:

Any marriage in Thailand is officially recognized in the US, and that spouse can be added to any benefits such as US based medical policies, retirement pension benefits and such.  The spouse can also be added as a dependent and a ITN can be obtained for tax purposes as well for the Annual taxes required to be filed.  However, anything obtained outside of the marriage, basically before the marriage, is not attainable by the spouse upon divorce.  50% of assets gained during the marriage, outside of an inheritance that should be put into a family Trust will be attainable.  My prenup for my now ex-wife kept her from obtaining anything except her vehicle and the clothes on her back when she decided to have an affair and left for the millionaire she found.  However, much depends upon how much info you share.

 

Surely only if its recongised by the embassy. A village wedding for example doesn't count.

 

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11 hours ago, Lacessit said:

Only 12 months living together in Oz, do not even have to be married. Trust me, I am the voice of experience.

Yes I thought that was the case I seem to remember it being changed when I was still living there and that is getting close to ten years ago.

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3 hours ago, Chelseafan said:

 

Surely only if its recongised by the embassy. A village wedding for example doesn't count.

 

A true marriage, registered at the Amphur is recognized by the US, and there is no such thing as having to register it with the embassy or in the US.  A village ceremony is not a true marriage, but more of a formality allowing in the eyes of the family for you to live as husband and wife, yet you are not legally married, so any property obtained after a village ceremony is unfortunately seen as a gift and not splittable at 50/50 when you split up, as a divorce is not needed.

 

I have been there and done that.  The first GF I never married, and had only a village ceremony.  Walked away with what I could carry in my truck, thankfully I took my refrigerator, washer, dryer, television, and of course the scooter I had bought.  Second GF I actually married, and then we moved to the US where she obtained her US Citizenship after having a green card.  That one I had a pre-nup with, only had a Thai Marriage certificate, and when she cheated and left I had to file the Divorce in the US.  Now the Divorce has to be certified by the US Department of State, Translated to Thai and Certified by the Thai Embassy in Washington DC, then Taken to the MFA here in Bangkok to be legalized, and then off to the Amphur which still has us as married even though she is divorced in the US and remarried.  Until our Thai marriage can be undone at the Amphur she can not register her marriage to her new US Husband if and when they come to Thailand.  That is the only way a foreign marriage it gets registered here in Thailand.  Not the other way around.  A divorce here is also recognized in the US.

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On 11/22/2020 at 9:41 AM, Salerno said:
On 11/22/2020 at 9:34 AM, thaibeachlovers said:

To be absolutely safe, don't officially marry a Thai woman. Village weddings are great- not legal.

 

But doesn't get him the visa/extension he's looking for (reading between the lines).

 

That's what agents are for (and you don't have to marry them either).

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First off inheritance can not be claimed by your wife. Plus what goes on in America should not be mentioned to your thai wife. Don't be the big shot and brag to any thai how super rich you are. My thai wife doesn't have a clue what investments or savings I have. I just told her that when I pass, she will be taken care of. And will never let her know how much it is. If she knew I would be dead by the end of the day. 

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On 11/23/2020 at 12:16 AM, spidermike007 said:

As long as you never bring her to the US, I doubt it. However, if you spend significant time there together, maybe. Otherwise, she has no chance of it. Where would she even start? And to be safe, there is no reason for her to even know wait your assets are in the US. Period. 

 

Where would she even start?   With a phone call to one of her friends who divorced an American.

 

I don't know the answer, but I do know that it's naïve to think she can't figure it out if there is a way to demonetize her ex.

 

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On 11/22/2020 at 4:16 PM, ThailandRyan said:

Any marriage in Thailand is officially recognized in the US, and that spouse can be added to any benefits such as US based medical policies, retirement pension benefits and such.  The spouse can also be added as a dependent and a ITN can be obtained for tax purposes as well for the Annual taxes required to be filed.  However, anything obtained outside of the marriage, basically before the marriage, is not attainable by the spouse upon divorce.  50% of assets gained during the marriage, outside of an inheritance that should be put into a family Trust will be attainable.  My prenup for my now ex-wife kept her from obtaining anything except her vehicle and the clothes on her back when she decided to have an affair and left for the millionaire she found.  However, much depends upon how much info you share.

Sounds complicated. Simplest answer and the sanest IMO is village wedding or nothing. I wish I'd known about that before I was conned into getting amphur marriage.

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On 11/24/2020 at 3:11 AM, Lacessit said:

Only 12 months living together in Oz, do not even have to be married. Trust me, I am the voice of experience.

Women are really clever. When men started only living together with women they changed the rules so they can still ruin their once beloved.

Wish I could go back in time and resist the desire to co habitate with the woman that ruined me financially. I'd be living in my own house now, if I'd done that.

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