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Divorce Thai wife while both living in UK


bushman1666

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Hi

My Thai wife and I were married at the local Amphoe when we were living in Thailand about 7 years ago. We both now live in the UK but have separated and want to get divorced. However, there is this little thing called COVID 19 that will, for the foreseeable future, stop us getting back to Thailand. This means we can not go to the Amphoe where we married in person to get the divorce done. Does anyone know if it is possible for us to get a legal divorce in Thailand without visiting the country? Perhaps a Thai lawyer can help with this?

 

Your help will be much appreciated.

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5 minutes ago, anfh said:

Did you register your marriage in the UK when you moved there ?  If so, you can divorce easily in UK.

 

even if not, you cab divorce in UK and under Thai law, that divorce will be recognised in Thailand 

 

http://www.thailawforum.com/blog/recognition-of-a-thai-marriage-or-divorce-in-the-uk

registration is not required under UK laws

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As far as I know, you can't disolve the Thai marriage remotely at an Amphur.  But provided you have a legally registered Thai marriage, you can still get divorced in the UK.  I don't know how its done but I've heard of others doing it.

 

However, if I was you I'd hang on a while until you can get back to Thailand - providing you're both in agreement and have come to an arrangement over finances and access arrangements to any children, its very easy - 20 minutes tops.

 

What you don't want is your wife talking to a UK lawyer - unless you like getting ripped.

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23 minutes ago, KhaoYai said:

As far as I know, you can't disolve the Thai marriage remotely at an Amphur.  But provided you have a legally registered Thai marriage, you can still get divorced in the UK.  I don't know how its done but I've heard of others doing it.

 

However, if I was you I'd hang on a while until you can get back to Thailand - providing you're both in agreement and have come to an arrangement over finances and access arrangements to any children, its very easy - 20 minutes tops.

 

What you don't want is your wife talking to a UK lawyer - unless you like getting ripped.

It is equally possible to be ripped in Thailand by a Thai lawyer, he said, feelingly

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9 hours ago, Farang99 said:

It is equally possible to be ripped in Thailand by a Thai lawyer, he said, feelingly

The difference is that if you are both in agreement and have sorted finances and child access, you don't need a lawyer in Thailand.

 

There is also no overall expectation that as some women think, they are entitled to 50% of their husband's wealth. Not that that's actually the case in the UK but I'd wager that a guy getting a divorce in the UK will come out of it a whole lot poorer than they would if they divorced in Thailand.

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10 hours ago, KhaoYai said:

As far as I know, you can't disolve the Thai marriage remotely at an Amphur.  But provided you have a legally registered Thai marriage, you can still get divorced in the UK.  I don't know how its done but I've heard of others doing it.

 

However, if I was you I'd hang on a while until you can get back to Thailand - providing you're both in agreement and have come to an arrangement over finances and access arrangements to any children, its very easy - 20 minutes tops.

 

What you don't want is your wife talking to a UK lawyer - unless you like getting ripped.

Its just the same process as if you married in UK.  You can do it yourself, no need for a lawyer. 

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4 minutes ago, Pilotman said:

Its just the same process as if you married in UK.  You can do it yourself, no need for a lawyer. 

Its far from the same process, its completely different.  Provided both parties are in agreement, a divorce at an Amphur in Thailand takes about 20 minutes, one visit - done!  The UK process involves quite a lot of paperwork, and has 2 stages - Decree Nisi and Decree absolute. In most cases reasons for the divorce needs to be stated and there are minimum separation periods.

 

Yes you can do a UK divorce yourself but most choose not to because it appears complicated.  At that stage they see a lawyer and that's when the problems start.

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Just now, KhaoYai said:

Its far from the same process, its completely different.  Provided both parties are in agreement, a divorce at an Amphur in Thailand takes about 20 minutes, one visit - done!  The UK process involves quite a lot of paperwork, and has 2 stages - Decree Nisi and Decree absolute. In most cases reasons for the divorce needs to be stated and there are minimum separation periods.

 

Yes you can do a UK divorce yourself but most choose not to because it appears complicated.  At that stage they see a lawyer and that's when the problems start.

I said divorcing in UK whether or not you married in the UK, is the same process. It takes one A4 sized, 4 page form to divorce in the UK and one two page form to go from Decree Nisi to absolute. I don't call that a lot of paperwork. 

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1 hour ago, Pilotman said:

I said divorcing in UK whether or not you married in the UK, is the same process. It takes one A4 sized, 4 page form to divorce in the UK and one two page form to go from Decree Nisi to absolute. I don't call that a lot of paperwork. 

Its not the same process at all, nothing like it.  Firstly there is no Decree Nisi in Thailand and secondly there is no waiting period before being able to get a divorce - provided it can be done at an Amphur. The couple simply turn up at the Amphur and submit their application. Provided there is no queue, 20 minutes later they leave - divorced.

 

The one page of A4 that you suggest is incorrect, what follows is the request for financial details and of any proposed settlement.  If there are kids involved it can get very complicated as the family court may themselves may raise objections to the proposed settlement, regardless of the couple's intentions if they feel its in the best interest of the children.

 

As I said earlier, most people in the UK opt for at least one party using a lawyer and if that party is the female, they are advised of what they may be able to claim from their husband in settlement - that's often when the sh&t hits the fan.

 

Been there done that, both ways.  I remember getting the phone call from my ex, "I've been advised of my rights, I'm entitled to 50%".  She actually wasn't - not 50%, no doubt the lawyer had actually said 'up to 50%' but I'm sure it would have cost me dearly. Fortunately her mother persuaded her to drop it or things would have got very nasty.  I persuaded her to travel to Thailand (paid for the ticket mind) and get divorced at an Amphur - done, settled, finished, zero payout.

 

If you read things like panthip.com - you will see whole topics advising Thai women on what they can get out of divorcing a foreigner and they tell them to see a lawyer if abroad.

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54 minutes ago, KhaoYai said:

Its not the same process at all, nothing like it.  Firstly there is no Decree Nisi in Thailand and secondly there is no waiting period before being able to get a divorce - provided it can be done at an Amphur. The couple simply turn up at the Amphur and submit their application. Provided there is no queue, 20 minutes later they leave - divorced.

 

The one page of A4 that you suggest is incorrect, what follows is the request for financial details and of any proposed settlement.  If there are kids involved it can get very complicated as the family court may themselves may raise objections to the proposed settlement, regardless of the couple's intentions if they feel its in the best interest of the children.

 

As I said earlier, most people in the UK opt for at least one party using a lawyer and if that party is the female, they are advised of what they may be able to claim from their husband in settlement - that's often when the sh&t hits the fan.

 

Been there done that, both ways.  I remember getting the phone call from my ex, "I've been advised of my rights, I'm entitled to 50%".  She actually wasn't - not 50%, no doubt the lawyer had actually said 'up to 50%' but I'm sure it would have cost me dearly. Fortunately her mother persuaded her to drop it or things would have got very nasty.  I persuaded her to travel to Thailand (paid for the ticket mind) and get divorced at an Amphur - done, settled, finished, zero payout.

 

If you read things like panthip.com - you will see whole topics advising Thai women on what they can get out of divorcing a foreigner and they tell them to see a lawyer if abroad.

Give me strength.  That was not the point I was making.  I never mentioned the process in Thailand, the OP was asking about the process in UK.  For goodness sake read the posts before you jump on your keyboard. If you knew anything about the UK process at all, you should know that the financial settlement is separate from the divorce process itself and can be attached to it, for example if children are involved,  or part of an additional Judge's hearing or, if both parties agree a settlement, just a legal sign off at a later date. Some financial settlements have not been concluded until many years after a Decree Absolute and this has caught some people out years later when their pension gets called into question, or in one reported case, when one of the party won the lottery and no financial settlement was in place,.  

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13 hours ago, Pilotman said:

Give me strength.  That was not the point I was making.  I never mentioned the process in Thailand, the OP was asking about the process in UK.  For goodness sake read the posts before you jump on your keyboard. If you knew anything about the UK process at all, you should know that the financial settlement is separate from the divorce process itself and can be attached to it,

Fair enough, I accept I misread your post.  However, I do know a little about UK divorces (I've had 2) and it can be very simple if you both agree on a financial settlement - it was made easier in the last few years.

 

You are correct that the financial settlement is separate from the divorce but there is no guaranteed peace without it. The only way to end matters completely and prevent future claims is to have one. So in reality, its not separate is it?

 

The financial settlement, if disputed is extremely complicated in the UK - the rules regarding that have also changed in recent years.  As you should know, if either party has any wealth, even wealth they held before the marriage, they can lose a portion of it. They almost certainly lose a proportion of the uplift in the amount of that wealth since the marriage. It doesn't have to be a great deal of wealth and a spouse can even claim part of the others pension. But there are protections and most people don't know what they are so let me put it like this:

 

You make it sound very easy, it can be but it can also be very complicated. If I was divorcing in the UK and my wife was at all antagonistic regarding the finances, I would use a solicitor. We know nothing of the OP's finances so its best he's advised of the pitfalls rather than jumping in to a UK divorce without advice.

 

I had a number of properties and my ex thought she would get her grubby little paws on part of them. I'd worked all my life to buy those properties - they were my pension. I was only married to her for 4 years but her solicitor had told her she might get a substantial settlement.  However, when I saw a solicitor they pointed out several things - some that I knew of but one that I didn't and that changed everything.  The length of the marriage is taken into account, the financial contributions each has made to the marriage etc. etc. but the one that I had no idea about probably saved me the most.  As with many Thai/Foreign marriages, my wife was considerably younger than me.  My solicitor advised me that in awarding any financial settlement the court takes into account the impact any settlement would have on my future finances.  To put that plainly, my wife had many years left to work and therefore the opportunity to save for her future, buy a house etc. etc. On the other hand I had much less working life left to enable me to recover from any losses through the settlement.

 

My solicitior took all my financial details and calculated that my wife would in fact get very little - far less than I'd been considering to get her off my back.  The 2 main reasons for that were a). The short marriage and b). The impact of any settlement on my future finances and ability to recover. I advise my wife what I'd been told and I think she must have put it to her lawyer because a few weeks later her exact words were "I don't want your pennies" - quite a change in position. 

 

I later found out that her mother (who I'm still friendly with) had persuaded her to drop all claims, accept my air ticket and get divorced in Thailand.  Knowing my now ex wife, she would not have done that if she believed she was liklely to receive a substantial payout.

 

I would never have known about the 'future impact' matter if I hadn't seen a solicitor and I doubt many guys know about it too.

 

If there are kids involved its even more complicated - many wives welch on access agreements etc. and they are also usually given the right to remain in the family home until the kids are grown.  I know little of that because we didn't have any kids.

 

Unless my wife was prepared to sign a statement that she either agreed to a settlement or didn't require one, I would always use a lawyer.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/22/2021 at 5:27 PM, KhaoYai said:

The difference is that if you are both in agreement and have sorted finances and child access, you don't need a lawyer in Thailand.

 

There is also no overall expectation that as some women think, they are entitled to 50% of their husband's wealth. Not that that's actually the case in the UK but I'd wager that a guy getting a divorce in the UK will come out of it a whole lot poorer than they would if they divorced in Thailand.

Won't come out cheaper than Thailand if there's assets involved in the wifes name.

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15 hours ago, HashBrownHarry said:

Won't come out cheaper than Thailand if there's assets involved in the wifes name.

I think you're misreading my post.

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My understanding is that whilst you can get divorced in Thailand, if you have been married for more than 12 months that will not be accepted by the UK courts and you would need to go through the process in the UK and thus the Thai stuff would be a waste of time, though you could complete it to make things legal in Thailand without having to go through the hoops of having an Amphur recognise a UK divorce.

I think if you Google this for the UK you will come up with this answer because that is where I got it from, some official government page, not from a internet forum.

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