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Thai Law regarding "Life Partner" vs. Marriage


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10 years ago a Thai lawyer, that I can unfortunately not locate today, told me the following in an email: 


"If a Buddhist wedding ceremony takes place with photos to document it, then the Supreme Court has split the assets based on a “Life Partnership” arrangement. This was when there were wedding pictures and the couple was known as husband and wife but never registered the marriage. According to the Thai law, the Thai authorities will sometimes recognize a  relationship as a “Life Partnership”, not a marriage, which can allow a partner to claim 50% of the assets derived during the relationship."


Does anyone know of or have experience about this? and or, can anyone recommend a lawyer that can clarify this for me. Thanks, and PLEASE DO NOT leave “just your opinion” because it may sidetrack the discussion thread. “Experienced Only” need respond. Thanks!!!

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Thai courts are not bound by decisions of the Supreme Court since it is not a common law system. A freak decision is always possible but I strongly suspect that the legal decision is not what you think it is. You have a vague memory of a chat from years ago.


Obviously, if you live with somebody for a long time then there will be lots of legal arguments over co-owned assets. Clearly an extravagant event may be used to infer intent to give the other person co-ownership of your assets. 

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@LuckyG I think you are inquiring about something similar to this. A judge in Buriram established a precedent in 2020 in which a common law marriage is recognised in Thailand and have the full rights of marriage. I think that sort of fits into the "Life Partner" definition that you're looking to discuss.


https://scandasia.com/danish-man-wins-lawsuit-against-thai-wife-for-not-sharing-assets/  It says Thai wife in the title, but there had been no ceremony nor registration at the Amphur (Ampoe).

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  • 2 weeks later...

I’ve been legally married to a Thai woman for 24 years and after the first year we each had two wills drawn up, one Thai and one in the UK. Makes life easier if anything happens. Actually, both say basically the same thing, that in the event of my death, everything,  property and money etc goes to my wife (changed 12 years ago to take account of our son being born who has UK/Thai nationality) and she has two similar wills in case anything happens to her. Any property in Thailand obviously has to go to our son which I’m fine with. 
Having said that, every now and again some Thai court judge does a wobbly and rule’s differently. 

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