Grounds for Divorce in Thailand

Grounds for Divorce in Thailand. In Thailand, as in many countries, the decision to dissolve a marriage is never easy. While divorce is often a last resort, understanding the legal grounds and procedures can make the process smoother and less daunting. This article aims to shed light on the grounds for divorce in Thailand, helping couples navigate this challenging time with clarity and confidence.

Legal Grounds for Divorce

Thailand’s legal system recognizes both fault-based and no-fault grounds for divorce. Below are the primary grounds under which a divorce can be sought:

  1. Adultery: One of the most common grounds for divorce, adultery refers to one spouse engaging in a sexual relationship outside of marriage. Proof of adultery is crucial for filing a divorce petition on this ground.
  2. Unreasonable Behavior: This includes any behavior by one spouse that makes it intolerable for the other to continue living together. Examples may include physical or emotional abuse, substance abuse, or financial irresponsibility.
  3. Abandonment: If one spouse has deserted the other for a continuous period of at least one year without consent or justifiable reason, the deserted spouse may file for divorce on these grounds.
  4. Separation: Couples living separately for a continuous period of at least three years may seek a divorce by mutual consent. Both parties must agree to the divorce and provide evidence of their separate living arrangements.
  5. Incarceration: If one spouse is sentenced to imprisonment for a period of more than one year, the other spouse may file for divorce.
  6. Mental Illness: If one spouse has been deemed mentally ill by a medical professional for at least three years and the condition is deemed incurable, the other spouse may seek a divorce.

Legal Procedures for Divorce

The divorce process in Thailand typically involves the following steps:

  1. Consultation with a Lawyer: Before initiating the divorce process, it’s advisable to consult with a qualified lawyer specializing in family law. They can provide guidance on the grounds applicable to your situation and assist with the legal proceedings.
  2. Filing a Divorce Petition: The divorce petition, outlining the grounds for divorce and any supporting evidence, must be submitted to the district court in the province where the marriage was registered or where either spouse resides.
  3. Mediation and Counseling: In some cases, the court may require the couple to undergo mediation or counseling to explore the possibility of reconciliation before granting a divorce.
  4. Court Hearing and Judgment: If reconciliation is not possible, the court will proceed with the divorce hearing. Both parties may present their case, and the court will render a judgment based on the evidence and applicable laws.
  5. Finalizing the Divorce: Once the divorce is granted, both parties must register the divorce certificate at the district office (Amphur) where the marriage was registered to finalize the divorce legally.


Navigating the grounds for divorce in Thailand can be complex and emotionally challenging. However, by understanding the legal grounds, consulting with legal professionals, and approaching the process with patience and respect, couples can navigate this transition with dignity and clarity. Whether seeking divorce due to adultery, unreasonable behavior, or other grounds recognized by Thai law, it’s essential to seek legal guidance and support to ensure a fair and equitable resolution for all parties involved.

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