A Thailand prenuptial agreement, also known as a Thai prenup, is a contract between two individuals before they get married. A prenuptial agreement typically includes a list of properties each party owns and indicates their right to the property in the case of divorce.
Some jurisdictions refer to a prenuptial agreement as an ante-nuptial agreement or a pre-marital agreement. Thai prenuptial agreements relate to a husband and wife’s property relations within the marriage and in the case that the marriage is dissolved.
How to Get a Prenuptial Agreement in Thailand
Prenuptial agreements in Thailand are governed by the Thai Civil and Commercial Code. Therefore, seeking guidance from a competent Thai family lawyer, a solicitor who is well-versed in the legal requirements of your home country and Thailand, or an attorney is advised. Such a professional can prepare a Thai prenuptial agreement involving you and your Thai national partner effectively.
Requirements of a Prenuptial Agreement in Thailand
The Thai Civil and Commercial Code specifies several requirements for individuals who wish to draft a Thai prenuptial agreement:
- The agreement must be drafted as a written contract. Each involved party must have respective legal counsel.
- The agreement must be drafted and finalized before the marriage. Any agreement regarding marital and personal property made after the registration of the marriage is completed will be void.
- The involved parties are required to sign the prenuptial agreement with two other individuals acting as witnesses before the marriage is registered.
- The individuals must register the agreement with the local district where the marriage will be registered.
The content of a prenuptial agreement must adhere to the following requirements to be deemed valid:
- The prenuptial agreement provision must not defy public morals and laws.
- Both involved parties must thoroughly comprehend the provisions of the agreement, and the prenup must be prepared in both Thai and English.
- The prenuptial agreement must be drafted and finalized before the marriage.
The Significance of a Prenuptial Agreement
Partners own respective properties separate from marital properties as per the Thai Civil and Commercial Code. Such properties include the following:
- Properties belonging to either spouse prior to the marriage
- Personal properties, such as ornaments, clothing, tools for individual use, and instruments required to execute the profession of either partner
- Properties obtained by either spouse during the marriage by donation or will
- Properties considered engagement gifts
Prenuptial agreements prevent any anticipated disputes involving the property of either spouse explicitly noted as separate property if the marriage dissolves. Both involved parties agree to eliminate anticipated disputes over property ownership by enumerating each individual’s assets in an agreement.
In the case of a divorce, the parties are not required to prove their ownership of any properties brought into the marriage, as all properties are enumerated and acknowledged prior to the marriage.
A prenuptial agreement is also beneficial to the management of any marital property, as the Civil and Commercial Code elaborates on marital property management in Section 1476. The prenup will effectively grant the right to management of the property jointly owned by both parties.
If a prenuptial agreement includes the rights to real property, such as land, the management of the property will be allocated to the Thai spouse holding ownership of the land under Thai law.
The prenup also clarifies a division of assets in the case of divorce. Properties will be divided equally among the spouses and liquidated when divorce becomes relevant. If there are doubts regarding whether a property is part of the marriage portion or not, the property will automatically be presumed to belong to the marriage portion. A prenuptial agreement effectively prevents such scenarios as the division of property is stated clearly.
Prenuptial Agreement Drafting Procedure
A dedicated law firm specializing in family law, including marriage registrations, divorce, and prenuptial agreements in Thailand, will be equipped to draft a prenup based on your individual requirements.
After the agreement has been drafted, a notarial service attorney will perform the functions below:
- Verify the authenticity of the signatures in the agreement
- Certify the identities of the involved parties
- Administer the necessary affirmations and oaths
- Attest and certify particular classes of documents
- Act as a witness to the signing of the document
Individuals who have utilized notarial services in the Kingdom of Thailand may be required to authenticate or legalize the notarized documents at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Embassy of the country presented with the documents, as Thailand isn’t a signatory to the Hague Convention on Legalization of Foreign Public Documents.