Child Custody in Thailand
Child custody issues in Thailand usually arise when spouses having children are divorcing. Child custody is often an issue for an unmarried couple who have already had children outside wedlock.
What are your custody rights under Thai law?
Under the Civil and Commercial Code of Thailand (CCCT), the right of custody is called “parental power”. The parental power is exercised by the father, the mother, or a third person who is a legal guardian of the child until the child reaches the legal age (20 years old), a person exercising parental power has the right as follows:
- To determine the child’s place of residence
- To discipline the child reasonably
- To require the child to work, consistent with his or her abilities and status
- To demand the return of the child from someone else, including another parent who does not have custody rights and unlawfully detains the child
- To manage the property of the child with the restriction that selling, mortgaging, and exchange the property of the minor child must obtain the approval of the court
Child custody in Thailand can be obtained by two procedures as follows:
- By the mutual consent of the parties
- By the decision of the court
The process for obtaining Child custody in Thailand
1. CHILD CUSTODY AGREED BY MUTUAL CONSENT
Thailand child custody for married spouses
If the parents divorce in Thailand by mutual consent or the uncontested divorce, and the divorce has the child custody in Thailand involves the parents can enter into a divorce agreement concerning how the custody shall be shared between them. In addition, the agreement can also include the visitation of the child and the child support. However, in order for the agreement on the child custody to be valid, it has to be signed by two witnesses and registered with the district office at the time of registering the divorce.
Thailand Child custody for an unmarried couple
2. CHILD CUSTODY DECIDED BY THE COURT
Child custody in Thailand for a married spouse
Child custody in Thailand for an unmarried couple
If the father of the child born out of the marriage files a legitimation of child in Thailand, the custody issue can be petitioned together with the legitimation case. The court in the same case will decide whether the father is suitable to exercise the partial or whole custody over the child.