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Marital status in Thailand

April 19, 2019 - Reading time: 2 minutes

Marital status in Thailand could be described as somewhat different from other parts of the world and particularly that of Western countries. If you’re thinking about running a background check on your Thai partner for example, it’s important to understand the logistics of marriage in Thai culture.

Very often when Thai people marry each other they will have a very lavish and beautiful ceremony. They might pay for a live musical performance, an expensive venue and a lovely meal for all of their guests to enjoy. Of course, a dowry or “sin sod” is usually paid as well, and this can be made up of a large quantity of cash as well as gold, vehicles or property. See our blog post: How much does a dowry cost at a Thai wedding?

How is marital status different in Thailand? Often Thai people will have these expensive ceremonies but they will not legally marry each other, and this is quite common. The legal element can be something of an afterthought which many people in Thailand do not go through with.

Sometimes Thai men will be reluctant to legally marry due to the implications of this if the couple breaks up… Courts can allocate assets and if you’re bringing more to the table than your partner then there is a clear advantage in dodging the legal unification that comes with marriage. Men in Thailand cannot be forced to pay child support unless they are legally married to the child’s mother.

On a side note, if you’re planning on getting married and dodging the legal side of things in order to protect your assets from being awarded to your partner during a divorce, this is not an iron clad tactic. Judges are able to determine that a “de facto” marriage has taken place and award assets based on this – so be prepared to honor your commitments either way.

If you are paying to find out about your partner’s marital status or marital history in Thailand, the results of this may not reflect reality. The practice of having a marriage ceremony without becoming legally married is quite common here. Obviously no official records are made if the couple chooses not to legally marry.

Note: This website does not provide legal advice. You should speak to a lawyer directly if you need legal advice. Please see our legal disclaimer.