Child Custody in Thailand

Child custody in Thailand is a complex issue. Under Thai law, the mother has sole custody of children. If the father wants to acquire rights, he must legitimize the child according to section 1566 of the CCC.

It is possible for a man who was married to a woman during or shortly after she gave birth to be considered the lawful father and granted parental rights and duties.

Biological parents

In Thailand, a biological father has no legal rights to child custody unless he is legally registered as the father by taking action for “child legitimization”. This is irrespective of whether he is named on the birth certificate.

If a married couple divorces and wants to share custody, the court will normally make an agreement that is binding on both parties and must be registered at the amphur. This does not work if the marriage was a “no fault” or “default” divorce.

When determining a child custody case the Thai courts primarily use their major policy concern of “the best interest of the child”. This is similar to the usual standard used in most western countries. This is done by assessing among other things the parents behaviour including child development issues through social worker reports. However, these judgments are not automatically enforceable in foreign nations which would depend on their domestic laws.

Joint custody

A married couple may agree to share custody of their child or children. The courts will look at the circumstances and the best interests of the child before deciding on a custody arrangement. In some cases, the court will refer the matter to the Observation and Protection Center (OPC) for a social worker’s evaluation of the family situation and report. The Court will usually follow carefully the recommendation of the OPC.

In Thailand, the term ‘custody’ is not synonymous with “parental powers”, as it can be used to denote physical custody only. The person exercising parental powers has the right to determine where a child lives, demand their return from anyone unlawfully detaining them, and manage their property with certain restrictions.

If a father wants to exercise his custody rights, he must first register the legitimation of his child with the local district office, and the mother must consent. This process is called establishing paternity in Thailand.

Sole custody

Custody is the right to physically guard and care for a child. In Thailand, this means deciding where the child lives and ensuring that it receives a standard level of care. This is a responsibility that can be shared between parents, as long as they follow the principles of Thai family law.

In married couples, a divorce court can enter into a written agreement on custody and visitation rights. This can also include provisions for child support. It is important to consult with a legal specialist to understand the law and to ensure that any agreement meets the requirements of Thai law.

In cases of unmarried parents, the mother has sole custody rights. However, the father can exercise his legal rights if he legitimizes his child by filing a legitimation case with the district office. This is a complicated process that involves both the mother and the father. It can be done along with the divorce proceedings or separately.

Visitation rights

A parent with child custody rights can require that a child be returned to them from another person, or that a child stay with them for certain periods of time. The parents can also agree to share joint parental control. Parents are obligated to provide their children with food, shelter, clothing, and education. In addition, they must keep their children informed of their parents’ whereabouts.

The mother usually has sole custody of a child in Thailand, but the father can acquire rights through a legitimation process. This involves marrying the mother during or shortly after the birth of the child.

Custody disputes in Thailand often occur as a result of divorce. However, in some cases, married parents can dispute custody even though they are not divorced. This situation can be complicated when one of the parents is a foreign national and flees back to their home country to avoid paying child support. This is why a foreign national should seek legal advice before leaving the country.

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