Litigation in Thailand

Litigation in Thailand

Thailand generally follows the civil law system where laws are codified and under the general principle of equity. The legal system of Thailand is based on democratic nation’s Constitution.

When civil cases such as business disputes, domestic controversies, divorces, torts, breach of contract, collection of large sum of money can no longer be resolved through settlement between the parties, judicial intervention is needed. Court proceedings would be held, evidences would be presented before the court, and the court’s decision would settle the dispute.

Thai judicial system is made up of three tiers: The Court of First Instance; The Court of Appeals; and The Supreme Court Justice of Thailand (San Dika). The judgment stage of a case would be at the Court of First Instance, but through possible stages of appeal with the Appeals Court and the Supreme Court.

In any legal process, you need first to do a proper designation of the case. The jurisdiction of the court is what comes next, followed by the determination of the proper parties.

In an arbitration proceeding, the Plaintiff, through his lawyer, must file a complaint in writing with an appropriate Court of First Instance, clearly setting out the nature of his claim, the relief sought and the allegations upon which the claim is based. The party against whom the case is filed is called the “Respondent”.

Pleadings for submission to judicial bodies court proceedings are required to be conducted in Thai language, except in some special courts. Documents made in a foreign language must be translated into Thai. Only original documents are admissible in evidence. In a civil case, evidences need to be presented before a court to prove the Plaintiff’s claims. In a criminal case such as murder or rape, it requires proof beyond reasonable doubt.

 

Siam Legal handles litigation service on the following areas:

  • Criminal Law – Fraud; Drugs; Imprudence; Negligence; Money Laundering
  • Civil Law – Breach of Contract; Debt Collection;
  • Family Law – Divorce; Child Custody; Child Visitation; Child Repudiation;
  • Personal Injury – Torts; Medical Malpractice
  • Labor Disputes
  • Extradition
  • Intellectual Property Disputes
  • Trade Disputes

 

Getting Divorced in Thailand

Divorce in Thailand

To terminate a marriage in Thailand, the couple needs to undergo divorce process. The dissolution of marriage is granted once the couple filed for a divorce. There are two kinds of divorce in Thailand. The difference mainly would be whether both spouses agree to it or only one party wants the divorce.

If both parties consent to the separation, Uncontested Divorce can be filed. This is the type of divorce the couple could file if they have a mutual judgement with regards to dissolution of marriage. In the Uncontested Divorce, no disputes arise in terms of property division and child custody.

Uncontested Divorce is easy to administer. Just go through the following steps:

  1. File the Divorce at the Amphur (Register Office)

    The couple can go to the same Amphur where they registered the marriage.

  2. Present the documents

    You need to bring the following documents: foreign spouse passport; Thai spouse ID card; marriage certificate; Divorce by mutual consent must be made in writing and it needs to be certified by the signatures of 2 witnesses

  3. Post divorce arrangements

    Questions about child custody, alimony, division of properties and similar other matters will be asked.

  4. Sign the divorce form

    If no points of conflict, a form will be given for the couple to sign.

  5. Divorce certificate will be issued

Contested Divorce is much more complicated, thus it would be best to contact Siam Legal and get assistance. This type of divorce takes the court judgement on the dissolution of marriage since in effect, one party is unwilling to terminate the marriage. The decision of the court will determine if the marriage should be ended.

The following steps transpire for a typical Contested Divorce in Thailand:

  1. File a case at court
  2. Court will determine if there is enough evidence to support the ground
  3. Legal representation
  4. Divorcing parties must be personally present during court hearings
  5. The court will then decide on what to do about the couple’s children, if any
  6. The court will also equally divide the couple’s common property. In case the ground for divorce is adultery and the offended spouse claims for damages, the court can demand the erring spouse to pay.

Language barrier and lack of knowledge on Family law are the common challenges a plaintiff meet. Let an international and reputable law firm handles your Thailand Contested Divorce and represent you in court for an easy administration of your divorce case.

 

 

Real Estate in Thailand

Real Estate in Thailand

Thailand property is a sound investment as it was estimated that real estate in Thailand appreciates at the rate of 10-15% annually. It has been advantageous for property owners in Thailand because real estate business is booming. Real estate property value appreciates throughout the year. Expat retirees and businessmen are interested on how to acquire property in Thailand for investment and residential. In accordance to Thailand’s Civil and Commercial Code, only the Thai citizens can own a land in the country. The opportunity for the expats to purchase a Thailand property remains a question. Thai laws make sure that only their people can own a land in the kingdom. If you are a foreigner and is thinking of a property purchase in Thailand, it would be best to consult Thai lawyers to assist you in owning a Thailand property legally.

Generally speaking, land ownership is a right that is exclusive to Thais. An expat is allowed to buy a structure in Thailand such as the building but he cannot own the land. Apartments and condominium is allowed to be owned by an expat but there is a limit- only up to 49% of the total units therein. There is only one exception to this rule: A foreigner can buy and own a limited area of land if he invests 40 million THB for 5 consecutive years, but the land itself must be used solely for residential purposes.

So it is established that direct purchase of land is not possible for a foreigner. There are 3 alternative methods though for a foreigner to acquire a real estate property in Thailand:

Perhaps, an expat’s easiest way to own a real estate property in Thailand would be by purchasing a condo unit. An expat is allowed to own a condo, and is allowed to register this property under his own name, thereby claiming full ownership over it. Under the Condominium Act of Thailand, once a foreigner buys a condominium unit, it makes him/her a co-owner (or shareholder) of the land.

The second way is applicable only for expats who has a Thai spouse. Foreigners married to a Thai can purchase land but they have to register it under their spouse’s name. The foreign spouse needs to sign a document that states the land was bought with funds own by the Thai spouse, and he waiving his right of ownership over the land. To protect the foreigner’s rights on the land, a usufruct agreement can be executed. A usufruct agreement is a legal contract stating that in the event of divorce, the foreigner can still reside in the land for 30 years and beyond.

Foreigners cannot buy lands under their own names, however they can purchase it under their Thai registered company. This is the third way on how an expat can acquire a real estate property in Thailand. In this manner, the foreigner needs to set up first a Thai Limited Company, and the majority of the company shares must be Thai-owned. The foreigner owner will have control of the company and freehold ownership over the land.

 

See also Buying Property and Real Estate in Thailand.

 

 

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