Child Custody in Thailand
The issue on child custody in Thailand usually happens when a married couple decides to have their marriage end in divorce. Nonetheless, it is not limited to a married couple alone as it can still happen to unmarried ones whose relationships have resulted to childbirth.
Child custody is such a sensitive issue that not only affects the separating couple but also the subject of the conflict itself which is their child.
Nonetheless, if it happens in Thailand, the Civil and Commercial Code dictates the custodial rights of the person with parental power can either be the father, mother or another party with legal capacity to act as the child’s guardian.
The following are the custodial rights:
- To determine the place of residence of the child.
- To give due discipline to the child.
- To require the child to work within his ability and status.
- To demand a party, a parent or otherwise, who does not have custody or is unlawfully detaining the child to return him.
- To manage the properties of the child but activities such as selling, mortgaging and exchanging the property may only be permitted after approval from the court has been obtained.
It would be better if child custody has been obtained by one party through one of two procedures which is mutual consent from the involved parties otherwise it can also be obtained through a court decision.
By Mutual ConsentIf the separating couple are married
This can arise when the divorcing couple decides to legally separate through an uncontested divorce and both parties can negotiate on how they can share the custodial rights between them.
However, in order for such agreement to be legally binding and valid under law, it must be registered at the district office after signed upon by two witnesses.If the separating couple are unmarried
If the parents are unmarried, sole custody is limited to the mother only. Nonetheless, the father may be able to share custodial rights if the child has been registered as a legitimate child of the former and the mother agrees to such.
By Court DecisionIf the separating couple are married
Child custody will be decided by the same court which decided the contested divorce of the parents. The court will determine which parent shall be given with the child custody but it may even decide to give such custody to another party after due consideration of the child’s happiness and interests. However, such right may be also be relieved from one party if such person is found to have abused his/her parental power or is incompetent in doing his duties.If the separating couple are unmarried
If the child is born from an unmarried couple, the father of the child can file for a legitimation of the child and the issue about custody can be petitioned together with the legitimation case.