Child Support in Thailand

Issues on child custody and child support usually arise when married parents separate but it may also happen when a child is born out of wedlock. Child support will be a non-issue if the parents of the child live together as they are mandated by law to provide such support to their child until he reaches 20 years old. Nonetheless, if and when this issue arise, there will be two options available for the parents to settle it, either through a more amiable written agreement or through a more stressful court order.

Often than not, the child support issue hinges on its financial aspect especially on how the support given by the parent who does not have custody be utilized for the child’s education, food, clothing and medical expenses among others. Importantly, the money provided should not be used by the parent who has custody over the child for his or her own benefit.

As stated earlier, child support can be established through mutual consent (written agreement) or through a court order.

Child Support Mutual Consent

  • Married ParentsEven if the parents are divorcing, child support can be reached between parties without involving a court decision. What the parents can do is to arrive at an agreement on child custody and support and have this in writing. Now, in order for it to be enforceable under Thai law, it should also be signed at the presence of two witnesses plus it should also be registered at the district office where the divorce will be registered.Nonetheless, a court order may be needed if the agreement terms have not been committed or done by the non-custodial parent. The custodial parent simply needs to lodge a petition at court to compel the non-custodial parent to do his obligation.
  • Unmarried ParentsUnder general circumstances, the father of the child does not have any obligation to support his child. Nevertheless, he may choose to and enter into an agreement with the mother to provide his child with support.In order for this agreement to be enforceable, it must be registered at the district office.

Child Support Through Court Order

  • Married ParentsEven if the parents are divorcing, they may still reach an agreement regarding child support but if this is not realized, the court will have to issue an order for the non-custodial parent to provide his child with support through the custodial parent.The court will determine the amount after due consideration on the child’s needs and the non-custodial parent’s financial capacity.
  • Unmarried ParentsAs mentioned, the father of a child born out of wedlock is not duty bound to provide financial support. However, he can be if legitimation of the child is brought to court and the court issues a decision about legitimation, child custody and then issues an order with for the father to support his child.
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