Thai Prenuptial Agreement
Thailand Prenuptial Agreement
A prenuptial agreement, or "prenup" is a contract a couple makes with each other before they get married. It is also known as an ante-nuptial agreement or a premarital agreement. The purpose of a prenuptial agreement is to set out in writing which property is owned by which spouse, and decide in advance how property will be divided if the marriage ends in divorce.
Although every couple who decides to get married hopes it will last, the unfortunate truth is that many marriages will not last. A couple who successfully negotiates a prenuptial agreement before their marriage will save thousands of dollars in legal fees if the marriage fails.
Advantages of a Prenuptial Agreement
There are many advantages to prenuptial agreements. When couples list what they own in writing and state who owns what, they can avoid future disagreements about assets. Prenuptial agreements can give both spouses a peace of mind. A relatively wealthy individual can make sure their spouse-to-be is not marrying them for the money, while someone who does not feel financially independent will feel the security of knowing exactly how they will be provided for if the marriage turns sour.
If a marriage ends in divorce, the presence of a prenuptial agreement will significantly lower the legal costs of both parties. When a couple uses a prenuptial agreement to decide how to divide their assets before they get married, they can both avoid the astronomical legal fees many couples incur fighting over who gets what if their marriage sours. Although no couple wants to confront the possibility that their marriage may fail, advance preparation for the worst-case-scenario can save thousands of dollars in the future.
If you are the owner or part owner of a small business, you many want to prepare a prenuptial agreement to make sure your marriage does not effect the ownership of the company. If you do not prepare a prenuptial agreement and later divorce, your former spouse could be awarded part of the company, which can make managing your business extremely difficult.
Prenuptial agreements can also protect one spouse from the other's debts. Under Thai law, a prenuptial agreement protects one partner's assets from the other partners debts. That way, if your spouse-to-be runs up a secret credit card debt, debt collectors will be unable to seize your property to pay it off.
Prenuptial agreements made in Thailand will survive the death of a spouse. If you have property that you want to pass on to your heirs, a prenuptial agreement will make sure this property goes into your estate and is not automatically passed on to your spouse. Those who want to ensure their upcoming marriage does not effect their children or grand children's inheritance may want to prepare a prenup for their financial protection.
Thai Requirements for a Valid Prenuptial Agreement
Thai law lists several strict requirements for a valid prenuptial agreement. If these requirements are not met, the agreement may not be worth the paper it is written on.
Prenuptial agreements need to be writing and signed before the marriage. At least two witnesses must be present.
The agreement must be written in the native language of each party. If you are a foreigner planning on marrying a Thai, this means that you will need two prepare and sign two copies of the agreement, one in your native language and one in Thai.
Each party needs advice from their own lawyer. It is extremely important that both parties understand exactly what the agreement means. Thai law requires that each spouse receive advice from a different attorney. That means the if you hire one law firm to write the prenuptial agreement, your spouse needs to get advice from an independent attorney or a competing firm.
The prenuptial agreement must be registered in the official marriage register.
Limitations on Prenuptial Agreements
Thai law states that any clause in a prenuptial agreement which is contrary to public order or against good morals is void. This limitation prevents extremely one-sided prenuptial agreements which depart significantly from Thai laws regulating management of martial property.
If the prenuptial agreement is made between a Thai citizen and a foreign national, the law of the foreigner's home country may effect the agreement's validity.
Countries that Honor Prenuptial Agreements
Many countries allow couples to make prenuptial agreements. The United States, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland all enforce valid prenuptial agreements.