Thai law on property rights and marriage

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buksida
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Thai law on property rights and marriage

Post by buksida » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:26 am

The concept of the prenuptial agreement was brought to Thailand by Western expats who wedded Thai women while still under legal or social obligations to their former wives and children back in the West.

People heard stories of older American billionaires marrying younger ladies and taking care of their youthful wives by providing high salaries which ensured comfortable lives throughout the marriage, payable from an offshore trust while at the same time making sure the futures of their children from these former wives were secured by separate funds and inheritance.

Upon divorce, the new wife would still enjoy regular income from the offshore trust for the rest of her life even after the death of her senior husband, without having to compete with the man’s children for his inheritance.

Understanding how prenuptial agreements can be used today to give both spouses granular control of how they want things shared is important. Today all marriages in Thailand – even if one party is not a citizen – are subject to community property law. This means all income and nearly all the property acquired by one spouse will be classified as community property – half of which is vested in the other.

This has made some Thai couples, especially those in real estate, forego marriage registration for fear they’ll need mutual consent to buy and sell property.

Now that Thai law recognizes prenuptial agreements, they can be a powerful tool to give couples a new option to designate community property however they see fit.

Full story: http://www.khaosodenglish.com/featured/ ... ge-begins/
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Re: Thai law on property rights and marriage

Post by GroveHillWanderer » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:41 pm

buksida wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:26 am
Today all marriages in Thailand – even if one party is not a citizen – are subject to community property law. This means all income and nearly all the property acquired by one spouse will be classified as community property – half of which is vested in the other.
I recently came across one aspect of this. My wife bought a small piece of land up-country, using money from an account in her name and which she had earned from a business she owns. I was required to sign a paper that means, as I understand it, that she cannot sell the land without my agreement and that any proceeds have to be split between us.

I said I wasn't bothered, it was her money and her land but they wouldn't register the land in her name and transfer the chanote to her unless I signed the paper.

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Re: Thai law on property rights and marriage

Post by Nereus » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:52 pm

I said I wasn't bothered, it was her money and her land but they wouldn't register the land in her name and transfer the chanote to her unless I signed the paper.
Hmm, I think that you may find what you signed was a declaration that you have no claim on the land, regardless of who's money it was.
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Re: Thai law on property rights and marriage

Post by GroveHillWanderer » Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:59 pm

Nereus wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:52 pm
I said I wasn't bothered, it was her money and her land but they wouldn't register the land in her name and transfer the chanote to her unless I signed the paper.
Hmm, I think that you may find what you signed was a declaration that you have no claim on the land, regardless of who's money it was.
No, it was definitely along the lines of what I described - and totally in accord with what Buksida posted about community property - to wit: "couples [...] need mutual consent to buy and sell property." I can't remember the exact wording but it was basically a statutory declaration that we are legally married - the effect of which being that the property would become subject to the community property provisions under discussion here.

Another illustration of how this works - while we were in the land office there was another Thai-farang couple in there. The wife was selling a property and since they had signed the same form as I had when she purchased it, her husband had to be there to sign a form indicating his agreement to the sale. Again, if he hadn't been there and hadn't signed the form, she wouldn't have been able to conclude the transaction.

To quote again from the article Buksida gave the link for:

"The community property rule applies to both foreign and Thai spouses but is limited by laws about what foreigners can own. [...] Foreign spouses are still entitled to the unregistered ownership of the land and can transform it into property they can own such as cash, by way of having their Thai spouses or estates (if the Thai passes away) sell the land to another Thai national. The sale proceeds belong to the foreign spouse."

Although as it was explained to me, the foreign spouse might only be entitled to a part of the proceeds depending on where the money came from and whether the spouse is still alive.

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Re: Thai law on property rights and marriage

Post by HHTel » Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:36 pm

Nereus wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:52 pm
I said I wasn't bothered, it was her money and her land but they wouldn't register the land in her name and transfer the chanote to her unless I signed the paper.
Hmm, I think that you may find what you signed was a declaration that you have no claim on the land, regardless of who's money it was.
GHW is correct Nereus. That original piece of paper vanished some time ago. It was never a legal document and not accepted in the courts anyway. The new document is in both Thai and English and reflects the law on property rights of married couples. I've signed a couple in the last 6 months.

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Re: Thai law on property rights and marriage

Post by Nereus » Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:38 pm

HHTel wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:36 pm
Nereus wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:52 pm
I said I wasn't bothered, it was her money and her land but they wouldn't register the land in her name and transfer the chanote to her unless I signed the paper.
Hmm, I think that you may find what you signed was a declaration that you have no claim on the land, regardless of who's money it was.
GHW is correct Nereus. That original piece of paper vanished some time ago. It was never a legal document and not accepted in the courts anyway. The new document is in both Thai and English and reflects the law on property rights of married couples. I've signed a couple in the last 6 months.
Well, that's good"! Just hope that all the Land Dept. office's have the same page.
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Re: Thai law on property rights and marriage

Post by GroveHillWanderer » Sun Feb 11, 2018 5:57 pm

Nereus wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:38 pm
Well, that's good"! Just hope that all the Land Dept. office's have the same page.
The only two land offices that I am familiar with not only have the same form, they insist on it being signed, even if you say you don't want to. To me, this is the most surprising thing - not that they have the law on community property but that they actually seem to apply it rigorously (given that so many other laws are routinely ignored).

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Re: Thai law on property rights and marriage

Post by VincentD » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:03 am

i had a copy of the regs back then, purchased from a lawyer's office in Silom. Think I lost it in the last great flood of 2011. Baically,
Sin sod - dowry
Sin son tua - personal property before marriage. This is yours, and needs to be declared before you tie the knot. It remains so after marriage and you do not need any imput from the other half regarding what you want to do with it.
Sin Som Rot - property acquired after marriage. Considered joint property, whether or not you have forked out the whole amount.

The 'no-claim' thing regarding property has no value in the courts. Don't think it was ever gazetted either.
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Re: Thai law on property rights and marriage

Post by HHTel » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:15 am

Nothing has changed. Just the useless piece of paper in the land office has finally been put to bed. I say useless but many people believed it and consequently gave up on their share of the property.

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