Child Support in Thailand

Child Support in Thailand. In Thailand, both parents are legally obligated to financially support their children until they reach the age of 20. This article explores child support in Thailand, addressing how it’s determined, obtained, and other crucial aspects.

Who Pays Child Support?

  • Married Couples: Typically, there’s no child support issue when both parents live with the child.
  • Separated/Divorced Couples: The court usually orders the non-custodial parent (who doesn’t have primary care) to pay child support to the custodial parent. In joint custody arrangements, the court might order one parent to contribute financially based on their income disparity.
  • Children Born Out of Wedlock: The biological father isn’t legally obligated to pay unless he acknowledges paternity through legitimation (a legal process).

Determining Child Support Amount

Thai courts consider two main factors:

  • Child’s Needs: This includes expenses for food, shelter, clothing, education, healthcare, and extracurricular activities.
  • Parent’s Financial Ability: The court assesses each parent’s income and earning potential to determine a fair contribution amount.

Obtaining Child Support

There are two main ways to secure child support in Thailand:

  • Written Agreement: Parents can draft a child support agreement outlining the amount, payment schedule, and duration. This requires both parties’ consent and should be notarized for legal enforceability.
  • Court Order: If parents cannot agree, a lawsuit can be filed with the family court. The court will consider evidence and arguments before issuing a child support order.

Additional Points to Consider

  • Child Support Payments: Payments are usually made periodically in cash, though alternative arrangements might be allowed with court approval. The child cannot receive the money directly until they turn 15 (when they can have a bank account).
  • Enforcement of Child Support: If a parent fails to comply with a court order, the custodial parent can take legal action to enforce it. This may involve asset seizure or cooperation with foreign courts if the non-paying parent resides abroad.

Seeking Legal Guidance

Child support issues can be complex. Consulting a lawyer experienced in Thai family law is highly recommended. They can guide you through the process, ensure your rights are protected, and help draft agreements or navigate the court system.

By understanding your rights and responsibilities regarding child support in Thailand, you can ensure your child receives the financial support they need to thrive.

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