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Thai Law Insights

Untold Story About Civil Partner in Thailand

Sarot (Simon) Sratong

General Concept

In the UK, a same-sex couple can register their relationship as “civil partners”. This registered civil relationship establishes a new legal status, similar to a civil marriage between man and woman. Some western countries recognize same-sex relationships in the same way of the UK.

In Thailand, there is neither a legal definition nor concept of civil partners. Thai law still effectively treats them as individuals with no marital rights or liabilities to each other.

In conclusion, civil partners, who live together, have no legal status under Thai law.

Shared Property

Thai family law provides for the division of shared property acquired during legally marriage, after divorce, but there is no legal provision concerning a shared property of civil partners. When the relationship of civil partners ends, the question is: How to divide a shared property? Most civil partnership couples fail to consider this question until after the relationship has ended.

Although Thai law does not provide specific rules for the division of shared property of an unmarried couple, the Thai Supreme Court has relied on the legal principles of co-ownership, to decide on the division of shared property in the case of civil partners (compared with the Supreme Court Verdict No.3725/2532).

Will

In case of death, a civil partner may leave his or her interest in a shared property to his or her surviving partner in a form of a will. Otherwise, such property of the deceased partner shall be distributed to his or her heirs, rather than to the survivor partner. A will should be updated or simply replaced by a new will from time to time to ensure that his or her last wishes have been stated.