Love transcends all language, distance, even age. Foreigners coming to Thailand and falling in love with a local Thai is not at all that uncommon. There are some legal things that expatriates need to bear in mind when they decide to tie the knot with a local. There could also be some practices that are dictated by local traditions that should also be kept into consideration.
Who’s Eligible for Marriage?
Local laws dictate the following requirements for being eligible to get married, for both parties:
- They must be at least 17 years of age.
- They must not have any blood relations or relationships through adoptive parents.
- Both parties must not be in a married state.
- For parties with deceased spouses, 310 days must have elapsed since the death of the previous wife or husband.
- The same waiting period is applicable for parties who had previous marriages that had been terminated.
- The waiting period can be shortened if there are no children born out of the previous marriage, or if the woman can prove that there was no pregnancy initiated before the termination of marriage or death of the husband.
- If they wish to marry before the waiting period has lapsed, the woman has to obtain legal permission from the Court to marry.
- If you meet all of those requirements above, then congratulations!. You and your fiancee can now be married in Thailand.
Before you can marry, you’ll have to accomplish several documentary requirements. Both of you need to affix copies of your identification cards, or a copy of the passport for the foreigner. The expatriate should also furnish an affidavit from his embassy that he has not been in a marriage before or, if such marriage exists, it has been duly terminated by a Court of law at home. These affidavits must be translated into Thai by accredited foreign language translators.
During the marriage ceremony, the couple must have at least two witnesses that will attest that you and your fiancee have professed marriage vows to one another before a duly authorized minister.
In order for the marriage to be valid and recognized under Thai law, the final step in getting married is to get it duly registered with the Register of Thailand. To do this, parties have to accomplish an application form and submit it together with several other documents to the any District Office or Minor District Office in the Kingdom.
Once the consent officer in the Register affixes his or her signature, the marriage is considered binding and legal under the Kingdoms laws.
Since marriage involves a change of name, married ladies should take the steps to change her family name to reflect the change in the marriage registration. She has 60 days to secure a new identification card to represent herself in her new civil status.
Marriage is but a beautiful thing. All the more reason that couples, both locals and Thais, should always take the steps to make their marriage legal, so they can both have full protection of the law.
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