Princess Haya: The princess, the sheikh and the £550m divorce settlement, It’s described as the biggest divorce case in British legal history – involving the billionaire ruler of Dubai and his estranged wife, reported by the BBC on 21 December 2021. Of course, the law differs from country to country. It is interesting to look through the Thai Family Law, especially the Spouse Maintenance which is always asked.
How Does the Thai Court Determine About it?
Maintenance may be claimed between husband and wife (husband and wife in this article mean legally marriage only). Civil and Commercial Code of Thailand, Section 1598/38 stipulates that when the party entitled to maintenance has not been furnished with the maintenance or has been furnished with the maintenance insufficient to his condition in life. The maintenance would be granted or not and how much it should be, will be decided by the Court, by taking account of the ability of the person bound to furnish the maintenance, the condition in life of the receiver and the circumstances of the case.
It may be surprising to know that Thai Courts determine maintenance between husband and wife in the same way as Australian Law (Section 75 of Family Law Act 1975) and the Laws of England (Section 3 (2) (3) Domestic proceedings and Magistrates Court Act 1978).1 In conclusion, The following facts and circumstances will be taking into account
1) The age and health of each spouse
2) Income, property and way of earning an income of each spouse. Also the physical and mental abilities of each spouse in the business of earning an income.
3) Which spouse must take care of a minor child?
4) The financial needs and liabilities of each spouse.
5) Responsibility of one spouse to support the other.
6) A pension or other income from the government of each spouse?
7) The appropriate standard of living of each spouse during the marriage.
8) Will the support provided to the spouse increase the opportunity to increase his or her ability to pursue a career through education or training which will result in having sufficient income or not?
9) The spouse receiving the maintenance has previously participated in earning Property or income of the other spouse or not.
10) Duration of marriage and affecting the ability to earn money due to the marriage of the spouse who will receive the maintenance.
11) The necessity to protect the status of a woman wishing to assume the role of wife and mothers without working outside the home.
12) Circumstances of living as husband and wife of the spouse
13) the terms of the order altering the spouse’s property rights;
14) facts or circumstances which the Court deems necessary to be taken into consideration for justice, for example, the spouses have lived together as husband and wife for 10 years and then married and live together for another 2 years, etc.
When Can The Maintenance Case Be Opened?
Importantly, in Thai Family Law, the maintenance may be claimed without opening devoice case (Supreme Court Judgment No. 2486/2535). Also, it may be claimed even if the spouses have intended to separate or one of them intended to abandon the other. (Supreme Court Judgment No. 5627/2530)
Under the Family Law of Thailand, the maintenance will be decided under the 14 facts and circumstances mentioned above. Finally, no maintenance awarded by the Court judgement is also possible. If you are in need of a family lawyer, or for more information, we can help, just feel free to contact us at any time.
1 Family Law, 19th Edition, Prasobsook Boondech; Thai Barrister Institution: