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By Wimolsiri Jamnarnwej


Divorce by judgment of the court can be granted if there are reasonable grounds. One of the following ground is sufficient for petitioning for divorce.(24)

(1) Adultery

If the husband maintains and supports or makes known the taking of another woman as wife or the wife has committed adulter, the other spouse may petition for divorce.

Before October 16, 1976, only the husband could petition on this ground. The wife has the right to petition likewise since the enforcement of the revised family law at the date mentioned.

(2) Gross misconduct

The law does not specify what behavior is supposed to constitute a gross misconduct, but gives a guideline that such conduct does not necessarily connote a criminal offence. Gross misconduct arises where one party causes the other party:

to be much ashamed.
to be insulted and hated due to having to continue being the husband or wife of the spouse who has misbehaved or
to be undue injured or troubled, if the condition, status, and common well being as husband and wife are taken into consideration. In each case mentioned above, the other spouse may petition for divorce.

(3) Cruelty

If either spouse has caused bodily harm or torture, mental or physical, has seriously insulted or has looked down upon the other spouse or his or her ascendants, the other spouse may petition for divorce.

Thai family law protects the ascendants of the other spouses because the newlyweded couple usually stay with parents of either side. Therefore, the son-in-law or the daughter-in-law should pay respect to them and create a good rapport within the family. If one spouse looks down upon the other spouse's parents this will destroy such a rapport and is a ground for divorce.

(4) Deserted

If one spouse has willfully deserted the other spouse for more than one year, the other spouse may petition for divorce.

(4/1) If one spouse has been sentenced by a final judgment to imprisonment and has been kept in prison for more than one year in an offence which the other spouse has not contributed or consented to or connived at and the continuance to cohabit will cause undue injury or inconvenience to the other spouse, the latter may petition for divorce.

(4/2) If both spouse have agreed to live apart by the reason of failure to cohabit peacefully for a continuous period of more than three years or have live apart by separation order of the court for more than three years, either spouse may petition for divorce.

(5) Disappearance

If one spouse has been adjudged to have disappeared or has left the domicile or residence for the period of more than three years and it has been uncertain whether that spouse is living or dead, the other spouse may petition for divorce.

The Court will adjudge a person to have disappeared if such person has left his domicile or residence and it is uncertain for five years whether or not he is still alive. In the case where such person has gone to war, or was on a ship which was lost, or has come face to face with any other perils and it is uncertain for two years whether he is still alive, the court will deem that such person has disappeared.

(6) Non-Support

It is the duty of the husband and wife to maintain and support each other according to his or her ability and status of life.(25) If one spouse has failed to give proper maintenance and support to the other or has committed acts adverse to the relationship between husband and wife thus causing undue trouble the other spouse, such spouse may petition for divorce.

Part 5


(24) Civil and Commercial Code, Article 1516.

(25) Civil and Commercial Code, Article 1461.