The decision on the child custody in Thailand may come from either the parents or the court. If the parents are able to negotiate or agree without the court’s decision, they can keep better control over present and future decisions in behalf of the child. Both parents may discuss about the child’s living situation, visitation rights, daily financial responsibility, educational plans and other important needs of the child.
For couples going through an uncontested divorce in Thailand, they can create an agreement to specify the sharing of the custody between them. For unmarried couples, the mother shall have the sole custody of the child unless the father registers the child’s legitimation. This procedure of legitimizing the child is necessary before a father can enter into a custody agreement with the mother.
Even if your name is on the birth certificate as the biological father, you are not recognized as the legal father under the Thai law. In Thailand, a child born out-of-wedlock is the legitimate child of the birth mother. The law does not consider the biological father as the legitimate father. Therefore, he shall have no legal rights over the child.
According to the Civil and Commercial Code Section 1547, you can legitimize a father’s rights to a child by any of the following:
According to the Civil and Commercial Code Section 1555, you may enter an action for legitimation ONLY in the following cases:
Continuous common repute of being a legitimate child results by means of facts showing the relationship of Father and child. This is proven by the child’s connection with the family to which he claims to belong. It includes the Father’s provision for the child’s education or maintenance, or allowing the child to use his family name, or other facts.
Once you register the legitimation, you cannot revoke it. However, any interested person may, within 3 months from the notification date of such registration, apply to the Court for cancellation of the registration. This is on the ground that the person who insisted the legitimation registration is not the father of the child; in any case, you may only enter such action after ten years from the date of registration.
If the applicant has brought an action to the Court for an order effecting him as the child’s father, the child or the mother may apply to the Court in the same case for an order effecting that the applicant is not a suitable person for exercising the parental power in part or whole, even if he is the real father of the child.
Marriage does not grant the spouse any rights over the children of their new Husband or Wife. The previous partner exercises the parental power over such child.
A person exercising parental power has the rights as follows: