Child Custody in Thailand

Child custody has been a common issue for married couples who sooner or later need to part ways. This is also an issue for couples who do not consider marriage as a preference at all. The answer to the big question of “who shall take the primary child custody” or “who shall exercise the parental power?” must be legally and fairly dealt with.

Either the parents or the court can decide who will have the primary child custody after divorce. If the parents are able to negotiate without the court’s decision, they can keep better control over present and future decisions in behalf of the child.  For couples going through an uncontested divorce, they can create an agreement to specify how to share the custody between them. Both parents may jointly discuss about the child’s living situation, visitation rights, daily financial responsibility, educational plans and other important needs of the child.

For unmarried couples, the mother shall have the sole custody of the child. The father must first register the child legitimation at the local district office. This procedure of legitimizing the child is necessary before a father can enter into a joint legal custody agreement with the mother.

The biological father is not recognized as the legal father under the Thai law even if his name is on the birth certificate of the child.  In Thailand, a child born out-of-wedlock is the legitimate child of the birth mother. The biological father is not the legitimate father.  Therefore, he shall have no legal rights over the child unless the father takes action for the child’s legitimization.


Be aware of your rights and obligations to your child.  Our family lawyers here in Magna Carta Law Firm with Family Law expertise gives comprehensive legal custody services and advice. They will guide you on how to legally proceed and arrive with a fair legal custody agreement.