When it comes to property, knowing one’s rights is important in marriage. The property between the husband and wife is mostly governed by the Civil and Commercial Code and can be further modified by writing up a prenuptial agreement.
Generally, the assets and income of each spouse acquired during the marriage will become jointly owned company under the Thai law. The Thai law accounts for all the personal property acquired before the marriage. However, this remains personal property even after the marriage and is resilient to modification or exchange.
In Thai legal jargon, assets acquired by the couple during the marriage are referred as “Sin Somros”. These include property acquired by either spouse through a will or a gift and benefits coming from the personal property.
Overall, all above assets and properties are jointly owned regardless of who holds the title with the exception of personal property. However, the proof may be required. Upon termination of the marriage, whether by death or divorce, the marital property will be divided and distributed in equal shares.
The responsibility of the management of the assets comes along with them. While personal property will be under the management of each spouse, the marital property requires joint management. However, if it is not mentioned in the prenuptial agreement, it is not mandatory.
In simple words, some legal acts with regards to certain marital property must be managed by both spouses and require joint consent.
In the case of joint property, the situation is completely different where a foreigner marries a Thai national. The foreigner is not entitled to have any form of joint ownership of land and any land acquired throughout the marriage cannot become the marital property of the couple. It is, however, a personal property of the Thai spouse. In such a case, the responsibility of the management of the assets lies with the Thai spouse only and the foreign spouse is not bound by the law to manage the assets. The Thai spouse can sell or do anything with the property without the consent of the foreign spouse. Furthermore, such property will not be divided between the spouses in the event of death or divorce.
One way of protecting assets for foreigners can be obtaining joint or sole ownership over the buildings separate from the land. It is only the land that cannot be owned by a foreigner, not the buildings. If such protective measure is in place, the Thai spouse cannot sell the land without the consent of the foreign spouse anymore.
If you are looking for assistance with your marital property in Thailand, contact us, Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors. We are a law firm in Thailand. Our team of legal and accounting experts will guide you through the process and make sure that all your queries are addressed. If you want to know more about our services or want to book a free consultation, contact us now at +66 (0)2642-0214.
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