Child Legitimation in Thailand

Child Legitimation is an important process in Thailand that reflects cultural values, legal considerations and children’s rights. It has far-reaching implications for families.

In Thailand, a father can only receive custody of his child by registering the child as his legitimate child at the local district office with the mother’s consent and upon the court’s judgement.

Father’s Rights

If a father wants custody of his child in Thailand, he will need to go through the process of legitimation. This can be done by applying to the district office with the mother’s consent. If the mother or child opposes the application, then a judgment will have to be obtained from a court before it can be registered at the amphur.

In a Thai family court case, the best interests of the child are considered to determine which parent should have custody. This is the same for married couples who are divorcing.

A father’s name on a child’s birth certificate does not establish paternal rights in Thailand, even if the father is married to the biological mother at the time of the child’s birth. Only a Court judgment of legal paternity can grant rights and responsibilities to a father in a Thailand divorce case. This is also true for a non-custodial parent who flees back to their home country to avoid paying child support in Thailand.

Child Custody

In Thailand fathers have equal rights and responsibilities over their children as mothers do. This is called parental power. It also includes custody rights. For example if the parents divorce by mutual consent it usually involves the division of custody and this needs to be agreed upon.

However for children born outside a marriage a father cannot acquire custody rights until he has undertaken a legitimation process and registered that at a local district office. This allows the father to then request joint or sole custody of the child. The court will decide whether or not this is appropriate and the best for the child. The court will normally have a social worker to perform a thorough analysis of the case before making its decision. The legal issues in this type of case are extremely complex and the best way to understand how to proceed is to contact a lawyer. They will be able to explain everything to you and guide you through the whole process.

Child Support

In Thailand a father can only legally gain parental powers over his child after having it registered at the local district office by following a two-step process. The mother must express consent to the application for registration of legitimization and the father must attend with his child before a registrar.

Once the process is completed children have rights that include inheriting from both parents, using the father’s surname, and obtaining citizenship or nationality in the father’s country. In Thai culture, family honor is important and having a child legitimised can help preserve the parents’ social standing.

When determining a child support order (or alimony) the court will consider many factors including both parent’s relative income, expenses and assets as well as the needs of the child. If either parent experiences a change in financial circumstances it may be possible to petition the court for an adjustment in the child support obligation. Child support cases in Thailand are decided by judges from the Family Court.

Birth Certificate

If a father wishes to gain custody rights for his child in Thailand, he must first register the child’s legitimation. In order to do so, he must file a Petition for Legitimation with the court and formally notify the mother. She also has the right to attend the hearing. A judge must then sign an order legitimating the child based on one of several grounds.

Once the registration for the child’s legitimation is effected, the mother has ninety days to object. She can do so by proving that you are unsuitable to exercise the parental power partly or wholly.

This process is significant, and it reflects many cultural considerations, as well as legal ones. Without it, women can be unable to access vital services such as healthcare and education. It can also reinforce gender gaps in these areas, as girls without birth certificates are much more likely to be married at an early age – and thus less likely to complete their education.

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