A prenuptial agreement is an effective tool when couples decide to separate and dissolve their marriage especially in resolving issues on what goes to whom when it comes to marital properties and assets. It is also formidable when conflicts arise in case one party contests the ownership claims or have incurred considerable debt without the consent of the other.
Discussed below are a few important reminders for couples or even individuals who are considering executing a prenuptial agreement.
Executing a Prenuptial Agreement
Also considered as a contract, a prenuptial agreement is executed before marriage as it shall be registered together with the marriage. It must also be in writing with at least two persons witnessing the signing of the document by the marrying couple.
Other requirements set by the Thai Civil and Commercial Code for a valid agreement include:
- Involvement of legal counsels – each party must have their respective lawyers to guide them when executing the agreement. Legal support also helps in determining the applicability of the contract in their respective countries if one or both are non-Thais. Enlisting the services of an international lawyer with experience in marital concerns of both countries is a huge advantage.
Attorneys also verify and attest or certify the authenticity of signatures and the supporting documents.
- Registration – the signed agreement must be registered at the same local district where the marriage is to be registered otherwise non-registration makes it not enforceable.
- Voluntary – for it to be enforceable, both parties must execute the contract voluntarily otherwise it can become null and void.
Thai and Western Prenuptial Agreements
- Generally, western countries do not require for prenuptial agreements to be registered in order to be executable.
- Thailand does require it to be registered at the same local register where the marriage is to be registered.
Issues may arise if one or both parties entering a prenuptial agreement are non-Thais and jurisdiction issues is one of them. However, options in order to make sure that compliance with the requirements set forth by their respective countries is available.
Prenuptial agreements executed outside of Thailand cannot be enforced within the country. In order for the properties to be properly assigned in case of marriage dissolution then the couple must execute and register another prenuptial agreement in Thailand.
In case of concerns, the foreign individual may choose to approach either or both a reputable lawyer with international experience on marital law and or the legal department of his embassy. Problems on legalization of documents may also be avoided or addressed when the latter option is considered since Thailand is not a signatory of the Hague Convention on the Legalization of Foreign Public Documents.
What to Include in a Prenuptial Agreement
The applicable Thai law prescribes that items such as debts, properties, assets, and other specific interests may be included on the contract but not child support.
The contract will also become non-editable or modified unless otherwise authorized by the qualified court of law.