Legal Corner: Adultery in Thailand, is it acceptable?

What you need to know, an article by Isaan Lawyers

 Adultery in Thailand

  Adultery is a sensitive issue that can have serious legal consequences in Thailand. Isaan Lawyers believes that it is important for our ex-pat and overseas clients to understand the definition of adultery, how adultery in Thailand is treated under the civil and commercial code of Thailand, and what evidence is required for a court to consider, should it be cited as a grounds for a divorce.

Definition of Adultery in Thailand

It is important to take note that all parties involved in the act of adultery can be liable for adultery and may be sued under the civil and commercial codes.
Adultery in Thailand is defined as sexual intercourse between a person who is married and another person who is not their spouse. However, read on!!

Adultery in Thailand under the Civil and Commercial Code

Adultery in Thailand is recognized as a legal ground for seeking a divorce within Thailand under the civil and commercial codes.

Under section 1516 (1) of the civil and commercial code of Thailand, a spouse can file for a divorce, if the other spouse has committed adultery,

Some partners will knowingly cheat on their husbands or wives, this is sometimes referred to from a male’s point of view as having a gik or a Mia Noi.
This can be roughly translated into a minor wife.

A gik or a Mia Noi can be a female that the male partner maintains, or has a romantic relationship with, who is, an addition to his lawful wife for a prolonged period of time. What counts as a prolonged period is at the Court’s discretion.

Some may find this acceptable, however, there can be consequences where you are caught out.

On the other hand,

Cheating Thai Wives

Many husbands may also be aware that Thai ladies become involved in relationships with Foreign Nationals or other men with a view to being financially compensated.

It can also be the case that these females may have ongoing ties with multiple different men, who may believe that the female is exclusive to them, and who do not know of the female’s true life or husband.

This can be known as the Thai girlfriend/sponsorship “scam”, it usually involves paying the female a salary, giving her gifts, and taking her on trips, etc., the females then provide services shall we say to the unwitting so-called boyfriend without any real emotional or romantic attachment from her.
Should your Thai partner i.e. your lady be involved in this type of affair, whilst it might be immoral, it may not, depending on the circumstances, be classed as adultery. Law is, as you know a grey area.

What does not count as adultery in Thailand?

It is also very important to take note that as above, not all extramarital affairs are considered adultery under the civil and commercial code of Thailand.

By way of an example made easy, if a married person engages in sexual activity with a prostitute or pays for such services, it may not under the civil and commercial code of Thailand be considered adultery, as there is no emotional attachment between the parties offering, paying for, and engaged in such sexual activity. This could also be argued from the Thai female’s point of view where they provide services to multiple parties where payment is received in some form or another.

A reminder of what counts as Adultery in Thailand

Adultery in Thailand from a legal perspective includes both heterosexual and homosexual acts of sexual intercourse between a married person and someone who is not a spouse for a sustained period unless it is for payment where there is no romantic relationship by both parties.

Evidence is required for a Court to consider adultery as a ground for divorce

In order for the plaintiff to prove adultery in Thailand against the defendant in court, he or she will require evidence of adultery. This can include photographs, witness testimony, videos, Facebook posts, or other modern means of communication et cetera. However, it is also important to take note that any evidence must be substantial and must also be convincing for the court to consider in support as a ground for divorce.

It is also worthwhile mentioning that a plaintiff can apply to the court and seek compensation by suing the other parties involved, that is, both parties involved.

Should the plaintiff win and the infidelity continues, the parties involved could be sued for a second time.

In conclusion

If you are in a long-term or a long relationship with another party who is not your spouse, and should you be treating them as a person you are in a romantic relationship with, then you may be sued and or divorced for adultery. However, you may not be sued or divorced if you are paying for services of a sexual nature from another party where there are no emotional grounds between you.

Adultery in Thailand is a serious issue and can have serious legal and financial consequences.

At Isaan Lawyers, we believe it is essential for you to understand the definition of adultery in Thailand, how it is treated under the civil and commercial code of Thailand, and what evidence is required for a court to consider it as a substantial ground for divorce.

By reading this article, you should have a clearer understanding of these issues. However, should you need the assistance of Isaan Lawyers with regards to divorce where your spouse has cheated upon you then do not hesitate to contact our family law team.

Read more about Divorce in Thailand here. Divorce In Thailand – The Process and how to do it – Isaan Lawyers – Attorneys and Lawyers in Thailand

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Photo from a recent adultery-related story HERE at The Pattaya News

Adam Judd
Mr. Adam Judd is the Co-owner of TPN Media since December 2017. He is originally from Washington D.C., America, but has also lived in Dallas, Sarasota, and Portsmouth. His background is in retail sales, HR, and operations management, and has written about news and Thailand for many years. He has lived in Pattaya for over nine years as a full-time resident, is well known locally and been visiting the country as a regular visitor for over a decade. His full contact information, including office contact information, can be found on our Contact Us page below. Stories please e-mail About Us: Contact Us: