Marriage in Thailand
For a marriage to be recognized by law in Thailand, it should be registered at the local district office in your area. Religious ceremonies are deemed as unofficial in Thailand and are to be used only for blessings. It might be useful to contact a family lawyer in Thailand to complete the legal process.
For those marrying in Thailand who is below 20 years old, a written consent from the parents is required. If the consent is written in English, then it needs to be translated into Thai language. The minimum age to legally marry in the country is 17. For those who are divorced or widowed, a 310-days waiting period is required before entering into another marriage provided that all needed documents are in place. And by entering marriage less than the waiting period, a medical certificate of non-pregnancy should be provided.
Foreign citizens are required to present their original passport copies, which should include a copy of the entry visa to Thailand. An Affirmation of Freedom to Marry is required from both parties, which should be authenticated by the embassies and translated. All translation of documents should be certified at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. If any of the parties has been married before, a Divorce or Death Certificate is required whichever is applicable.
The Affirmation of Freedom to Marry has various steps depending on which country you are from. Foreigners need to contact their country’s Embassy and apply in person, and should bring with them valid IDs and proof of marriage dissolution if previously been married. The affirmation letter also needs to be translated into Thai language and certified at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A Thai Marriage cannot be completed without the Affirmation letter first issued by the respective embassy.
Thai citizens are only required to present their National ID card with photocopies of their House Registration document.
It is also traditional in Thailand that a man pays dowry to the girl’s family if he wishes to marry a Thai woman. Even though this custom is already dying, some families are still expecting it. The dowry can be in a form of money or gifts.
To register a marriage, the couple should go to the local district office. A translator can be provided by the office if necessary. It is also possible to arrange for a registrar to perform the marriage registration at a different location. You also can contact a marriage lawyer in Thailand to facilitate the procedure. You will also need to take a look at Islamic marriage in Thailand for more details on traditional weddings in Thailand.