Integrity Legal

20th November 2009

Unfortunately Thailand is a breeding ground for disreputable firms offering drafting services for a Thai prenuptial agreement. One of the telltale signs of such an operation is a so-called American “lawyer,” offering an American Prenuptial agreement for Thai fiancees. The first thing one ought to do when dealing with anyone claiming to be an attorney: ask for their credentials. An actual licensed attorney from the United States should be able to produce a bar card, supreme court license, or US Federal license to practice law.

That being said, there are further issues to remember when drafting a prenuptial agreement. One major formality should be adhered to when creating a prenuptial agreement and failure to adhere to this formality can severely damage a prenuptial agreement’s later enforceability. This important formality is a review with an independent attorney.

A prenuptial agreement, like many legal contracts, requires that all parties understand the agreement at the time that they sign it. In cases where the agreement is with a Thai fiancee, it is wise to have both a Thai version of the agreement and an independent attorney who can review the agreement with the fiancee so that she understands all aspects of the agreement and all of the legal rights and benefits that she is both acquiring and relinquishing by signing the agreement. Having the agreement drawn up by an unlicensed attorney runs the risk of having its provisions later thrown out due to poor draftsmanship. Further, failure to have an independent attorney review the document with the Thai fiancee could result in a court finding that the provisions of the agreement should not be followed because the Thai fiancee did not understand what she was signing when she signed it.

For these reasons, it is highly advisable to retain a licensed attorney to draft a prenuptial agreement in both Thai and English. A legitimate attorney can then refer the Thai fiancee to another licensed independent attorney who can provide an accurate and impartial assessment of the agreement as well as answer any questions that the Thai fiancee might have.

Some couples opt to have their signatures notarized and in Thailand an attorney will likely have access to a Thai notary. If the couple plans to sign the agreement in the United States, then it would be wise to retain the services of a notary in the state where the agreement is signed. A notary must actually witness the signatures of both parties. At American Citizen Services at the US Embassy in Bangkok the consular officers can provide notary services. Although a Thai notary is valid if the agreement is signed in Thailand.

For more information, please see Thailand Prenup.


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