Integrity Legal

17th Jun 2009

Information swirling around the internet regarding prenuptial agreements can be less than helpful or downright dangerous. One thing to bear in mind is the fact that writing one’s own prenuptial agreement is generally not a wise idea because an attorney understands the legal implications of certain language used in the agreement. Someone without legal training might be unaware of the consequences involved when using or omitting certain key phrases.

There is a rather common misconception that prenuptial agreements will be held inviolate by the courts. This is frankly not true. There are situations where a court will throw out a prenuptial agreement. For this reason, it may be doubly important that professional legal counsel be retained in order to forestall a judicial nullification of an otherwise duly formalized prenuptial agreement.

A misconception of less prevalence in the United States, but perhaps more prevalent in the Kingdom of Thailand is the idea that prenuptial agreements will be automatically thrown out of court. This belief is especially widespread among the British expatriate community in Thailand. Although it is true that British Courts take a dim view regarding prenuptial agreements, there are some instances of the court taking them into account when dividing marital property, but as a rule, they are not generally recognized. That being said, Thai courts will recognize a duly formalized prenuptial agreement and for this reason it is probably prudent for the expat with assets that he wishes to protect in Thailand to register a prenuptial agreement at the time of the Thailand Marriage Registration.

Some people believe that prenuptial agreements can make stipulations regarding child custody. It is an almost universal fact that prenuptial agreements that make provisions for child custody, particularly with regard to as-yet unborn children, will be thrown out of court, because it is the Court’s duty to make decisions regarding the child based upon the best interests of that child.

In most jurisdictions in the United States provisions can be made that will limit spousal maintenance should their be a dissolution. In any case involving the waiver of maintenance rights, it is prudent to have an independent attorney explain the agreement to the non-drafting fiancee. This forestalls the agreement being thrown out because the fiancee was ignorant of the agreements provisions at the time she signed it. Further it may be wise, depending upon the situation, to have the prenuptial agreement signed ad then let an interval of time pass before Thai marriage registration.

(Please be on notice: this post is not a satisfactory substitute for competent legal advice from an attorney. No attorney-client relationship is created between author and reader.)

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