Marital or Communal Property in Thai Law
Property of Husband and Wife
In Thai law, the property of a married couple is assumed to be marital (communal) property unless it can be demonstrated that the property, or any part of it, is personal property.
The Thai Civil and Commercial Code provides the following:
Section 1471 Separate Property consists of:
- Property belonging to either spouse before marriage;
- Property for personal use, dress or ornament suitable for position in life, or tools necessary for carrying on the profession of either spouse;
- Property acquired by either spouse during marriage through a will or gift;
- Engagement Gifts (Khongman).
Section 1474 Marital Property consists of:
- Property acquired during marriage;
- Property acquired by either spouse during marriage through a will of gift made in writing if it declared by such will or document of gift to be Marital Property;
- Fruits of Personal Property.
In case of doubt whether it is Personal Property or Marital Property, it is assumed to be Marital Property.
Supreme Court Adjudication No. 1296/2558
The Plaintiff (Husband) petitioned the court for divorce and requested that the marital home be divided equally on the basis that it was a marital property.
The Defendant (Wife) responded by requesting the court dismiss the case on the basis that the house was constructed at her own expense and should therefore be considered personal property.
The Court held that although the property in question was constructed before the marriage, there was a clear intention to build the house while the Plaintiff and Defendant cohabited as husband and wife, giving rise to an intention that the property be held in common ownership. The decision of the Court of First Instance and the Appeal Court that the Plaintiff have an equal share in the property was upheld.