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BANGKOK 18 February 2019 06:50
DeaconJohn

Contested divorce

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My Thai wife of 30+ years wants to divorce me.

For about 10 years now, ever since the onset of middle-age, she has been experiencing increasingly frequent bouts of depression where she blames me for everything and wants out of the marriage.

I'm in my mid-70s dealing with some serious health problems.

We have two grown daughters, both married and doing very well. Our eldest is a C-6 official at a government ministry in Bangkok. Thanks to her, I get complete health coverage including meds. Nevertheless, I'm dependent on my wife to make doctor's appointments and many other things connected with my hospital visits every few months.

Otherwise, I'm also dependent on my marriage status to qualify for my yearly visa extension. Frankly speaking, I just don't have money enough for any other way to stay in Thailand legally. A divorce would make my situation here untenable and leave me with no viable alternatives. A return to Farangland after all these years is out of the question.

Assets are not an issue. We have a house in Chiang Mai, a small fruit farm in the nearby countryside, and three rental houses in town. A Honda City and a Toyota pickup are included. Everything is in my wife's name.

I'm too old to care about any of it. I've lived my life here happily in spite of having to accommodate myself to an occasionally rocky marriage. I've had my day.

My question is this:  If I don't agree to the divorce, what action can my wife take on her own? I'm well aware that if both parties agree, divorce is a simple matter. But what if I refuse?  The obvious answer would be to consult a lawyer. That is what I will probably have to do eventually if things get worse. But in the meantime I would like to learn as much about the legal aspects of the situation as possible.

Any relevant information would be sincerely appreciated.

 

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On ‎2‎/‎12‎/‎2019 at 5:24 AM, Banana7 said:

Money is very important in Thailand. Don't let go of your rights to the assets acquired during marriage. You'll need lots of cash in the bank for a retirement visa and for new expenses. Previous advice given by Sheryl, sounds solid. Get a retirement visa

Unless she co operates, his chances of getting enough money appear slim.

My sympathy to the OP, but every farang contemplating marrying a Thai woman should read the OP, and take steps to avoid being in the same situation should the worst happen.

 

I was lucky and got an uncontested divorce, and managed to keep some money, though I lost everything I had bought for the house. Still ended up with not enough money to continue living in LOS, much to my everlasting despair. Life back in my own country is <deleted> so I understand how the OP feels about going "home".

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On 2/11/2019 at 10:31 PM, plachon said:

Sorry to hear about your situation. As a matter of interest, even though the properties are in your name, were you the one who actually paid for them in reality? I'm assuming so, in which case, could you not split the value of the assets in a not-contested divorce (in an agreement drawn up by a lawyer), with your wife remaining in main house and you go live in one of the rental properties in town yourself? Sale of other rental properties, if worth half the value of main property might be able to help your wife then pay you your 50 % share of main property. Perhaps where you go to live could be signed over to name of one of your daughters, thus giving you security in to the future. 

Just an idea, which no doubt you've already considered.

 

You make some good suggestions about the equitable sharing of assets.

Yes, I was the one who bought - or built - most of what we have. Everything is in my wife's name [you misread my post] and she has always managed the properties very well. 

The last thing I want is to be involved with land office bureaucrats or tenants.  Our two daughters are in line to inherit everything in due course.  I don't want to make any changes to that plan.

It isn't so much loss of assets that concerns me as it is the break up of my marriage. All my problems arise from the unpredictable mood swings of my wife.

Basically, what I want to do is stonewall a divorce and continue to live and work on our farm and come into town every few days for short stays as I have been for many years now.

That will be possible if her mental health issues, personality disorder, or whatever it is doesn't take a turn for the worse. So far, I've been able to navigate the mood changes and cajole her into helping me with visa and health matters.

If she really starts to lose it and demands a divorce, I'm screwed.

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20 minutes ago, emptypockets said:

Perhaps trying to get her to see a doctor to treat the depression might be a thought.

Our family is working on that.

There is a lady psychiatrist, or psychologist, at Suan Prung by the name of Ajahn Kittiwan - or something close to that - who has a very good reputation in Chiang Mai.

The difficulty is getting my wife to admit that she has a problem.

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On 2/10/2019 at 9:17 PM, DeaconJohn said:

My question is this:  If I don't agree to the divorce, what action can my wife take on her own?

Probably not go with you to immigration to get your yearly extension. Kind of need a co-operative wife for that!

 

But seriously, you've been here 30 years and you can't even make a doctor appointment for yourself? You need to start being able to do things for yourself. If you're married then half of the assets belong to you, regardless of whether they are in her name or not. And to hear you have a home, farm, 3 investment house and car, then you're complaining you don't have income to show for your extension of stay is comical. SELL some of your assets.  

 

 

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On 2/13/2019 at 8:54 PM, DeaconJohn said:

The last thing I want is to be involved with land office bureaucrats or tenants.  Our two daughters are in line to inherit everything in due course.  I don't want to make any changes to that plan.

With respect, you may have to get involved with your property issues to sort them out to suit your needs, and anyway any short-term changes in this will not affect the inheritance due to your daughters.

 

Take control of that which will ease your dilemma and suit your purpose, even if it means dealing with folks that you don't want to, mainly because you need to do something to help yourself/your situation.

 

The above would be a fallback position if visits to the hospital specialists don't provide some solution/cure.........and hard as it may sound, have you ever thought that she is tired of the position she is in and really does want out? 

 

Sometimes facing reality is the hardest part about it all. 

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