Due diligence when marrying a Thai lady

January 21, 2023 - Reading time: 8 minutes

'Due diligence' is commonly associated with businesses and transactions involving large sums of money. After all, any diligent person will take the time to perform suitable checks before parting with their money or entering into an agreement, in order to check the facts and ensure that their capital will be put to good use.

Marriage presents huge emotional and financial commitments to your partner, over many years or for the rest of your natural life. While a marriage is not a business transaction, it may end up involving large amounts of money (i.e. your life savings), as well as valuable assets such as properties and vehicles.

Asian lady holding a flower

Marriages to Thai ladies can often involve the groom making a substantial gift to his bride's parents on their wedding day - typically money, gold, and sometimes even properties/vehicles. The gift, known as a 'dowry' or 'sin sod' payment, is traditionally displayed during the wedding ceremony for guests of the wedding to view. 

Whether or not your marriage involves the tradition of a gift being passed to your bride's parents, it can often make sense to protect your interests by verifying your partner's circumstances before making the commitment to get married or take your relationship to the next level.

Background checks

Background checks can be used to verify numerous different facts relating to your partner or fiancé.

As a leading detective agency based in Thailand, we have years of experience in performing background checks. Over the years we have seen many cases where our clients discovered information about their partners during background check investigations which they did not already know...

For example, in some cases ladies are found to have lied about their ages - usually making themselves younger by several years or a decade or more in some cases. In rarer cases we discover that the lady may have lied about her gender, and was actually born a man... You may think that 'it could never happen to you', however many Thai ladyboys are very convincing with their appearance, and 'male to female' surgery can help complete the look.

Background check investigation elements on a touch screen

Background checks can also check the lady's marriage/divorce history, employment history, criminal record, family, social media and more.

Performing a criminal records check as part of a background check is highly recommended. Should your partner have been convicted of crimes involving dishonesty such as theft or fraud, you may wish to reconsider the viability of trusting her in future. Crimes such as the solicitation of prostitution can also act as an unpleasant 'black mark' on the lady's character, which could prove a hinderance should she later apply for a long term visa to a western country.

Did you know? If you are involved in a romantic relationship with a Thai lady that is legally married, then under Thai law you could be sued by her husband. Social media posts, messages, and photos can all be used as evidence of your relationship. For this reason we recommend at least running a marital check, if not a full background check.

Visit our background check page to learn more about our background screening services, or feel free to get in touch with us for a free quote.

Prenuptial agreements 

In many cases it can make sense to draft and sign a 'prenuptial agreement' prior to getting married. Prenuptial agreements are contracts which are signed before a marriage takes place, and detail who agrees to be responsible for the property and finances of each partner during a divorce.

In Thailand, your partner may be entitled to claim 50% of any assets which are acquired during the marriage. If you also have assets or capital in other jurisdictions (such as your home country) then the situation will inevitably become more complicated when it comes to splitting up assets during a divorce.

Whether or not it will be worthwhile using a prenuptial agreement will completely depend on your own unique circumstances, including what assets you have and in which jurisdictions your assets are located. We would recommend seeking specialist advice on your situation from a qualified lawyer in your jurisdiction.

Dowry or 'sin sod' payments

Dowry payments or 'sin sod' as it is known in Thailand, is a tradition which commonly features in Thai weddings. Typically the groom will make a gift to his bride's parents, which can include a pile of money (often ranging anywhere from 300,000 THB to 1,000,000+ THB), gold jewellery, even land/property deeds or vehicles in some cases.

The tradition of paying a dowry to the bride's parents has roots in many civilisations and cultures. In Victorian England for example, dowries were commonly paid and usually included cash and livestock. While the tradition has gradually been forgotten in Western countries, it is still practiced in other countries including Thailand.

Whether or not you need to pay a dowry to your bride's parents will depend on their attitudes and financial situation... If they are financially comfortable or well off then they might allow you to present a 'fake dowry' during your wedding. That is to say that you will be able to display a pile of money during the wedding, however afterwards that money will go back to you and not be given to the bride's parents. A 'fake dowry' can help to save the family's face by making it look as-though the groom is paying a large dowry.

Whether or not your future in-laws are amiable to such an arrangement will be a matter for them. Often it is the case that Western men will marry Thai ladies from poor farming communities in rural Thailand. If your wife's family do not have much money, then it might be a nice gesture for you to help invest in their future in a way which can help to sustain them long term. If the family are farmers, for example, then farming equipment such as a tractor could help them to make money long into the future.

It is also worth noting that in traditional Thai culture, the daughter of the family is often responsible for supporting her parents into their old age. If this arrangement does apply in your case, then as the husband of a lady that supports her parents you will be accepting part of the burden to help make sure they are provided for. We believe it is worthwhile to consider the financial implications of your marriage on both a short and long term basis.

About Bangkok Private Investigators

We are a leading detective agency based in Bangkok and serving all areas of Thailand. If you are having doubts about your partner then we can help to check the facts and gather proof.

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All contact with us is strictly private & confidential, and we offer free quotes for all work. Please visit the Bangkok Private Investigators homepage to learn more about us.

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