Should I marry my Thai girlfriend?

January 5, 2020 - Reading time: 3 minutes

If you’re a foreign person from an English speaking country, getting married in Thailand might be a somewhat different process compared to tying the knot with a woman in your home country. Thailand has some unique customs and culture that you should familiarize yourself with before taking the step to get married.

Reasons for getting married

If you’re getting married to anyone from any country in the world it would be wise to do so after being in a committed relationship for a reasonable length of time beforehand. If you have been in a long term, long distance relationship with a Thai lady then it would be a good idea to live together for an extended period before getting married. Sending messages through LINE or Facebook every day is not the same as actually living with a person full time. Make sure you’ve taken the time to get to know your girlfriend completely before committing to marriage.

Marriage is a serious life decision and you should never get married purely to meet the requirement of a visa. You should only get married to solidify a long term relationship and if you both feel totally comfortable with the idea.

Paying a sin sod (dowry)

If you’re considering getting married to a Thai lady then you will probably be aware of the dreaded sin sod (dowry) payment. In Thai culture a dowry is paid to the bride’s parents when getting married. It usually consists of a big pile of cash, some gold, and can even include the deeds to land or property.

The amount of money you will need to give the family of your fiancé will be their choice. We have heard stories from guys that have been asked to pay anywhere from 400,000 THB to well over 1 million baht. Sometimes the family will ask for a brand new pickup truck or a piece of land. It all depends on their circumstances and if the family are comfortable financially. The cost of a dowry is paid as well as the cost of a marriage ceremony, which can make getting married an expensive exercise. 

What you can expect

When getting married to a Thai woman you will be committing yourself to her. Her problems will become your problems. Does the lady (or her family) have significant debt that they will need help paying off? Is the family home in good condition or does the roof leak when it rains? Traditionally in Thailand, the daughter of the family is responsible for supporting her parents while sons are responsible for supporting their own families.

Everyone is different and it’s important to discuss and understand your partner’s expectations for married life and what they have planned for the long term.

Other considerations

Just as in other jurisdictions, assets and property that are purchased in Thailand while legally married might be considered as matrimonial property during a divorce. Prenuptial agreements are legally recognized in Thailand however certain property cannot be excluded by use of a prenuptial agreement. This should be a consideration for those with significant wealth or assets. Please note that this website does not provide legal advice and we suggest contacting a qualified lawyer for information on legal matters.

Due to the large amounts of money involved with marrying a Thai lady, it often makes sense to run a background check on your partner before committing yourself to them. Background checks or other forms of investigation are often able to save our clients vast amounts of money in the long run. Please feel free to get in touch with us for a free quote.

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