Talaq – Islamic Divorce
If you are Muslim and wanting to get divorced in Thailand, also known as Talaq in Muslim divorce then you will need to consider that the traditional marriage is not recognized and neither will the divorce done in Islamic tradition. You can however do both to suffice with both Sharia law and Thai civil codes. You will need to speak to a family lawyer in Thailand for further assistance.
Islamic Divorce in Thailand
Under Islamic law you only need to repeat three times that you are now divorced. This is normally done by the husband. How this gets done in a technological age is another question that has not been fully covered. Could you do this via email or must it be done in person? These and many other questions have been asked in the new internet age. For this reason, the divorce may be valid under Islamic law when it is done before the village Imam or before the Muslim Religious Committee Council Committee. They will issue you with a divorce certificate when done in this manner. Both husband and wife will get a copy of this divorce. In terms of Sharia law, you are now divorced in Thailand however the Administration of Islamic Organizations Act 1997 does not give the power of divorce to Imam’s. This still has to go through the Thai courts or the Amphurs Office (District Office) when it is an unopposed divorce. They will also give you a divorce certificate. As a Muslim in Thailand you should then have two divorce certificates to complete your divorce.
Thai law prescribes that the Islamic Committee has the authority to issue but not to register marriage and divorce certificates. This would be valid only under Islamic law. It is very common in the Southern provinces of Thailand that both marriage and divorce follow both Sharia law as well as Thai law. If you are in doubt, then you should speak to a family law attorney in Thailand for more advice and assistance. Most foreigners getting married or divorced in Thailand tend to be Singaporeans as well as Malaysians and Indonesians.
Note the definitions in Thai law with regards to the Administration of Islamic Organizations Act 1997:
“Masjid” means the place where the Muslims use for their religious affairs in which there must be regular Friday prayers, and it is the place for teaching Islam.
“Imam” means the religious leader of the Masjid.
If you need legal advice on the process, then you should contact a lawyer in Thailand about this. First the Islamic divorce and then the Thai civil divorce. If there are contested issues, then an attorney will be needed in the civil courts as child alimony and child custody would be an issues as well as other property matters. When in doubt in Thailand a qualified attorney tends to solve these complex legal issues.