Divorces in Thailand or anywhere in the world for that matter are rarely an easy process. Even if both spouses want an “amicable” end to their marriage, there is still a chance of conflict that, if not handled well, may ultimately lead to court proceedings. GPS Legal offers collaborative divorce participation agreements (CDPAs) as a path to a less confrontational, thoroughly negotiated divorce agreement that benefits both spouses and their families and provides a built-in disincentive to proceed to court where a judge decides the outcome.
How can a divorce in Thailand be collaborative?
You and your spouse may want to pursue an amicable divorce settlement, assuming, wherein you both agree to split without any bad feelings, that this goodwill will continue. However, splitting up is usually sensitive and emotional, and there is always a chance that the stark realities of the process may break down, turning confrontational instead of cooperative. A Collaborative Divorce Participation Agreement (CDPA) offers an alternative to traditional divorce proceedings. A CDPA turns a potentially confrontational and litigious dispute into a more measured, mediated negotiation.
Where a collaborative divorce is different than a standard mediation is that a CDPA sets strict ground rules for the divorce negotiations to continue. Both sides agree to discuss all issues raised by either party in good faith, sharing all relevant information freely. A CDPA may include financial and childcare experts as well as attorneys to assist when discussing specific matters such as assets or visitation arrangements.
Most importantly, a CDPA legally binds all parties to agree on divorce terms without going to court. If either party terminates the CDPA for any reason, the lawyers, and possibly any other experts and advisors utilized up to that point, are contractually obligated to recuse themselves from any further proceedings including those at court. This means that new lawyers and advisors must be hired and the whole process starts over from scratch. Lost time, goodwill and money can be motivation enough to keep everyone involved dedicated to mutually beneficial result.
Why consider a collaborative divorce?
The potential financial and time loss is a major incentive, but a collaborative divorce participation agreement offers a lot of flexibility and opportunities. Since both sides will lose their advisors, the threat of going to court can ring hollow for everyone. Because these are contractual negotiations, you can be more creative about terms and concessions. And since both spouses are fully involved in the process, they are more likely to follow the terms and conditions of the resulting agreement. Once the courts take over without the benefit of an out-of-court settlement, you are bound by the judge’s decisions, who will rely entirely on the law than necessarily your best interests.
Going the CDPA route still requires legal representation, but since the goal is an agreement, the lawyers should be less adversarial, avoiding more stress than necessary during this trying time. This is important, especially if there are children involved.
Nevertheless, CDPAs are not for everyone. If there is any conflict or power plays by either spouse, this can doom the negotiations from the start. Also, while this may be a smoother process, it is not always the fastest. A CDPA helps guarantee full cooperation, but even with everyone providing complete disclosure and transparency, it may take a while to reach an agreement.
How do CDPAs work in Thailand?
As mentioned in another article, contracts between married couples can present problems. Under Thai law, if a married couple enters a contract, either spouse can unilaterally void that contract during the marriage including up to one year after the marriage ends.
So how would a collaborative divorce participation agreement work in Thailand? Importantly, it is the lawyers and other advisors who are party to the agreement that are bound to its terms. Therefore, if you or your spouse pulls out of the CDPA, it triggers the termination of the entire agreement and all the advisors involved must dissolve their relationships with you both. However, you must still pay them for their participation. And then you need to hire new representation and consultation.
GPS Legal knows about CDPAs and divorce in Thailand
GPS Legal will advocate fully for your best interests throughout your divorce proceedings. If you choose to enter into a collaborative divorce, we have the negotiation experience necessary to ensure you get the greatest benefit without having to endear a lengthy court process. Find out more about how we can help you with your divorce, contact us for a free initial consultation today.