Matrimonial properties and their attached rights of claims and ownerships may seem to be irrelevant if a couple is having a harmonious marriage. However, the same cannot be said if the said marriage will end in a divorce, the type of which that involves litigation, as one party may lay contentious claim over a property of the other spouse which was acquired before their marriage and the involve exchanges between the two opposing sides can be very stressful for anyone who is involved.
First, there are two types of Matrimonial Assets in Thailand: (1) The Sin Suan Tua or personal property and (2) the Sin Simoros of the conjugal/matrimonial property.
Sin Sua Tua
- A general characteristic of the Sin Sua Tua is this property has been acquired by a spouse before their marriage therefore the right of ownership rests with the one who acquired it.
- i.e. The family car was purchased by the husband before he got married with his wife therefore even if the whole family, including the wife, uses it, the said property still belongs to the husband.
- However, even if acquired during marriage, a property can still be considered as a personal property when this has been acquired using a will or gift.
- i.e. The wife acquired a chicken store as her inheritance from her father.
- Additionally, properties for personal use are considered as Sin Sua Tua.
- i.e. Books and clothing of a spouse.
If the said properties are subjected to a sale, the proceeds of which will not be considered as conjugal or matrimonial as the properties sold are Sin Sua Tua in nature.
- In Thailand, a dowry or Khongman is still practiced by many families.
- i.e. The husband gave his wife a pair of cattle as part of his dowry.
- The striking distinction between the Sin Suan Tua and the Sin Somoros is that, the Simoros are the pieces of properties acquired during the couple’s marriage.
- i.e. The couple bought a house within their marriage. The house new house is considered as a Sin Simoros.
- Section 2 of the Sin Sua Tua stated that if these properties are acquired through the enforcement of a will, the said properties will be personal in nature. But, this provision will not take into effect a provision in the will says otherwise.
- i.e. The late father of the wife left a will which contained a provision that said: "All acquired properties through the use of the assets inherited by my daughter with my will shall be treated as conjugal in nature."
- Income earned from a property of personal in nature.
- i.e. The income derived from the personally owned chicken store of the husband are considered matrimonial.
- When a personal asset is used to acquire another property, the newly acquired property shall be considered as a personal one.
- i.e. The husband bought a television using his own money, such television is considered as his personal property even if the whole family uses it.
- When there is doubt in terms of ownership on a certain property, the said property is considered as Sin Somoros in nature.