Marriage Thailand


Monday, February 11, 2008

VICTORIA — The Thai wife of a Victoria-born oilfield worker is accused of having him killed as he slept in their home in Thailand by paying a gunman close to $2,000, according to Thai reports.

Dale Henry, 48, was killed by a gunshot to the head. Marie-Christine Lilkoff, a spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs, confirmed Sunday that the killing took place Feb. 3. She was unable to provide further details of the case due to privacy concerns.

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In Thailand it is legal for foreigners to marry either Thai citizens or other foreign nationals. The process is generally fairly straightforward. Certain paperwork is required, all of which must be translated into the Thai language and legalized pursuant to Thai law. In addition, certain considerations, such as prenuptial agreements should be considered when marrying in Thailand, as special rules apply.

Marriages can be performed at a local district office known as an ‘amphur’ or ‘khet’. In order for foreigners to get married in Thailand they must have clearance from their embassy. Embassies of different countries have different procedures for providing this clearance. In general, the Thai district offices that perform marriages require affidavits that assert the name of the foreigner, as well as personal details such as confirmed citizenship of that country and legal freedom to marry. Once those foreign affidavits are obtained, they must be translated into Thai and legalized pursuant to Thai law. At that point parties must proceed to the necessary district office for an administrative marriage.

A marriage in Thailand is a legal marriage pursuant to Thai law and is normally recognized throughout the world. This allows for certain benefits to marrying in Thailand. For individuals with trans-national issues, where one or more spouse is from a different country, Thailand is a very convenient location in which to marry.

Another advantage of getting married in Thailand is the variety of picturesque locations, such as world class beach resorts, where a formal or religious ceremony can be performed following the legal administrative marriage.

So how long does an administrative marriage in Thailand take? Including the time involved in procuring affidavits from an embassy, having those documents translated and legalized, and having the marriage performed at a local amphur, the process can be completed in as little as 3 - 4 days. Sometimes, if there are complications, such as back-ups in paperwork at an embassy, or different requirements for certain nations’ embassies, the process can take longer.

It is helpful to retain the services of a lawyer to supervise the marriage. LegalThailand.com can help you co-ordinate the procurement of official documents from the embassy and have them translated and legalized quickly with minimum problems. Familiarity with the formalities of a Thai marriage, access to qualified translators, and an understanding of the legalization process reduces the likelihood of delay or complication.

Prenuptial agreements are allowed in Thailand provided they meet the procedural requirements of Thai law. Generally, it is advisable to have a law office assist you with the preparation of a prenuptial agreement and the translation and legalization of such an agreement pursuant to Thai law. These prenuptial agreements are generally considered valid legal agreements in jurisdictions outside of Thailand. Although, litigation can be an unpredictable process and the laws of different countries may vary, it is always safer for persons with assets or significant property to have a prenuptial agreement.

Dry spells seem to last forever, but when it rains, it pours.” Ironically, I’ve found that the easiest way to attract ladies is by already having one, which of course is objectionable, but it’s just my experience. There’s something about your body language when you’re in love that makes you more attractive. When seen in public with your girlfriend, there’s often envy on the part of the other girls, and potential inroads there.Thais are very sensitive to body language. Everyone in the world should be but they aren’t. Most Thais are more sensitive than most Americans I know to reading body language. You must be in a relaxed and nice state of mind.

You must be clean, and should be dressed fairly nicely.

Generally speaking, Thais are gentle, fun-loving, nonjudgemental, and positive-minded people. If you are too serious, overbearing, judgemental and impatient then you’re going to have a very difficult time here (unless you stick to the go-go bars instead).

If you look around at a lot of women, then they will dismiss you as a hunter or “snake head”. They will watch your eyes and your entire body language, and read you like a book. Most ladies will not give any hint of being attracted to a foreign guy until they have observed him awhile to assess his character.

You really can’t fake body language. You are what you are. As applies to Hollywood, “Bad actors act, good actors are”, i.e., bad actors act their character role without truly feeling it, whereas good actors become their character.

Meeting the Ladies

Courting is usually very subtle at first in Thailand. In the Thai culture, generally speaking, the guy should chase the girl moreso than in the farang culture, and the girl must play hard to get. However, this is not always the case, and many girls have overtly chased me, usually when with one or more of their friends when they tend to be in a more social mood.

It’s sometimes also easier for me when I’m with a friend or two, warmed up in conversation mode already, and where the focus isn’t so intense on one person. Having several people around can create a constantly flowing dynamic.

In mainstream nightspots, a Thai male friend at the ladies’ table may make the initial contact because the girls are too shy, or a waiter/waitress will bridge the communication in a playful way. However, nightspots are a risky source for a longterm girlfriend.

It’s difficult for a tourist to meet a mainstream lady while on a short trip to Thailand. It’s much better to live here a long time, whereby the ladies see the guy as here long enough to get to know first, less risk of the usual problems of long distance relationships, and you get a better selection over time.

As this is not an option for so many guys, I get a lot of inquiries for advice.

Internet dating is one obvious option, whereby you can meet them well in advance of your arrival and develop the relationship over that time. However, ladies with a photo and profile on-line usually have a lot of guys hitting up on them … need I say more? Also, you just don’t know about personality compatibility until you meet them in person, so should you put all your hopes into one lady?

For those who choose to try internet dating, I advise you to put up your own profile and wait for Thai ladies to go to the effort to contact you. Many mainstream Thai ladies don’t want to put their photo up on an internet dating site. Ask for their profile, and if they don’t have one or are shy to put up their photo or personal information, then that’s usually a good sign. However, do be aware that there are scammers who reach out to contact foreigners this way, and if you get serious about a lady then you may want to verify her background and current status.

An alternative is to meet mainstream ladies is in a commercial environment, such as sales and service ladies. It’s their job to talk with customers, but with a smile and genuine interest you can meet many of these ladies in one day. Only a small fraction may be available (no husband or boyfriend)and interested, but in a good long day at shopping malls and markets, you may be able to come up with a few prospects. However, many sales ladies “use” guys just to make sales, so you must be careful, and at some point you could ask if they have a husband or boyfriend. If you can get their mobile number, then send an SMS or two. If they don’t reply, then cross them off your list. However, while it’s a good sign that a lady has a real job requiring real effort rather than making money on her back, do be aware that some sales ladies use their job to meet multiple men, and of course pretty ones will normally have multiple guys in pursuit.

If you choose to stick to your normal living and working environment, then usually, the initial contact does not happen for some time. I may be aware that I’m being watched, and make some subtle signals that I’m also watching (quite subtle and not pushy), but it takes time. The Thai ladies check you out carefully over time, such as whether your eyes look at a lot of other ladies in the environment, and of course whether you go thru a series of bargirls.

If you are outside your normal environment and/or it’s a one-time opportunity where you’ll probably never see each other again, then you must go for it somehow. If you’ll be seeing each other again, e.g., you see her at her fixed place of work or at a nearby residence, then the best thing is to give it some time.

A genuine smile is an absolute must. Thais know of many kinds of smiles just like many kinds of hearts. (Minds are another matter…)

Differences from the West

First, Thais don’t kiss much mouth-to-mouth. French-style kissing is rare. Instead, Thais kiss with their nose against their lover’s skin, a kind of mild suction kiss with the nose. It’s a more sensitive kind of kiss, and not wet or sloppy.

I remember the first time a girl kissed me this way. It was very cute and I came to prefer this way. I’ve never been into mouth-to-mouth kissing too much anyway, so this was an improvement. I kiss the skin regularly but not the mouth except on occasion.

The rest of this section gets a little sexually graphic, so if you’re too conservative then you should stop here…

Mainstream Thai girls are usually shy about their bodies. If you start expanding your affections to sensitive parts of their body, then you’ll usually need to turn out the lights at first.

Touching a certain place with your hand is usually not allowed, quite the opposite of western ladies who much prefer foreplay in such a place. Indeed, if you proceed to sexual intercourse, then it may take a little more time without “guidance” or such touching.

Sexual gratification of the woman often doesn’t occur on the first encounter unless you really take a lot of time. If they’re a virgin, which is common here, then they’re usually quite ignorant and learning some very basics. Once they’ve “gotten over” this first experience, then they’re generally more open to learning and foreplay. Sexuality is not discussed in the saucy Thai press in as much detail as in the west (never mind the saucier photos in Thai magazines), and in many circles it is not discussed in detail among friends, though many Thai ladies go into exhaustive detail with their close friends.

As you develop friendship as well as romance, trust, and lots of affection and comfort with each other, then you can often bypass the pitfalls of the above, especially with LOTS AND LOTS of foreplay.

At the other extreme, forget getting a lady into bed on the first night, or the second. Let them dream about things for awhile, and assimilate the possibilities in their mind, so that they are “ready”. It’s not uncommon to sleep with a lady without having sx for one or more nights. I generally stay away from sx until both they and myself are ready. No sx is much better than bad sex. And other feelings are more gratifying. It’s like drinking a wine before its time. Also, first impressions are important. Wait until she’s really ready (though some people are followers too much, and need some pushing).

Some Thai girls will talk seriously about commitment and make conditions for getting more physical. Don’t lie or mislead them. They are serious. Don’t be surprised if they reject you and remove themselves from the relationship. However, in most cases it’s just for awhile. You might be surprised several days later by the 11pm sweet and imaginative phone call you’ll get, like they’ve decided that “If you don’t get what you want, then you settle for less.” You can see the shift in their outlook, that they are now ready to explore and learn some things about life and love, rather than stick to their ideals and the same old routine and potentially miss out.

Regardless of culture, humans have more in common than they have differences. However, there are cultural differences, and some can mean some serious issues. Many differences are subcultural rather than cultural, i.e., not all Thais are the same. My own experience plus that of my farang friends and associates is most remarkable, and I’ll do my best to structure it here.

Overall, the vast majority of farangs have Thai girlfriends from the farang bar-girl and freelancer scene. A smaller percentage are Thai ladies from the offices of multinational companies (usually met in the office), and Thai ladies attending universities (often met via Internet). A still smaller percentage is Thai ladies from none of the above, and what I’ll generally categorize as from social encounters — the general blue collar workforce, or born wealthy and idling, or supported by their extended family, etc. (Low level sales ladies in department stores and the like are often in a grey area, in-between.)

There are major differences between “mainstream” ladies and bargirls/freelancers. While there are many sorts, most of them will not get in bed with you quickly. (How long varies from a few dates to a few months. Those waiting until marriage now make up a small minority.) They will expect you to be faithful to them. You must know how to be reasonably polite and proper in Thai culture if you ever expect to get far. Sukhumvit and Pattaya norms are not acceptable — this is a different subculture.

When in public in Thailand, it’s important to not overdo physical contact. Watch Thai couples. They may touch hands or arms occasionally, but they don’t walk down the road arm in arm, and don’t even hold hands much. Nonetheless, the looks in your eyes, smiles, and gentle affectionate touching which flows naturally is quite acceptable in contemporary Bangkok culture. Of course, unnatural, “forced” contact is a turn-off. Kissing in public is something you should never do in Thailand

Any marriage in Thailand must be performed according to Thai law and any detailed questions on the procedure should be addressed to the appropriate Thai authorities. Some guidance is provided on the website of the Royal Thai Embassy in London.

The Thai authorities require that any foreign national wishing to marry in Thailand obtain an “affirmation of freedom to marry”. This affirmation must be made in person at the Consular Section of the British Embassy in Bangkok. It is not possible to obtain the affirmation from the United Kingdom in advance.

The marriage will only be recognised under UK law if it is valid under Thai law. For it to be valid in Thai law, the marriage must be registered with the Registrar at an Amphur Office (District Office). A religious ceremony on its own is not recognised as being valid under Thai law.

The Thai marriage certificate will be in Thai only. You may wish to commission a “sworn translation” of the marriage certificate from a translation bureau, so that you can use the document for legal purposes in the U.K.

Consular Section can arrange for your marriage certificate to be deposited with the General Register Office (GRO) in the United Kingdom. This not a legal obligation and has no bearing on the validity or otherwise of the marriage. It simply means that you are able to obtain a certified copy of your marriage certificate directly from the GRO, should you need to do so in the future. Please ask us for further details if you wish do this.