Danish man wins lawsuit against Thai wife for not sharing assets

The Danish man (left) together with his friend and Thai wife in front of the Buriram Provincial Court on Wednesday 24 June 2020. Photo: Gregers Moller.

The Provincial Court in Buriram brokered on Wednesday a deal between a Danish man and his former Thai partner who had denied him any return of the roughly 5 mill. baht, he had invested in a house they had built together and a car, they had bought in her name.

The court ruled, that the Thai woman should transfer the car, a Honda CRV bought for 1.7 mill. baht, to the Dane. The woman had initially claimed, that the car was a gift of affection and so was the house and since it was all in her name and they were not married, he had no right to any of her assets.

That was not how the judge saw it. According to her, the hearing on Tuesday in the court made it clear that the couple had entered a common law marriage and lived together as husband and wife – although not for very long. He had transferred the funds to her bank account in steps that corresponded to the steps in payment for the car and the building phases of the house.

The judge also explained, that since the house was built on land that belonged to the Thai woman’s mother, the only alternative to a compromise would be to tear down the house and sell the used building material and sell the car and split the money – since the Danish man was entitled to 50 percent of the shared assets of the relationship. That would give him half of approximately 900.000 baht.

The judge made no room for doubt that if the Thai woman should decide not to accept her suggestion, then she would rule in favour of the Danish man. Leaving the car to him and keep the house was a better alternative for both, she proposed.

It took the accused – the former partner – surprisingly long tome to make up her mind if she preferred to continue to fight for her claim, that it was all a gift, or accept the deal offered. Eventually, she declared in tears that if the Dane would not come back and live with her, which she had hoped for, then it was OK that he got the car.

The courts ruling – which was brokered into a deal before it actually became a ruling – is a significant break from the popular belief among both Thai women and foreigners in Thailand, that if the marriage has not been properly registered, then the Thai woman can walk away as the owner all of the couple’s assets registered in her name in case the relationship should break up.

The relationship started in December 2018, when the Danish man visited Thailand for the first time after his wife had passed away. He met the Thai woman in Hua Hin, which he visited together with another Danish man and his Thai wife. She was working in a bar there and he liked her. After a few days of seeing her every day, he bought her out of the bar for a full week and together they went to Kanchanaburi where his friend went up to play golf.

After that, he went back to Denmark only to return a month and a half later. This time, his girlfriend took him up to see her mother in Buriram and he stayed for a full three months.

Between the spring of 2019 and February 2020 when the relationship ended, the Danish man transferred a total of 5,7 mill Baht from his bank account to hers in the belief, that they would live together similar to what he saw his friend did with his Thai wife. The car cost 1.7 mill baht. The house around 3 mill. baht. To keep her from going back to the bar to work, he sent her 25.000 baht every month. And then there was the debt of the Thai woman’s mother of 200.000 baht, which he also agreed to help pay.

The bank statements left no doubt of the amount of money, but the Thai woman’s lawyer insisted, it was paid as a gift of affection even the court was presented with evidence of the payments of expenses which correlated to the money transferred.

The breakup happened in the wake of a lavish house warming party which the Danish man had questioned the necessity of. The party lasted a day, included a stage with live music and female dancers and was attended by around 250 – 300 guests. In the following days he was given the cold shoulder. Then he noticed that all the leftover building material was being moved over to his wife’s mothers house and used to build a wall there. When he asked who paid for that, the thin ice broke. He was told he could just move out because this was her house. And he could not take the car as it was her car.

At first he called his friend who lived around 50 km away and asked if he could come and stay with them for a few day. They helped him with practical details and drove him to the provincial police to formerly register a complaint against the Thai woman.

The first court case, which the lawyer of his friend and his wife raised for him, was to claim the car as his. When the lawyer of the woman denied him that, the Danish man’s lawyer withdrew the case and started a new case claiming full separation of the home, asking for 50 percent of the 5.7 mill. Baht the Dane had transferred over time, plus interest since the breakup.

Winning that case could set a significant precedence for similar cases where the judge accepts that the intention of the paying foreigner was to live together as husband and wife with the Thai person and therefore could reasonably claim to have been cheated into buying the shared assets and register them in the name of the Thai national.

 

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  28 comments for “Danish man wins lawsuit against Thai wife for not sharing assets

  1. Avatar
    David Langdown
    June 30, 2020 at 05:59

    How can i send this to my friend in the UK who has had a similiar experience, but was told that he has no rights.

  2. Avatar
    Leon
    June 29, 2020 at 13:03

    Does anyone know the name of his lawyer please

  3. Avatar
    derek robert cairns
    June 28, 2020 at 14:24

    Well this ruling means if you have Thai living with you for a little bit of time,
    The gamechanger is they can clame to be your Common Law Marriage Partner and in so doing clam half of your assets, Now what about immigration on the Courts ruling as president has been set into law ?

  4. Avatar
    J.o.e
    June 28, 2020 at 12:08

    To be honest… I don’t fit into the older expat gentleman demographic… But i can understand with this guy’s story as i have seen it time and time again… I don’t know if its just bad luck, a bad personality on the woman’s part … or the very obvious culture of want in a society defined by possession and appearance…

    To he honest… thai girls will take from you if you allow it… Don’t be beguiled by their beauty but really look and assess the person… Usually warning bells are seen rather early on … Especially cultural ones…. Also…. Making it clear from the first instance that you aren’t going to solve her problems or.. be a fountain of wealth for her or her family at least using that as a filter to gage her response .. usually weeds out the gold-diggers …

    My own partner works.. has her own place and we keep it separate… I never understood why foreigners live under the delusion that they are happily married or whatever to these thai women…

    Ask yourselves.. how many Thai women have you met that ‘prefer westerners’ and why.. what reason could they possibly have in allienting their own countrymen in favour of financially-superior foreigners that have no clue about the culture or social norms of the country.. who need permission to do anything..

    umm i can think of a few reasons… Money, maybe overseas access, a house.. vehicle and or… general improvement to quality of life….. Thai men are just as able bodied, just as compassionate.. they are men just as we foreign men are and yet, thai women , as far as popular culture demonstrates, prefer foreigners… Its not simply a preference.. its a cultural phenomenon…

    On the flip side, the laws of the land are designed to be quite blunt… Against foreigners.. unless of course money is involved and even then…. Thai law will still protect the spouse in so much as allowing them some claim in assests or ‘damages’ in cases baught against them. By those they victimise. ..

    I have learned that no matter what we do or how much stuff or property you buy here….. It will never actually belong to you…. A thai person must always sign off on it…. Anyway the point of my rant is…. Look carefully… Read the signs and also remember that you are investing in something you will never own…

    The long lines of so-called married men at immigration are evidence of that…

    And yeah i expect… backlash from this but hey i am a realist… I speak thai and have immersed myself in thai culture.. yet, i don’t believe in the illusion of happily ever after many foreigners talk about here .. because its just a case of the content of your wallet and what you can do to benefit your partner when you boil it down… Strive to meet a woman who. Has it together that a woman who has a career and can support herself… Don’t live in the fairytale… Rant over

  5. Avatar
    andy Willis
    June 27, 2020 at 23:32

    a bout time it as happen to me as anyone got the mans details as i would like to talk to his laywer and see what they can do for me

  6. Avatar
    The One
    June 27, 2020 at 17:36

    Referring to having seen similar cases in close details (as being a translator in Thai courts) I would say that the next episode of this circus is that the woman simply does not respect the agreement made in the court.
    And basing to previous experiences, the Thai legal system is powerless and unwilling to do anything more.
    This case is NOT ended yet…

    • Avatar
      June 30, 2020 at 15:31

      It did end. So what may have happened is just speculation.

  7. Avatar
    Sead
    June 26, 2020 at 20:44

    It has never been a crime to burn down your own house. After 8 years in Thailand I still don’t understand why that doesn’t happen more often

    • Avatar
      Dirk
      June 27, 2020 at 10:13

      Could be a crime if you only own 50% of it?

    • Avatar
      Samuel
      June 27, 2020 at 13:04

      Probably because they are all concrete and steel. You would probably set yourself on fire with the amount of fuel needed even to partially destroy It. Lol

    • Avatar
      June 30, 2020 at 03:01

      First of all, whoever wrote this article should of had it proof read before publishing it. That really was a hard read.
      Sorry, but this us a pathetic story, this Danish guy has definitely walked with eyes shut.
      He really should of done his homework about what can happen in Thailand.
      His friend, if you can call him that, is also an idiot for not being more protective of his friend,.

      The fact that he led his friend into believing that his life’s money would be fine being in his wife’s name and his mother’s name, should be reprehensible.

      The Thais are very well known for cheating foreigners, the facts have been out there for years.
      This guy just dove right in and lost his money without even doing any research beforehand.

      Though he may win the court case, he still will lose alot of his money. It serves him right, “a fool and his money are soon parted”.
      As for his wonderful friend, I would advise this guy to find a new one.

      The Thais are well known to be racist and only need foriegners for their money, and after they should leave.

      There is price discrimination everywhere in Thailand, and no euquality between peoples.
      The evidence eventually rears its ugly head when you stay long enough.

      During this pandemic many people are suffering around the world.
      There is one nation however that should be, and deserve to be suffering in their tourist industry.
      This is so to teach them a lesson on what could happen, if tourists stop coming to Thailand.

      As harsh as that sounds, its the only way for the Thais to even get a grasp of the reprocussions of what can happen to their business after years of cheating and price discrimination against foriegners.

      If there is anyone out there who may doubt my words, you only have to do your own research or go to Thailand and stay there to know what I am refferring too.

      I have been going to Thailand for 30 years, and recently in the last ten years, i finally learnt the language very well, and to my surprize, they broke my heart.
      This happened when I realized how deep their racism goes, and how much of a reality their fear of foriegners is institutionalized in their schooling and in their government system.

      People ask me if you dislike Thailand so much, why do i keep going back,?

      That question is easy to answer, and can be answered thus way.
      Where else in the world, besides places like maybe Amsterdam, or Christania in Denmark, where you can safely go and get drunk and stoned, where life is very easy going, and everything that’s illegal everywhere else in the world is legal or overlooked there.

      Where you could do just about whatever you wanted, and you had cheap alcohol, sandy beaches on tropical islands, cheap pot to smoke, Easy, ten to one ratio of cheap beautiful girls to have sex with, and great food to go with it.?

      Don’t be fooled by all that, because in the end there is a price to pay after for all of that.
      Price discrimination, heavy visa fees and restrictions, blatant racism, robberies and violence, even rape and murder.

      All have been purpertrated against foriegners in the past and continues to this day.
      The laws in Thailand are clear for foriegners, they cannot own land in Thailand, nor can they own their buildings, buisiness outright.

      Thai law stipulates that they can only own 49 percent of anything in Thailand. This law was introduced purposely to stop foriegners taking business or property owned by the Thais.

      Also even if you do own your own 49 percent of your business in Thailand, you must employ at least 3 Thai nationals, and must hold a work permit to work your own business.

      So is it worth the risk? Is a little bit of oaradise, cheap booze, sandy beaches, late night full moon parties, and a fake beautiful smile all worth it?
      For some, it looks like it still is.
      Maybe for this guy it woukd of been cheaper for him to bring her to Denmark, set her up there, and take vacations in Thailand.

      At least then, if something happens, he can just put her on a plane back to Thailand, and he still gets to keep his assets, and go back to Thailand to find another

      Ohh well, I guess he has learned his lesson, we all do, we all have.
      Remember, “you can take the girl from the bar, but you can’t take the bar from the girl”

      • Avatar
        Bill
        July 1, 2020 at 02:39

        You also should have had your post proof read (should have, not should of) and spell checked.

  8. Avatar
    Rolf
    June 26, 2020 at 09:52

    Another desperate beta male getting played by a bar girl. Thai men wouldnt give these girls a plate of rice due to their low social status. But desperate beta males from the west buy them a house? Pathetic.

    • Avatar
      Dirk
      June 27, 2020 at 10:18

      Ok, Rolf, thanks for the opinion of a real alpha male, such as yourself.

    • Avatar
      John R. Kennedy
      June 28, 2020 at 18:05

      Come on Rolf….. If you love someone you share. I would say only give a bar girl what you expect no return. I have a few friends that 1. Got a 30 year lease on the land and 2. Formed a company.

  9. Avatar
    Satita K.
    June 26, 2020 at 05:25

    Sorry about bad experiences with Thai woman.
    But a lot of good fish in the sea.

    • Avatar
      June 26, 2020 at 14:22

      Dear Satita, there are for sure many honest and caring Thai women – I am happily married to one for over 20 years – and it is sad when some men draw the quick conclusion that all Thai women are dishonest. Thanks for your comment.

      • Avatar
        Samuel
        June 27, 2020 at 13:08

        Yeah i have a thai wife, but still had problems of jealousy. Thai woman need to think a bit more before speaking

      • Avatar
        John R. Kennedy
        June 28, 2020 at 18:06

        I agree.

      • Avatar
        Karsten
        June 29, 2020 at 09:34

        Mr. Gregers, happy to hear your love is sustainable and working. But would you believe the old wisdom; “there is no smoke without a fire somewhere”… The stereotypies tend to develope from reality. Unfortunately.

        And is said already; This case is not in its happy end yet. All the woman needs to do is to simply not respect the agreement, and keep all. There is very little he can do but accept that his money and life is end before a singel Baht ie returned to him.

        • Avatar
          June 29, 2020 at 15:43

          Dear Karsten, I am pleased to report that the former partner lived up to the agreement 100 percent and the car was on the next day transferred to the Dane and she keeps the nice home.

    • Avatar
      Samuel
      June 27, 2020 at 13:06

      555 the man needs to stop being stupid. He should have learnt about different types of girls in his life

  10. Avatar
    Farangkeenok
    June 25, 2020 at 22:12

    Really dumb, smart enough to get all that money, but not smart enough to know or learn that marrying a bar girl is almost always
    a HUGE mistake. And he had a friend with a Thai wife.. who didn’t tell him that ? He must be going deaf _and_ blind.

  11. Avatar
    Mm
    June 25, 2020 at 18:45

    She doesn’t shameless or…

  12. Avatar
    John
    June 25, 2020 at 13:49

    Flot Gregers – kan man håbe på mere af samme skuffe

  13. Avatar
    Af
    June 25, 2020 at 10:59

    With reference to your last para, judges in Thailand are not bound by precedent.

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