The Adulterous Farang – Who will cast the first stone?

“Thou shalt not commit adultery” is one of the holy commandments, instructing us to be free from this deadly sin. Historically, adultery has been considered a serious offence by many cultures.

In this century, the concept that the adulterous behavior should be punished by law is different in many countries. In the traditional English common law, adultery was a felony. Henry VIII beheaded his beloved wife for her adulterous behavior, which was considered as treason. Now many English men are sued by their English spouse for their adulterous behavior in Pattaya, these unfortunate English men are legally enslaved to give the alimony for their spouse for the rest of their life.

There is not a universal definition of the word “adultery”. The Black’s Law Dictionary defines the word “adultery” as a voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than the person’s spouse.

Like many countries, “adultery” in Thailand is considered a sin by all religions, however, it is not punishable by law. As a secular state, adultery is not a felony by the written law, however, adulterous behavior of a woman or man can be grounds for divorce.

The definition of “adultery” or “choo” is provided by the Dictionary of the Royal Institute as a person, either a man or woman, committing fornication by having sexual intercourse with a spouse of another person.

In Section 1516 of the Civil and Commercial Code of Thailand, “adultery” is one of the grounds for an action for divorce:-

“If the husband has maintained or treated another woman as his wife, or the wife has committed adultery, the other spouse can enter a claim for divorce”

The different criteria between a man and woman is that the philandering behavior of the husband is not sufficient ground for divorce, while only casual sexual intercourse constitute adultery by a woman. Thai law does not mentions adultery between same genders.

Your Thai wife cannot sue you for divorce even you always go out to Walking Street and come back in the morning. Legally speaking, if you have only a casual sexual intercourse without commitment or “gig” with another woman, it will not be a ground for divorce. Your wife can sue you for divorce only if you treat another woman as your wife.

The above scenario is about your infidelity with your wife, which may put you in a dilemma, in a divorce case you may well lose the custodian right of your child. You will become the unfortunate adulterous farang who has to support their child and only get to see them on the weekend.

The worst case scenario is if you become the adulterer, who has sexual intercourse or cohabit with a married woman, which can of course happen in Pattaya.

Section 1523 of the Civil and Commercial provides that the husband is entitled to claim compensation from any person wrongfully undertaking adultery with his wife unless, you can prove that her husband has consented to, or connived this adulterous act. The claim compensation will be decided by the Court who will ascertain the circumstances of the case.

It will be an inferno on earth if you purchased a property with your hard earned money and put the ownership of the property in her name. This property will suddenly become the common property of your girlfriend and her Thai husband who can share half of the property.

“Honor killings” is the right of the husband to kill his adulterous wife and her adulterer, and still exist in many countries. There is not any written legislation in Thailand to exempt “honor killings”. However, there was a judgment of the Supreme Court No. 378/1936 ruling that a husband who killed his wife, and her adulterer, flagrantly having sexual intercourse was exempted from punishment.

It was considered to be the extenuating circumstance that the husband protected his honor with the appropriate response.

This landmark case was judged in 1936. We cannot say that this judgment is still the precedence because the social and cultural contexts are absolutely changed from the past.

It is strongly advisable to check the martial status and background of your girlfriend before your cohabite, otherwise her sinless husband will come to cast the first stone on the sinful adulterer, you.

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