Friday, May 17, 2013

Increasing Popularity of Lifestyle Clauses Unlikely to be Seen in Thai Prenuptial Agreements

Do you expect your wife to be to provide a home cooked meal every night? Do you love trashy soap operas but your future groom hates them? What's an acceptable amount of money to spend on a new pair of shoes?

Traditional prenuptial agreements set out financial arrangements in the event of a break up, however KTNV reports this week that that lifestyle clauses are becoming increasingly popular in prenuptial agreements. 

Lifestyle clauses are boundaries of what a couple deems to consider acceptable behavior and some even go one step further and include fines for any breach of the same.

KTNV explains how this clause may work: the wife loves music, but her husband does not, therefore she may only play the piano when he is not home. Perhaps the husband hates the colour green - the wife then is not allowed to wear anything of this colour. Going one step further: the husband imposes a limit of the heaviest his wife can weigh - he can fine her if he finds she ever weighs more than this!

It is questionable what would be the outcome if the legitimacy of these agreements were to be ever tested in the Courts. It would be more difficult for a couple who are dating to enforce any breach rather than a married couple.

Lifestyle clauses in Thai prenuptial agreements would be highly unusual, if indeed permitted at all. Thai prenuptial agreements are governed by the Thailand Civil and Commercial Code, sections 1465-1493. Any legal agreement must be in writing on the same date of marriage registration, or must be a written agreement signed by both parties, with two witnesses. The agreement should also be attached with the marriage certificate where the marriage is registered.

Thai prenuptial agreements are generally vetted by government officials which limits the remit of the agreement to deal solely with assets and personal and matrimonial property. In fact section 1465 of the Civil Code specifically states, <em>"any clause in the prenuptial agreement contrary to public order or good morals, or stating that the relations between them as regards such assets are to be governed by foreign law shall be void".</em>

So whereas the thought of being able to limit the amount of times your husband goes to the pub each week, you are unlikely to be able to legally enforce this in Thailand!

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