Child custody of the father

child custody father

Table of Contents

Paternal rights


Thai father registered with the mother

Thai father not registered with the mother

Foreign father registered with the mother

Foreign father not registered with the mother

Misunderstandings regarding child custody issues

Child legitimation?

Petitioning the court.


Paternal rights

   The issue of father and child is another matter where the law does not provide 100% protection or guarantee, and fathers often find themselves at a disadvantage compared to the mother. Because the role of the mother in giving birth to the child is so clearly defined, the law tends to grant her rights and recognition first.

Especially for fathers who have children without being legally registered as married to the mother. This leads to problems where the mother prevents the child from seeing the father, or even goes as far as withholding the child to demand money from the father. This article will discuss the different rights of fathers in various situations whether it’s a Thai father registered as married, a Thai father not registered as married, a foreign father registered as married, or a foreign father not registered as married, and recommendations for fathers in various


– Thai father registered with the mother.
– Thai father not registered with the mother.
– Foreign father registered with the mother.
– Foreign father not registered with the mother.
– Misunderstandings regarding child custody issues.
– Child legitimation and Petitioning the court.

Thai father registered with the mother.

   According to the law, parental rights, also known as “parental authority,” begin immediately upon the birth of a child. The law specifies that if both parents are legally married and registered as such, they have joint parental authority, or simply put, equal rights. This means that decisions regarding the child’s care must be made jointly.

   In this case, the law immediately recognizes the father’s rights equal to the mother upon the child’s birth without the need to contact the district office or go to court to establish paternity beforehand.(The exception is if it’s acknowledged that the individual isn’t the biological father and the real father takes legal action.)
Therefore, if any father is marriage register to the mother and a child is born, he automatically gains parental rights equal to the mother. The law recognizes that registering a marriage is a clear step indicating both parties’ intention to build a family together, thus establishing rights and responsibilities, including those concerning property.

Thai father not registered with the mother.

   The most common problematic cases are those where the couple is “marriage is not registered” because the law does not automatically presume parentage. The law does not explicitly prohibit having children if not married, but when unsure if the father is indeed the biological parent, he is not granted parental rights, especially during childbirth. This is equivalent to cases where marriage is registered, meaning that in this scenario, “sole parental authority rests with the mother.” Even if the child bears the father’s surname or if the father is involved in school drop-offs and pickups, legally, decisions regarding the child solely belong to the mother.

   The way for a father to obtain parental authority is by either “registering paternity” or “seeking court recognition.” This grants the father joint parental authority with the mother, similar to cases where marriage is registered. Paternity acknowledgment confirms the relationship between the father and child without legal ties to the mother as a spouse.

Foreign father registered with the mother.

   Thai law recognizes marriages registered abroad or at Thai embassies as valid marriages. Therefore, whether one is Thai or foreign, the same laws apply in this regard. Additionally, if a foreign father registers his marriage and has children, he has joint parental authority with the mother, just like a Thai national.

Foreign father not registered with the mother.

   Foreign fathers who have not registered their marriage with the mother still have the right to petition the court to recognize their children, just like Thai fathers. However, the process and documentation required may be more complicated. In many cases, the court may order a DNA test and may also require additional evidence, such as witness testimony from neighbors or evidence of cohabitation. This is to prevent cases of false paternity and to protect against inheritance claims from Thai children to foreign nationals. Therefore, foreign fathers should not worry as there are ways to establish their rights over their children. Alternatively, if possible, parents can work together to register their children at the district office.

Misunderstandings regarding child custody issues.

   “Parental authority” is not about “separation”. Even though the mother has authority over the child from birth, it does not mean the father cannot see the child. If there is a separation with the intention to extort money or assets, or for no reason at all, the father can request the court to revoke the mother’s parental authority entirely and request to have the child to himself. Therefore, the mother herself should be cautious about using her authority to care for the child if she does not want it to be revoked, and prefer the father to take care of the child instead.

Child legitimation?

The act of parents and children traveling to the district office to declare that this person is the biological child of the father and that the father wishes to legally certify parental authority to jointly care for the child.

Petitioning the court.

   It’s when a father goes to court to assert paternity and seek legal recognition as the child’s parent. This typically happens when there are obstacles preventing the process at the local district level, such as refusal by the mother or age restrictions on registration. Evidence is presented, which may include DNA testing or testimonies from witnesses like neighbors, to prove paternity.


   It can be observed that the law emphasizes the importance of the father-child relationship from all angles, but it is not automatically recognized from the outset. Unlike the mother’s side, where it is clear that the child is born directly from her womb, if the father wants rights over the child, he can always use legal processes to claim them, regardless of how much time has passed, as it is something that can be proven through blood relations.

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