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Can Thai men have more than 1 wife?

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Can Thai men have more than 1 wife?

Polygamy in Thailand before 1935

Before October 1, 1935, Thai men were allowed to have more than one wife. There were three categories of wives under the old family law:

  1. Mia klang muang: The ‘official wife’ acquired by the husband’s parents.
  2. Mia klang nok: The ‘minor wife’ taken after the first marriage.
  3. Mia klang thasi: Slave wives asked from the prior owners’ parents.

Children from these marriages were considered legitimate.

Current status of polygamy in Thailand

Although polygamy has been abolished, it is still practiced in Thailand and is widely accepted by some. The King of Thailand can designate “consorts” other than the Queen, but these unions are not recognized under Thai law. It is stated that a man or woman cannot marry if one of them is already married.

Legal reforms and gender equality

In 2007, legal reforms in Thailand granted women the same rights as men in terms of divorce grounds. Prior to this, only men could divorce based on adultery, while women had to prove that their husband supported another woman as his wife. The legal overhaul also included laws against domestic violence and marital rape, promoting gender equality.

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