First of all, the fundamental and overarching rule when conducting a serious and ongoing relationship or marriage with somebody from a third world country (including Thailand Philippines or Bali is to make sure you are worth more to your girlfriend or boyfriend when you are alive than dead.
You want your girlfriend or boyfriend and their family to have a very strong and keen interest in keeping you alive, happy and away from harm for as long as possible.
This means before you do anything, seeking good independent legal advice on how best to set up your business, buy land/property, making a Will and what you want to happen to your money in the event of your death. Once you have made the arrangements make sure the girlfriend, her family and any family you have in the west all know what they are and have copies of the relevant documents.
Your new partner and their family may not like these arrangements very much but remember, it’s your money, you hold all the cards and the arrangements are being made on your terms.
Every country is different, but Thai law states a non Thai citizen cannot own more than 50% of a property or a business, however, there are ways around these laws and they can be explored by you and your lawyer.
Note; Independent legal Advice does not mean the village lawyer, family friend or relative; it means your own lawyer in the city, Bangkok or Manila.
We have had reports of western men living and doing business in Thailand and when they decide it is time to leave their Thai girlfriend, sell their business and house and leave the country they have mysteriously met with a fatal accident or been murdered by unknown assailants, leaving all of their assets to the surviving partner or widow.
Contract killings are common in Thailand, they can be arranged for as little as 25,000Bht and rumours are that many are committed by the police and of course gangsters. Few culprits are ever caught and the cases remain unsolved, the dead become statistics, family are left uninformed and frustrated by investigations that don’t go anywhere.
Lawyers, courts, policeman and judges (In fact all public officials) cannot be trusted and many can be brought off or bribed, their bribes and pay offs are easily affordable to a rich surviving spouse or girlfriend that has inherited a large amount of money from their dead partner.
The object of the exercise (from your point of view) is to stay alive, healthy and sufficiently in charge of the purse strings to offer a bigger and better bribe to a higher and more influential official if the situation calls for it.
If you are being scammed by a girlfriend or wife, never leave yourself vulnerable or in a position where your death might mean she would not be prosecuted or could not arrested or be taken to court.
If you find out your girlfriend or boyfriend is a cheat or a Scammer and want out of the relationship.
• Never confront or threaten your partner when you are personally vulnerable, drunk, ill, or on drugs.
• Never confront them you are in a vulnerable place, e.g. when they are with their family, friends and especially in their village in a rural situation.
• Never be goaded into committing a criminal offence, such as domestic violence.
• Never break a law which might leave you open to be informed upon (drugs or immigration offenses), for which you can be arrested or deported.
Make up some excuse and gather together any evidence you have of any dishonesty, bad treatment or infidelity. Remove yourself to a safe place and take with you any valuables, personal belongings and important papers, go to somewhere here you cannot be found and are not in danger. Make sure you have money put aside that nobody knows about for this very purpose. However strong your relationship appears to be always keep back sufficient money for an airfare home.
Coldly and dispassionately plan an exit strategy, within the law, that is fare to you and your partner and let your lawyer take care of it.
Remember the moral code in many of these countries is often very different than your own, infidelity and multiple partners is common.