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A Concise Glance Over Divorce Procedure in Turkey

Under the Turkish Civil Code (Law No: 4751) (“TCC”) the termination of marriage with the divorce can only be done within the context of justified divorce grounds set out in the Civil Code.

TCC regulates two different divorce procedures; Contested and Uncontested divorce procedures.

Even though both of the procedures require a lawsuit in front of the competent courts, the uncontested divorce procedure is easier, cheaper and much quicker. The parties must reach a consensual ground in order to apply the uncontested divorce procedure, otherwise they shall continue with the conditional one.

You can find much comprehensive information from our regarding article: http://www.guzeloglu.legal/en/news-insights/an-easy-way-to-split-consensual-uncontested-divorce-in-turkish-family-law-325.html

Contested Divorce in Turkish Family Law

Because of the Turkish Legislator believes the divinity of the family institution and the marriage union the divorce is designed as a last resort that the couples may apply. As per to the Turkish Civil Code, divorce can only be obtained by a lawsuit.

The Grounds for Divorce

Legal grounds for divorce are listed in the TCC under two different groups: Special Reasons for divorce and General Reasons for divorce.

The special legal grounds listed in an exhausted fashion as follows:

  • Adultery;
  • Deliberate attempt to kill, maltreatment, humiliating behavior;
  • Committing a crime;
  • Unreasonable behavior;
  • Desertion;
  • Mental diseases.

As a consequence of the indeterminable nature of the reasons that leads to the divorce, regardless of the foregoing grounds, the TCC also designate general grounds which are applicable for any circumstances that make the marriage unbearable for one of the parties.

Accordingly, article 166 of the TCC states that each of the spouses can file a divorce case if the foundation of the of the marriage is shaken off. In general reasons for divorce, the spouses cannot be expected to continue their marriage union any longer. It can be proved by any evidence that the foundation of the marriage union is shaken including witness statements, photos, screenshots, messages etc.

Judicial Separation Request

When the spouses want to reconsider the divorce with a clearer mind, instead of request a divorce, they can request a separation decision from the judge.  

As an alternative, even though a divorce suit is filed, the judge can give a separation decision up to maximum of two years, if he see a possibility to saving the marriage.

By the separation the spouses will live apart from each other by not using the same house for a while, and the parties will be able to make more healthy decisions in their own inner mind.

Interim Measures: Alimony and Status of the Child

During the divorce case, the court have to give certain interim measures for sheltering, subsisting of the spouses and protection and the care of the children if it is necessary.

The court scrutinise the social and economic status of the spouses and the interim measures are taken accordingly.

After the scrutiny, temporary measures of annotation of the real properties and the decision of to whom the children will stay, to whom the interim alimony will be payed, and to which side will live in the common family residence is given.

After the Divorce: What Happens to the Children

As per to the TCC, without being bound from the requests of the spouses, the court shall regulate the consequences of the divorce on the children.

Accordingly, the court decide the guardianship of the child by give it to the one of the spouses and regulates the personal relationship of the other spouses with the children.

The main priority of the court when the decisions about the children are given always be the best interests of the children.

Division of the Property

The TCC grants the right to choose the matrimonial regimes that are listed by the Law on spouses. If the spouses have not chosen one of the listed regimes, the regime of "participation in acquired property" is applied.

The other regimes that are stated in the TCC are the regime of "Separation of Properties", the regime of "Shared Separation of Properties" and the regime of "Community of Properties".

You can find detailed information about the regime of participation in acquired property our article regarding the subject: http://www.guzeloglu.legal/en/news-insights/ending-of-the-regime-of-participation-in-acquired-property-267.html

For more elaborated information about other matrimonial regimes you can read our related article: http://www.guzeloglu.legal/en/news-insights/ordinary-and-extraordinary-matrimonial-regimes-in-turkish-civil-code-240.html


You may reach us at info@guzeloglu.legal for more information on International Family Law.

Author: Abdulkadir Güzeloğlu & Tarık Kurban
Relevant Fields: International Family Law
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