Under Article 175 of Turkish Civil Code, both spouses are liable to pay maintenance within their abilities. This can be by way of a lump sum or periodical payments. Periodical payments would be terminated automatically if one of the parties remarry or die. Maintenance payment can be terminated by the court if the receiving party cohabits, experiences a change in financial circumstances or behaves disreputably (Article 176)
Article 175 of Turkish Civil Code aim to protect the spouse who will be in need after the divorce. According to the Art.175 of Turkish Civil Code, “The spouse who will be in need as a result of divorce may ask other spouse a spousal support indefinitely for living costs in proportion to financial power of the other spouse on the condition that the fault of spouse who will be in need after divorce shall not be heavier than other spouse’s fault.”
The Family Court may decide the spousal support (maintenance) to be paid as lump sum or as periodical payments pursuant to the Art. 176 of Turkish Civil Code.
Conditions for Demanding Spousal Support:
– Demand of the one of the spouses: In order for the Court to decide spousal support on behalf of one spouse, there must be a request by one of the spouses. . The Court cannot decide a spousal support to be paid on its own motion. The demand on spousal support is not necessarily to be asserted during the divorce case. Spouses can file a case to request spousal support after the divorce case. According to the Art.178 of Turkish Civil Code, “Rights of action arising from a marriage which is ended as a result of divorce are prescribed at the end of 1 year after the finalization of the divorce verdict.” Pursuant to this article, spouses can make claim on spousal support within one year after the finalization of divorce verdict.
– The spouse who asks spousal support from other shall be non-negligent or less negligent. Spousal support is indefinite, it will continue until death.
Spousal support is the secondary consequence of the divorce. The court cannot decide spousal support by itself, request of the spouse is required. The spouse who asks for support shall not have fault in divorce or shall have fewer faults than other spouse.
If a spouse who asks for support has more fault than other spouse, the court will reject the demand of spousal support, even if the spouse asking for support will be in need after the divorce.
– The spouse who asks spousal support from other shall be in need after the divorce. If the spouse will lost the life standard that he/she has during the marriage and will be in poverty, he/she can ask spousal support. In reality, losing the life standards that a person has during the marriage is not poverty. However, in the court practice, losing the high standards is considered as poverty and the court may decide other spouse to pay spouse support. For example, a spouse is not in poverty and works as a modestly-paid secretary, but she is married to a rich guy, in case of divorce she can get spousal support according to the court’s practice.
– The amount of demanded spousal support shall be proportionate to other spouse’s financial ability. The spousal support determined by the court in proportion with the ability to pay of the other spouse. The upper limit of the amount of spousal support is the financial condition of the other spouse. If the other spouse does not have an ability to pay and he/she is also in poverty the court may not decide spousal support.