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Contentious and Uncontested Divorce in Turkey

Uncontested Divorce

Pursuant to the article 166/3 of the Turkish Civil Code numbered 4721; If marriage has lasted at least one year, in cases where the spouses applied together or one of the spouses accepted the lawsuit of the other, it is deemed as the breakdown of the marriage. In this case in order to decide to divorcement, it is essential for judge to hear the parties personally and be convinced that their wills have been declared freely and approve the arrangement to be accepted by parties concerning financial consequences of divorce and status of children. Judge, may make any alterations considered necessary in that arrangement regarding interests of parties and children. In case these alterations have been accepted by parties either, it is resolved to divorcement. In this case, the provision concerning admittance of parties is not binding for judge shall not be applied. Only if you settle with the opposite party regarding all the details (custody, alimony, indemnity etc.) of the divorce, it is possible to be divorced with an uncontested divorce process.


Contentious Divorce and the Breakdown of Marriage

In case of failure to agree with the other party regarding the divorce, a contentious divorce will be occurred. In the event that it is alleged an incompatibility of temperament, the lawsuit shall be brought due to ‘’The Breakdown of Marriage’’ which is the one of the general causes of divorce. Pursuant to the article 166/1-2 of Turkish Civil Code numbered 4721; If union of marriage has been shaken off its foundation on a level that it cannot be expected from spouses to keep leading joint life, either of spouses may file petition for divorce.


In cases mentioned in the paragraph above, if the fault of plaintiff is heavier, defendant has the right to raise objection to the lawsuit. Nevertheless, if that objection has the characteristics of abuse of a right and if there is any benefit in continuation of union of marriage in respect of defendant and children, it may be decided to divorcement.


In other words, to bring a lawsuit due to the breakdown of the marriage, the union of marriage must be irremediably broken down, the maintenance of the joint life must not be expected by spouses, the plaintiff party must not be fully faulty in the events that lead to divorce and the defendant party must not be faultless.     Pursuant to the Court of Appeal’s 2nd Civil Chamber, October 22, 1998, decision numbered 1998/9578 E. and 1998/11265 K.;... to ask for a divorce it is not necessary to be fully faultless or less faulty, the more faulty party has even the right of action but it is necessary to decide for divorce that the defendant party should be faulty at the least. In the present case, the plaintiff party is fully faulty and the defendant party is faultless. Therefore instead of the dismissal of action, the acceptance of the case is erroneous. To decide for divorce the defendant party should be faulty at the least and the determination of this fault is inevitable.”


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