Consensual Divorce in Turkey (Uncontested)
Article 166/3 of Turkish Civil Code permits a divorce by mutual consent under specific conditions. Accordingly, spouses can divorce based on a mutual agreement concluded by themselves. In case of a contract in contemplation of divorce, the judge must divorce the parties.
Consensual divorce in Turkey is the most cost effective and quick procedure for separations. It also benefits to spouses in moral way due to lack of long and stressful duration.
The component court for divorce is in Turkey are family courts “Aile mahkemeleri). In case that family courts are lacking in the place of spouses, then the case must be filed in “Asliye Mahkemeleri” (court of first instance).
There are conditions for consensual divorce. If the conditions don’t fit your situation, you need to follow contested way of divorce instead of uncontested divorce procedure.
· At least 1 year marriage is required for mutual consent (consensual) divorce.
· Application to the court by together. Or acceptance of the divorce by defendant spouse upon one of spouse’s application to the court.
· Hearing participation by the spouses themselves. In other words, judge must hear spouses directly about the settlement protocol’s approval. The purpose of this rule is to comprehend the wife’s consent is real or it is given under pressure of the husband or her family. Accordingly, judge must hear consent of spouses’ will related to consensual divorce / separation. Therefore, participation of spouses to hearing is crucial and obligatory. In case of lack of presence of the spouses, the judge will reject the case. (In case that the spouses or one of spouse is not able to speak and understand Turkish Language, then simultaneous translator certified by authorizes must provide translation service in the court.
· Lastly, judge’s reviews regarding the provisions of settlement protocol is important. The provisions concerning guardianship, children, financial issues in the settlement agreement will be also reviewed by Turkish Judge for approval of agreement’s fairness.
The settlement agreement must be convenient with Turkish Contract Law (Turkish Obligations Act). Accordingly, there must not be any provision in the agreement which is against public policy, general moral values. In agreement, there must be will of divorce from the spouses. In case that children exists from the marriage, provision related to guardianship, visiting schedule, alimony and compensation requests must be reflected to the agreement. Personal assets (movable such as car, personal belongings and immovable such as apartment, building, field) , expenses of the court and attorney fee must be also obligatory elements which must be reflected to the settlement agreement. Lastly and certainly, spouse’s signatures are very important in the document.
As can be understood, divorce with uncontested procedure without legal help is difficult choice. Therefore, we strongly suggest a lawyer assistance to your situation, especially in the course of conclusion of a settlement agreement it is very important.
In case that court will reject the divorce case, spouses must wait for 3 years due to the Turkish Civil Code’s stipulation. After 3 years later of rejection, spouses can apply for divorce again.
Uncontested divorce procedure is very quick because 95 percent of the cases finish in first hearing. The first hearing is determined upon application to the court with divorce petition (including settlement agreement) based on settlement separation. And courts generally set an hearing 2-3 months after the application via petition (in big cities). Accordingly, we can say with 3 months, spouses can divorce.Court fees for this procedure is approximately 200 USD. And also if one of spouse or spouses are foreigner, translation expenses for protocol will be another expense. Certified translator’s hearing participation is approximately 100 USD. According to Tariffs of Istanbul Bar Association on Attorney’s Services Fee dated 2015, 1900 USD is recommended fee for lawyers as their attorney fee.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Attorney Gokhan Cindemir
He graduated from Anatolian High School of Karadeniz Eregli, after his graduation he studied in Belgium with AFS intercultural exchange program. He obtained his law license degree from Marmara University of Law Faculty. During his university education, he participated in Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition on behalf of the Marmara University. After his admission to Istanbul Bar Association in 2009, he obtained master degree (LL.M) from Gent University / Belgium in the field of European and Comparative law. His master research was about Freedom of Establishment In Relation With Turkish rep. and EEC in the frame of Ankara Agreement. He is specialized in International Private Law, European Law, Real Estate Law, Penal Law and Tort Law. He speaks fluent English and has good command of Dutch and French. He is also authorized as a solicitor, barrister.
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