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Divorce Alimony and Compensation in Turkey

Family Law & Divorce
Divorce Alimony and Compensation in Turkey, Turkish Law Firm Istanbul, Turkey

Section 174 of the Turkish Civil Law orders as follows: “If the faultless or less faulty partner’s existing or expected interests are damaged by dissolution of marriage, that partner will be entitled to claim an appropriate material compensation from the other partner. If the personality of one of the partners has been assaulted due to the events which led to dissolution of marriage, that partner will be entitled to claim an appropriate moral compensation from the other spouse.” A stare decisis by the 2nd Department of Turkish Supreme Court orders that “Adultery is considered an assault of personality, therefore the court must order the faulty partner to pay moral compensation to the faultless partner as part of its order for dissolution of marriage”.

However, another stare decisis by the 2nd Department of Turkish Supreme Court orders that if the wife applies to the court to ask for serving a legal notice on her deserting husband, the said application will be considered that the wife has pardoned her husband for the events that happened before the date of the said legal notice. Therefore the husband will no longer be considered faulty and the court will not order the husband to pay a material or moral compensation to the wife. If the husband insulted his wife, he will be considered faulty and such fault will be considered a legal ground for divorce. In summary, if any of the events that lead to dissolution of marriage assaulted the personality of the petitioner, the petitioner will be entitled to claim a moral compensation from the faulty respondent. However, if one of the partners insults the other partner but the other partner reacts to such insult or has caused the first partner to commit such insult, it will be a different situation, as ordered by Turkish Supreme Court as follows: “Evidence collected in the case file indicate that the respondent insulted her husband and that the husband, in response, beat up his wife and throw her out of their house. Therefore, the wife is not faultless or less faulty, but equally faulty with regard to the events which lead to dissolution of marriage, so that the court will not order the husband to pay a moral compensation to the wife.”

In conclusion, a partner will be entitled to receive a material compensation only if he/she is faultless or less faulty, the other partner is faulty, a damage has been suffered, and the law has been violated.

One needs to be faultless to be entitled to moral compensation. Moral compensation is a means used for restoring the upset moral balance of one of the partners. If the other partner is faulty, the first partner will be entitled to receive such moral compensation. However, the proof of burden for violation of one’s moral rights remains with the partner who alleges such violation. If the petitioner fails to prove the event which violated his/her personal rights, the petitioner will not be entitled to a moral compensation.

Alimony is defined in Section 175 of the Turkish Civil Law as follows: “If one of the partners will suffer poverty due to dissolution of marriage and his/her fault is not more severe than the other partner, that partner will be entitled to claim alimony from the other party, provided that such alimony must be in proportion with the financial strength of the other party.” In other words, a partner will not be entitled to alimony unless he/she is faultless or less faulty than the other partner.

Depending on the particular circumstances of a dissolution of marriage, the court can order a material compensation and alimony to be paid in the form of revenue. In this case, such material compensation or alimony will be canceled if and when the receiving partner remarries or one of the partners dies. If the receiving party has a live-in third party partner, or he/she is no longer poor, or lives in a dishonored way, the court will revoke such compensation or alimony. The court can also order to increase or decrease such revenue if and when the parties’ financial strength changes or equity requires to do so (Turkish Civil Law, Section 176).

Section 178 of the Turkish Civil Law orders that the right to claim an alimony will be time-barred in one year after the date of the final dissolution of marriage.

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