Istanbul Divorce is a globally recognized Turkish family law firm with a long record of excellence and professional leadership in Istanbul, Turkey. Our Turkish family lawyers are prepared to handle divorce cases, from a simple no-contest divorce proceeding to a complicated divorce with significant property and children. Our divorce lawyers also represent our clients in other family law issues including; contested divorceuncontested divorce, alimony, compensationchild custody, child support, recognition of foreign divorce decree, and other family law litigation.

Istanbul Divorce is an award winning and successful Turkish family law firm that specialize in Family Law. Our Turkish divorce lawyers have an outstanding success record with over 90% of cases successful in Court in 1992 to date. We know our law, our lawyers care about your case and we will stop at nothing to make sure you are safely taken to the next chapter of your life with maximized results and minimized damage.

Turkish Family Law

We understand your needs when it comes to family law issues. We’re dedicated to helping you make the right decisions, even during difficult and emotional circumstances. Our family law and divorce attorneys give you sound legal advice based upon Turkish law, our experience and the unique facts of your situation. Our firm’s Family Law Group is devoted exclusively to family law issues including contested divorce & divorce grounds or uncontested divorce, alimony & compensation child custody & support, recognition of foreign divorce decrees, and litigation.

Our family law practice is prepared to handle divorce cases, from a simple “no-contest” divorce proceeding to a complicated divorce with significant property and children.

Istanbul Divorce has the reputation for being formidable opponents in the courtroom. Our lawyers have the polished skills and passionate determination to reach positive results in diverse types of civil disputes. We develop a tailored trial strategy and present a strong argument on your behalf.

Turkish Family Law Divorce Attorneys

First and foremost, we are trial lawyers, we present a compelling case judges. Because we are in the courtroom almost every week, thinking strategically is second nature to our lawyers. We are methodical in our preparations to gather crucial evidence and build your case. Using modern technology and techniques at our disposal, we conduct a thorough investigation of your case.

If you live outside of Turkey, and are looking for a family attorney to assist you with divorce, child custody or child visitation, and child support issues, give us a call. We work regularly with clients who live in abroad but have children or divorce matters in Turkey. We understand the frustration that a long distance legal battle can cause and will do all we can to limit your travel expenses and win your case.

Legal Grounds for Divorce in Turkey

Legal grounds for dissolution of marriage are divided into two groups: special and general. Sections 161 to 166 of the Turkish Civil Law Code define those legal grounds as follows: the special legal grounds are adultery, deliberate attempt to kill, maltreatment, humiliating behavior, committing a crime, unreasonable behavior, desertion, mental disease; the general legal grounds are incompatibility, coming to a mutual agreement on divorce, and living apart for three years after an application for dissolution of marriage has been denied by the court.

Marriage will not be dissolved upon filing of the decision made by only one of the spouses. This type of divorce is called contested divorce and it will take longer and costs more. Marriage will not be dissolved unless the spouse against whom such application has been filed is proven to have been faulty. Apart from such fault, marriage can only be dissolved upon an application by the couple for divorce under mutual agreement. The court will not dissolve the marriage unless both spouses are present in person at the hearing. If the application is based on adultery, presentation of written affidavits will not be considered sufficient, the judge will hear the couple’s individual verbal statements before the court.

In Turkey, Articles 161 to 166 of the Turkish Civil Law note that there are two main types of divorce grounds: special and general.

The special ones are divided into six categories:

Whereas the general grounds are divided into three categories:

  • Incompatibility
  • Agreed divorce
  • Living apart for three (3) years after an application for dissolution of marriage is denied by the courts

Once a Family Court makes its decision, it can be appealed at First Instance Appeal Court (Bolge Istinaf Mahkemesi) after that it can be appealed at Turkish Supreme Court (Yargitay).

Turkish Divorce Grounds

Adultery

Legal Grounds for Divorce in Turkey Adultery

Section 16 of the Turkish Civil Law Code orders that if one of the spouses commits adultery, the other spouse will be entitled to file a lawsuit for dissolution of their marriage. Adultery is defined as voluntary sexual intercourse between one of the spouses and a third party. If a married woman has had sexual intercourse with a man not her husband, or a married man has had sexual intercourse with a woman not his wife, the court will consider that adultery has been committed. Sexual intercourse between two people of the same gender will not be considered adultery.

Divorce with Adultery

The husband or the wife must file a lawsuit for dissolution of their marriage within six months after discovering the reason of such filing, or within five years after such adultery has been committed, otherwise their right to file such lawsuit will expire. If such adultery has been committed once for all, the date on which it has been committed will count as the commencement of the above mentioned legal period of application. If such adultery has been committed several times, the date on which the adultery has been forgone will count as the commencement of the legal period of application. If the other spouse pardons such adultery, his/her right to file such lawsuit will expire. Such pardoning can be declared in verbal or written form.

Deliberate Attempt to Kill or Maltreatment

The third of these legal grounds is severe humiliation of one of the spouses by the other. It is defined as acting in a way dishonoring the other spouse, including throwing the other out of the family house or insulting the other. Such actions can be declared in verbal or written form to the court. All of these legal grounds are subject to the time-bar and forgiveness rules stipulated in Section 161.

If you live outside of Turkey, and are looking for a family attorney to assist you with divorce, child custody or child visitation, and child support issues, give us a call. We work regularly with clients who live in abroad but have children or divorce matters in Turkey. We understand the frustration that a long distance legal battle can cause and will do all we can to limit your travel expenses and win your case.

Committing a Crime or Unreasonable Behavior

The term “unreasonable behavior” is defined as a way of life disrespecting the morality, dignity, honor or self-respect principle of the society. Such crime or unreasonable behavior might have been committed before the parties got married. However, such action will not be considered a legal ground for dissolution of marriage unless it has been committed while the parties are married. If such action has been committed and has made the marriage intolerable for the other spouse, it will be considered a legal ground for divorce.

Desertion

Turkish Grounds for Divorce

Section 164 of the Turkish Civil Law Code orders that if one of the spouses has deserted the other in order to refrain from his/her matrimonial obligations or due to an unjustified reason and has not come back for minimum six months, the separation is still going on, and the legal notice sent by the court to the deserter spouse upon an application by the other spouse remains unanswered, the other spouse will be entitled to file a lawsuit for divorce.

The term “desertion” is defined as termination of the spouses’ union. A spouse’s leaving of the other spouse to serve conscription-based military service, to serve time of imprisonment, sickness, business trip or for other similar reasons will not be considered desertion. The other spouse will be entitled to apply to the court for serving of a legal notice on the deserter spouse after six months elapsed as from the date of desertion. The said legal notice will invite the deserter spouse to come back and notify the sanctions to be enforced if he/she refuses to come back. This legal notice will ask the deserter spouse to come back within two months.

If the deserter spouse does not come back within said legal period, the other spouse will be entitled to serve a second legal notice on the deserter spouse, provided that such second legal notice can only be served after six months (including the period of two months granted to the deserter spouse to come back) have elapsed from the date of the first legal notice. If the deserter spouse is abroad, this legal notice must be sent to his/her address abroad.

Mental Disease

Legal Grounds for Divorce in Turkey Mental Disease

Section 165 of the Turkish Civil Law Code orders that if one of the spouses suffers a mental disease, the marriage becomes intolerable to the other spouse due to such disease, and the medical committee of a public hospital issues a report to confirm that the said mental disease is incurable, the other spouse will be entitled to file a lawsuit for divorce. This does not mean that every mental disease will be considered a special legal ground for divorce, but only such incurable ones as schizophrenia or paranoia fall in this category. The burden of proof for such intolerability remains with the suing party i.e. petitioner.

Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage

Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage

Section 165 of the Turkish Civil Law Code defines irretrievable breakdown of marriage as a general legal ground for divorce. If the marriage has broken down in an irretrievable way so that the spouses cannot be expected to continue their marriage, any of them will be entitled to file a lawsuit for divorce. In case of such lawsuit, if the petitioner’s fault is more severe, the respondent will be entitled to object the lawsuit. If the right in question is misused, the judge might dissolve the marriage if it is not worth to be saved for the respondent and the children. If the marriage has lasted at least one year and both partners apply in agreement for a divorce or one of them agrees the other partner’s application for a divorce, it will be considered that the marriage irretrievably broke down. In this case the judge will hear the partners in person before adjudging to dissolve the marriage. The judge can amend the divorce agreement to protect certain interests of the partners and their children.

Turkish No-Contest Divorce Law

Legal grounds for dissolution of marriage are divided into two groups: special and general. Sections 161 to 166 of the Turkish Civil Law Code define those legal grounds as follows: the special legal grounds are adultery, deliberate attempt to kill, maltreatment, humiliating behavior, committing a crime, unreasonable behavior, desertion, mental disease; the general legal grounds are incompatibility, coming to a mutual agreement on divorce, and living apart for three years after an application for dissolution of marriage has been denied by the court. Once a Family Court makes its decision, it can be appealed at First Instance Appeal Court (Bolge Istinaf Mahkemesi) after that it can be appealed at Turkish Supreme Court (Yargitay).

Agreed Divorce Law in Turkey

Agreed Divorces in Turkey

Agreed divorces are divorces of agreement. Our firm lawyers’ role is limited to preparation of pleadings, the divorce decree, and closing documents. Because of this, legal fees are substantially reduced. The basis for the divorce is “discord and conflict of personalities which destroy the legitimate ends of the marital relationship”, a no fault divorce. If both parties agree on all terms, a divorce can be simple and uncomplicated. Even with a full agreement, there are many documents that must be prepared correctly.

An agreed divorce minimizes family disruption and the emotional turmoil that goes with it. It is unfortunate, but those who battle over the kids usually end up doing the most harm to them. Kids are smart. They know you are fighting. They can “read” your feelings. They know how you feel about your spouse. Further, remember this, all kids will at some point place blame for the divorce on themselves. It is your job as a parent to make sure that this does not happen.

Alimony

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.

Turkish Divorce Compensation Law

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.

Turkish Divorce Compensation Lawyers

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.

Child Custody Laws in Turkey

Our Turkish Child Custody lawyers specialize and focus exclusively in family law. We remain on the cutting-edge of child custody disputes. With over 90% success rate in Court for the year 2014 and 2015, our experienced lawyers are polished litigators who are as comfortable in the courtroom as we are at the mediation table. Child Custody Lawyers at Istanbul Divorce can help you with every aspect of child custody, parenting time and contact arrangements.

Best Interests of the Child

Children come first in divorce and Turkish Civil Law Act codifies this very important concept. There is no Joint Custody in Turkey. In divorce decree, it is decided that which parent has the sole custody of the child. The child resides with custodial parent and the other will have parenting time. The custodial parent is authorized to make day-to-day decisions that concern the child and doesn’t have to inform the other parent with about major issues.

Turkish Child Custody Lawyers

Child Alienation

Child alienation occurs when a child expresses hatred or exclusion of one parent while siding with the other parent for no apparent reason. A parent’s vicious, hostile and disparaging words or actions are typically at the root of this devastating syndrome.

Family Violence in Turkey

Anybody who suspects child abuse has a legal obligation to report their concerns to the Ministry of Family and Children’s Services. In response, the Ministry investigates and takes steps to protect the child. The protection of a child is of foremost concern, if she or he is abused. However, mistakes or false accusations can interfere with a parent’s rights, even denial of contact. You have the right to defend yourself in the child protection process.

Relocation with the Child

A job offer, relationship, family or new beginning may draw you to another community after your separation. As a custodial parent, you can take your child with you. If the other parent objects, you must demonstrate that the relocation is in your child’s best interests. As the parent challenging relocation, you should be prepared to counter assertions regarding best interests.

Child Abduction in Turkey

A parent does not have the unilateral right to deny contact with the other parent or to remove the child to another location. Doing so is child abduction and is against the law. If the other parent has abducted your child, law enforcement will seek his or her safe return. If you suspect an angry or a vengeful parent is contemplating abduction, you have recourse in the family law courts.

Changing Custody Orders in Turkey

To change a custody order, you must demonstrate a material change in circumstances. The judge then considers whether the change is in the best interest of the child. Because, child custody orders are notoriously difficult to amend, our experienced lawyers anticipate issues that might arise and incorporate solutions in your original order.

Turkish Child Support Law

Turkish Child Support is the right of the child. It’s not your right. It’s not your spouse’s right. So when you think about Turkish Child Support, think about your child benefiting from it, not anyone else. But you need to make sure you are either paying or receiving the right child support amount. Child support helps to ensure that financial needs of your child are met. Turkish Child support is a very complex area of law simply because children have so many different expenses. And parents need to work and earn enough money to support them. If a parent chooses not to work or pay support, he or she can face extreme consequences for such decision.

Our award-winning firm specializes in Turkish Child Support matters. Our experienced Istanbul child support lawyers have earned a stellar reputation for our cutting-edge approach to child support law and for our creative strategies. Our 90% success rate in 2014 and 2015 speaks for itself.

Turkish Child Support Lawyers

Child Support in Turkey

You need to pay child support if your child resides with the other parent and has custody of the child. The amount of monthly child support is calculated based on your gross income. Additionally, your child may have special expenses that you may be responsible for. As a stepparent of a child, you also may be ordered to pay child support upon separation from your spouse. Monthly child support pays for daily costs of food, shelter and other basics. Other things such as swimming classes, tutoring or daycare are special expenses.

Child Support & Special & Extraordinary Expenses

The amount of child support for special and extraordinary expenses is based on the incomes of each parent. Special and extraordinary expenses include childcare, extra-curricular activities, college tuition, tutoring, medical expenses and anything else you and your spouse agree to. But there is much more you need to know.

Changing or Cancelling Child Support

Our Child Support Lawyers and the law understand that life is not static. It provides a framework for changing or cancelling child support. In order to qualify for a change in child support, you must demonstrate a material change in your circumstances. Until you obtain a court order that changes your current child support obligations, you must continue to pay what you currently owe. Therefore, if you are experiencing financial hardship, you should speak to our experienced child support lawyers now.

Enforcing Child Support

You rely on child support to pay your child’s expenses. Missed or delayed payments can cause substantial financial hardship. Our family lawyers can force a parent to pay child Support, if they don’t pay it voluntarily. When and what type of action to take depends upon the amount owed, the parent’s payment history and her or his current circumstances.

Turkish Foreign Divorce Decree Recognition Law

Divorce sentences passed by foreign courts for Turkish citizens living abroad are subject to filing a recognition and exequatur lawsuit to make them valid and enforceable in Turkey.

Turkish Foreign Divorce Decree Recognition lawyers

Recognition

Recognition refers to approval of a sentence passed by a foreign court to make it valid in Turkey. Legal outcomes of such sentence will be determined subject to the laws governing the foreign court. If such sentence is found unrecognizable, it will not bear any legal effect. However, such unrecognized sentences can be used as evidence to prove a dispute.

Exequatur

Exequatur refers to approval of a sentence passed by a foreign court to make it enforceable in Turkey. Exequatur can also be issued not to enforce such sentence, but to use such sentence as a final evidence or final order.

General information about recognition and exequatur

  • Recognition and exequatur for sentences passed by foreign courts are subject to filing a proper lawsuit to apply for the same, cannot be issued through a pre-hearing review.
  • Such lawsuits are subject to the usual civil procedures law.
  • Hearings or sessions for such lawsuits can be held during a legal holiday.
  • If the petitioner is not a resident of Turkey, he/she must deposit a legal guarantee with the court. The amount of the said legal guarantee will be decided by the judge at his discretion. If Turkey and the other country signed a reciprocality agreement providing exemption for such legal guarantee, the court will not require such legal guarantee.
  • Jurisprudence for such lawsuits is the court having jurisprudence over the respondent’s residence (i.e. the borough where the respondent was birth registered). If the respondent is not such resident of Turkey, jurisprudence is the court having jurisdiction over the borough where the respondent is living in Turkey. If the respondent does not live in Turkey, jurisprudence is the courts of Ankara, Istanbul, or Izmir.
  • Venue for such lawsuits is the court of family affairs.

About Our Family Law Divorce Attorneys

Our team are the best hand-picked and highly talented staff and family lawyers, eager to take on complex medium to high-net worth family law cases in Turkey. At Istanbul Divorce, we relate to our clients on a personal level and do not treat them as mere numbers. We have morning meetings in which we talk about every client’s case and ensure we keep the clients up-to-date through every step of the litigation. We only know quality and do not believe in quantity when we deal with our client’s cases because each case is unique and deserves its own attention, nurturing and time. We do not cut corners and ensure an absolute perfect representation of the client’s rights in Court or settlement meetings. We encourage reasonable settlements but are known as some of the most aggressive lawyers in family law when same is necessary.

Reach our Turkish Family Lawyers

Turkish divorce process can be complicated and drawn out, especially for parents and high-net-worth individuals. Divorcing couples must take many steps to reach for a divorce. If you are seeking legal representation in your divorce, our lawyers will guide you through the process. Since its foundation in 1992, Istanbul Divorce Turkish Family Law Firm has been the choice of numerous clients in Istanbul, Turkey. Thanks to its nationally recognized family lawyers, our firm is now one of the leading family law firms in Turkey. You may reach our Turkish family law & divorce attorneys through our Contact page.