Divorcing a Turkish Man

Divorcing a Turkish man is possible in either of two ways: a consensual/amicable divorce or a contested divorce. Which should you opt for?
Article Published: 28 Sep, 2020, Updated: 08 Oct, 2023 under Divorce

Going through a divorce in a foreign country may cause a lot of distress for several reasons. While divorcing a Turkish man, the language barrier may hinder a clear understanding of the ongoing situation and the foreign wife can easily be intimidated and so prevented from enjoying her basic rights concerning a divorce since it is difficult for a foreign person to understand Turkish legal processes. This article will briefly explain a divorce procedure for a foreign woman in Turkey.

A foreign person married to a Turkish man may start the divorce proceedings in Turkey if their marriage is registered within the system of Turkish authorities. The registry will only need to be updated if the marriage took place in a foreign country. In other words if the marriage is recognized by the Turkish authorities then a foreign person is entitled to file a divorce case against her husband at a Family Civil Court at the residence of the spouse.

1. Types of divorce proceedings in turkey

There are two different kinds of divorce; the first being a consensual/amicable divorce and the second one being a contested divorce. If the spouses agree on a divorce, we recommend a consensual divorce which is easily resolved within a month if the parties can agree on a divorce protocol which designates issues such as custody of any children, alimony, compensation and/ or division of matrimonial property. 

While a consensual divorce can be concluded within a few weeks, a contentious divorce may continue for months or even years.  This method is therefore always preferable, though may require lawyers with good negotiation skills where the parties fail to communicate due to their emotional distress arising from divorce.

If the spouses cannot agree upon the matters mentioned in the previous paragraph, then a contested divorce is mandatory. This means either the spouses can’t agree on the divorce or the conditions of the divorce. This allows you to go ahead with divorcing a Turkish man, even if your husband doesn’t want one. In such cases, we often see the husband attempt to hide assets so that he pays less compensation or to lower the share he must offer of the matrimonial assets. A lawyer will be able to prove such actions and protect your financial rights within the divorce.

2. Grounds for divorce in turkey

There are various causes for divorce stipulated by the Turkish Civil Code. The common cause for a divorce case is a divorce due to incompatibility and breakdown of marriage. Yet causes such as adultery, unreasonable behaviour, maltreatment, physical violence or attempted murder, if one of the spouses has committed a crime, desertion of one of the spouses for more than 6 months and mental illness.

In cases of unreasonable behaviour, maltreatment, physical violence or attempted murder it is a possibility for the wife to demand protection measures such as restraining orders or even to be moved to a secure address which is hidden from the husband.

The court also decides upon child custody and may regulate the visitations and financial contributions such as child support. In case of unreasonable behaviour, maltreatment, physical violence or attempted murder; it is possible to demand a limitation of the visitation rights for the children as well - especially in cases where the situation of the children needs to be considered carefully the assistance and representation by a Turkish family lawyer is vital.

A divorce is always a sensitive issue that places a focus on the private lives of those involved, often with emotional distress. It is therefore all the more important to choose a legal representative that you feel comfortable with, who you can trust and who is experienced in family law. Advanced language skills are also vital so that communication between you both can be easily established.

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Cansu and colleagues provide legal consultancy services to domestic and foreign individuals, companies, institutions and foundations in the fields of private law and public law and in many different sectors. Their services are provided in both Turkish and English, operates with client-oriented and international perspective based on the principal of proficiency, efficiency and accessibility.
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