Can Married Foreigners Have a Divorce in Turkey?
Yes, it is possible for married foreigners to get divorced in Turkey if they follow the relevant processes. In order to start the divorce proceedings in Turkey, the marriage must first be registered at the Population Directorate. In order for a foreign citizen to file a divorce case, it is obligatory to follow the relevant lawsuit application procedure and apply to a civil court that will decide on the divorce. Foreigners in Turkey are required to complete the divorce process in a civil court that will decide. You can find information about the grounds for divorce in Turkey, the types and conditions of divorce and the divorce proceedings of foreigners in the continuation of our article.
Divorce Grounds in Turkey
Spouses may divorce in terms of incompatibility, which is understood as a situation where two people no longer share the same ideas and feelings. This is a common reason for divorce in Turkey, but other situations are possible. As stated in the Turkish Civil Code, the grounds for divorce accepted in a court in Turkey are given below.
- Irrational behavior,
- Ill-treatment, physical violence or attempted murder,
- If one of the spouses commits a crime,
- Desertion: if the spouses have been separated for at least six months and the separation continues, the divorced spouse can file for divorce,
- Mental illness,
- The marriage becomes irreparable.
The Turkish divorce procedure is not long or complicated as it is based on Swiss Family Law. This law put an end to Islamic rules based on modern principles of family law.
Types of Divorce in Turkey
There are two main types of divorce in Turkey. These are contested divorce and uncontested divorce. The first procedure is when one of the spouses files for divorce due to conflicts with the other party for reasons such as adultery or mental illness. Uncontested divorce, on the other hand, is a divorce case in which one of the spouses decides to end the marriage, goes to court and the other party does not object to the separation.
Court Procedures in Case of Contested Divorces in Turkey
The procedures involved in court proceedings regarding contested and uncontested divorces are different. In the case of contested divorces, the following procedure applies:
- The party wishing to divorce must file a petition with the court,
- The court will accept evidence from both spouses and will listen to both parties,
- The court will also hear witnesses from both parties and decide,
- The court will make its final decision on the divorce within 16 days after the decision.
Contracted Divorce Conditions in Turkey
After the activation of the new legislation, the simplified uncontested divorce procedure can only take place in the following cases:
- Spouses must have been married for at least one year,
- An agreement has been prepared and signed by the two parties wishing to divorce,
- Both spouses come before the judge and announce their divorce decision.
In this case, the presence of a lawyer is not necessary; however, some difficulties may arise, so it is recommended to seek legal services.
Court Procedures in Case of Uncontested Divorces in Turkey
When it comes to an uncontested divorce procedure, the most important step is to draw up a mutually agreed divorce agreement that should include:
- Information about the couple’s children and custody, if any,
- Information about child and spouse support and care,
- Information on the division of assets acquired during marriage,
- Other relevant information depending on the case and the spouses’ agreement.
The agreement must be submitted with the petition to the court, which will make the final decision within 16 days.
Divorce Procedures of Foreigners in Turkey
There are two types of scenarios that can be encountered for foreign citizens who apply for a divorce case after a while after taking Turkish citizenship and settling in the country.
- One of the spouses is a Turkish citizen and the other is a foreign citizen
- Both spouses are foreign citizens living in Turkey
In the first case, if the foreign spouse files for divorce in their own country, the Turkish citizen must also apply for a divorce in Turkey.
In the second case, foreign nationals have the right to apply for a divorce in their Turkish city of residence. In this case, one of the following laws will apply:
- If desired, the law of the country where both foreigners are registered as residents,
- The law of the country in which they both reside, even if it is not their own country,
- If none of the above options are selected, Turkish laws
Divorce case decision of foreign nationals in Turkey will be given in accordance with International Private Law and Procedural Law. The same principles apply to property division and child custody after divorce.