Divorce in Turkish Law

Divorce is the termination of a marital union by the judge. Whereas as a rule it is the spouse who files for divorce, in exceptional circumstances a legal representative too may file for divorce. .

Grounds for divorce in Turkish Law are divided into two; special and general grounds.


1) Adultery: The first special ground for divorce in Turkish Law is adultery. Adultery is when one of the spouses willingly engages in sexual intercourse with a person of the opposite sex while the marital union continues. Adultery is an absolute ground for divorce, meaning the judge must rule on divorce when adultery is discovered since it’s an absolute ground for divorce. Spouses must file for divorce within 6 months from the date they discovered the act of adultery and in any case within 5 years from the date the act was committed. The right to file for divorce is forfeited in case of forgiveness. A prior consent for the adultery is not considered as forgiveness.

2) Attempt on life, very inappropriate or degrading treatment: Attempt on life and very inappropriate or degrading treatment are second special grounds for divorce in Turkish Law. Attempt on life is when one spouse has the intention to kill the other and demonstrates this by actions. Encouraging a spouse to commit a suicide is also considered as an act of attempt on life. The spouse must have the juridical capacity in order to be held responsible for an attempt on life.

In case of very inappropriate treatment, There must be an attack on the bodily integrity or health of the partner. This attack does not have to be continuous, but must be done deliberately. Degrading treatment is an unwarranted attack on the honor of the other spouse. These grounds for divorce are absolute, meaning the judge must rule on divorce when they are discovered. . The right to file for divorce is forfeited in case of forgiveness. .

3) Committing a humiliating crime or living a dishonorable life: Committing a humiliating crime or living a dishonorable life is the third special ground for divorce. If one spouse commits a humiliating crime or leads a dishonorable life and if it cannot be expected from the other spouse to live together with the perpetrator spouse due to those reasons, the spouse may file  for divorce at any time. In order to be considered as grounds for divorce, these actions must be continuous.

4) Abandonment: Abandonment is the forth ground for divorce. One of the spouses must be deserted the other one with the purpose of not performing their obligations arising from the union of marriage. Also, the abandoning spouse must not have returned to the joint residence without a just cause, and separation must have lasted at least six months before the abandoned spouse may file for divorce. The judge must role on divorce if the conditions satisfy abandonment, since it is an absolute ground for divorce in Turkish Law.

5) Mental Illness: The last special ground for divorce is mental illness. It should have been determined by the official medical board report that the mentally ill spouse cannot recover and the common life must become unbearable for the other spouse due to the mental illness.


General grounds for divorce in Turkish Law are divided into three:

  1. The fundamental shattering of the marriage union
  2. The spouses’ agreement on divorce
  3. Failure to establish shared life (separation)

It is accepted that the marital union has been fundamentally shattered in the last two states but it is sufficient to prove that the conditions required by the law are fulfilled at the first state.

In case of separation, it must be proved that the marriage union is fundamentally shattered. The other two cases, on the other hand, satisfy the legal conditions for divorce.

As a result of divorce, matrimonial property between the spouses is divided. A divorced woman takes back her maiden name unless. she can prove that using her divorce husband’s surname will not harm the husband. Another consequence of divorce is that the inheritance rights of spouses are forfeited.

The judge also decides the custody of the children ex officio(Automatically). The suppose who is not granted custody is obliged to participate in the care of the child. This party must give alimony to the child in proportion with their wealth. This is called subsidiary alimony or child support.

Claims for pecuniary and non-pecuniary compensation and alimony are the financial consequences of divorce in Turkish Law. The compensation can be decided by the judge if there is a claim.

Antalya Lawyer and Antalya Attorney Baris Erkan Celebi and his Antalya Law Firm represent their clients in divorce cases and offer legal support for Divorce in Turkish Law. Antalya Lawyer Baris Erkan Celebi’s services include filing for divorce, determining the division of the marital property, amount of monthly alimony and child support.