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Turkish divorce procedure

Turkey recognizes only those marriages which are registered in a local Vital Statistics office. And if the spouses decide to divorce they need to get a Turkish court decision. The divorce decisions obtained in other countries are not recognized by the Turkish court.

What can be a ground for the divorce in Turkey?

According to the Turkish family legislation which is regulated by the Turkish Civil Code, the spouses can divorce if one of the spouses:

    • has a sexual relationship with another person.
    • has a mental illness (except serious incurable illnesses). The illness must be verified by any official medical committee
    • has left the family without any valid reason for at least six months
    • is provoking or forcing suicide
    • is misbehaving (serious misbehavior includes mental and physical cruelty, torture, etc.)
    • is living a dishonorable life (any kinds of delinquency: smuggling, rape, robbery, etc.)

    These are special grounds for divorce. There are also several general grounds. Breakdown of marriage (a serious and violent conflict between the spouses) and consensual divorce are among them. In case of the consensual divorce, the spouses must have lived together for at least one year.

    The Turkish Court may give three-year period for separation. If the spouses are still not willing to live together, the Court gives a final divorce decision.

    Child custody

    The Turkish court also rules on the issues of the child custody in the divorce cases. If there are underage child in the family, the court decides who will take custody of the child. The court's decision is usually based on the possibility of the parent to offer a better life to the child, to give him/her better education, etc.

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