A consensual divorce, as outlined in Article 166/3 of the Turkish Civil Code, is one of the general grounds for divorce. It is also considered one of the absolute grounds for divorce. One of the greatest advantages of this type of divorce is its relatively shorter duration compared to other divorce proceedings. Depending on the workload of the court, some cases can be resolved within five to ten days, while others may take a maximum of one to two months.
This regulation incorporates both the principle of individual will and the principle of fundamental disruption of the marital union. However, it is essential to note that, in principle, a judge’s decision is required.
In the below article, we’ll delve into the details of the Consensual Divorce Agreement and the issues regarding that procedure.
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As per the code and the civil law, for a consensual divorce to take place, the marriage must have lasted for at least one year, and the spouses must jointly apply for divorce or one spouse must accept the other’s lawsuit. Only in such cases can it be considered that the marital union has been fundamentally disrupted. It’s essential to remember that for the judge to grant a divorce, they must be convinced that the parties have freely expressed their intentions and have agreed to the arrangements regarding the financial consequences of the divorce and the children’s situation. The judge may make necessary changes to this agreement, taking into consideration the interests of both parties and the children. If these changes are accepted by both parties, the divorce will be granted.
It is worth noting that the judge will personally listen to both parties, therefore it is advisable for both parties to clearly express their desire for a consensual divorce before the judge, stating something like, “Yes, we want a consensual divorce of our own free will, and we also accept all the terms in the agreement.” Making such a statement during the proceedings can ensure a smoother process.
To recap, the key conditions for a consensual divorce are:
- The marriage must have lasted for at least one year.
- Both spouses must apply together or one spouse must accept the other’s lawsuit.
- The judge must hear the parties’ divorce intentions.
- Both parties must find the arrangement regarding the financial consequences of the divorce and the children’s situation acceptable.
In a consensual divorce agreement, it is crucial to first address the situation of the children, especially if the parties have children together. The best interests of the child should be the primary concern when determining custody. Once custody is settled, it is necessary to establish a personal relationship between the parent who will not have custody and the child.
For example, if custody is granted to the mother, arrangements should be made for the father to spend time with the child during specified times, such as the 2nd and 4th weekends of the month, from Saturday at 9:00 AM to Sunday at 9:00 PM, as well as on religious and national holidays from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Additionally, child support should be determined, specifying the amount to be paid and the bank account to which it should be deposited. It’s also wise to include a provision for annual increases to avoid future disputes.
The next aspect to address is the financial situation of the spouses, including requests for temporary alimony or poverty alimony. While it’s generally not possible to request temporary alimony in consensual divorce cases, there are exceptions where it might be allowed, especially if the divorce process could take one to two months. Therefore, if a party wishes to claim poverty alimony, this should be specified in the agreement. The agreement should clearly state when the alimony will commence, either from the date of the divorce proceedings or the date of the court’s decision. If the parties can agree, it’s best to stipulate that alimony will be paid from the date of the court’s decision. Otherwise, it may lead to additional disputes in the future.
The agreement should also address material and moral compensations. It’s essential not to leave these claims vague in the agreement. For example, if both parties agree to 50,000 TL in material and 50,000 TL in moral compensation for the wife, the agreement should specify when and how these compensations will be paid. If not, it may lead to uncertainty and potential conflicts later on. It’s essential to detail when the payments will be made, how much will be paid for material and moral compensation, and whether any penalty clauses will be included for non-payment.
Regarding the division of assets, it is crucial to specify what will be given to each party. This includes personal belongings, jewelry received during the marriage, jointly acquired assets during the marriage, and so on. Each item should be clearly stated in the agreement. For instance, for a car, you should mention the vehicle’s registration information, for a house, you should provide details of the property registered in the land registry, and for bank accounts, you should specify the account numbers and balances. The agreement should state unequivocally that each party is satisfied with the arrangement and will not pursue further legal action regarding these items. It’s important to remember that the Court of Cassation has ruled that agreements on the financial consequences of divorce are not valid if they are subject to conditions. Therefore, there should be no conditions attached to the financial consequences.
Lastly, the agreement should address litigation costs and attorney fees. The parties should discuss and agree on who will bear these costs. It is advisable to include this information in the agreement to prevent any future disputes. The Court of Cassation has ruled that if there is an agreement regarding litigation costs in a consensual divorce arrangement, the judgment should be made accordingly.
In conclusion, it’s imperative to draft a consensual divorce agreement with unambiguous terms. Otherwise, the judge may intervene and modify the agreement if one party is disadvantaged. A well-structured agreement can expedite the divorce process and provide legal security for both parties.
When navigating the intricacies of a consensual divorce, having the right legal counsel can make all the difference. At Alfa Law Firm, as the best law firm in Antalya, our team of multilingual lawyers, including proficient French and English-speaking lawyers in Turkey, is here to guide you through the process seamlessly. Our experienced English lawyers in Antalya, along with Dutch-speaking lawyers in Turkey, offer invaluable assistance during this challenging time, ensuring that your consensual divorce agreement is well-drafted, comprehensive, and legally sound.
Once the consensual divorce agreement is drafted and approved by the judge, the following steps should be taken accordingly:
- Request the reasoned judgment from the court.
- Request that the parties be allowed to appeal the judgment within 14 days.
- Once the reasoned judgment is received, the parties should submit their petitions of waiver of appeal to make the judgment final.
- The consensual divorce agreement becomes legally binding once the judgment is finalized.
Please note that any changes or amendments to the agreement should be made with care, especially if they involve material or financial matters. If one party feels disadvantaged, the judge may modify the agreement. Therefore, it’s crucial to have a well-drafted and comprehensive agreement in place from the start to avoid unnecessary complications during the divorce process.
If you are in search of a dedicated multilingual lawyer or require the expertise of a civil law lawyer in Turkey for divorce processes, Alfa Law provides the proficiency you need. Whether you are in Antalya, Istanbul, or anywhere else, our international law firm in Turkey is committed to providing you with top-notch legal services. Don’t hesitate to contact Alfa Law Firm, one of the best law firms in Turkey, for expert legal advice and representation tailored to your needs. Your consensual divorce journey begins with the right legal support, and English speaking Antalya Lawyer Ceren Topcu İncetaban and her firm Alfa Law are here to help you every step of the way.