Annulment of Marriage in Turkish Law
ANNULMENT OF MARRIAGE
The annulment of marriage means that a formally constituted marriage has to be canceled later because of lack of the constituent elements of marriage, which invalidate marriage. Apparently, the essential and constituent components of marriage exist, but in reality these components are lack of the qualities that the law requires on spouses or their wills. The legally invalid marriage in this way is valid until the judge declares it null and void.
THE TYPES OF ANNULMENT OF MARRIAGE IN TURKISH LAW
The Turkish Civil Code categorizes the invalidity of marriage as “absolute nullity” and “relative nullity”. If either of these invalidities exists, marriage has to be terminated.
ABSOLUTE NULLITY GROUNDS
In the Turkish Civil Code, there are limited number of absolute nullity grounds as follows;
- One of the spouse is already married
- Permanent mental incapacity
- To have a kinship that is prohibited to marry in the law.
- Mental illness that hinders marriage
RELATIVE NULLITY GROUNDS
Relative nullity also annuls marriage. What distinguishes relative nullity from absolute nullity is that it cannot be claimed by everybody but only by spouses and their legal representatives
These are the relative nullity grounds;
- Temporary mental incapacity
- Consent defects (error, willful misconduct, intimidation)
- Lack of the legal representative’s permission
THE CLAIMANT AND THE RESPONDENT IN THE ABSOLUTE NULLITY CASE
Article 146 of the Turkish Civil Code sets out the claimant and the respondent. Accordingly, the absolute nullity can be filed by the public prosecutor on its own motion or the relevant persons request that the case should be filed.
The respondent is spouses if the case is filed by the public prosecutor or any relevant person. If the case is filed by a spouse, the respondent is the other spouse.
TIME BAR FOR THE ABSOLUTE NULLITY CASE
There is indefinite time for filing absolute nullity case. Annulment action can be taken in any stage of the marriage. In some situations, even if the marriage has ended, the relevant person may file absolute nullity case.
THE CLAIMANT AND THE RESPONDENT IN THE RELATIVE NULLITY CASE
Only spouses and their legal representatives can file a relative nullity case. The relevant persons or the public prosecutor cannot take this action.
The respondent is the other spouse.
TIME BAR FOR THE RELATIVE NULLITY CASE
The final term in the relative nullity case is 6 months upon the marriage or 5 years in any case. With the expiry of this time, the right to sue is lost.
COMPONENT COURT IN THE ANNULMENT CASE
In both absolute and relative nullity cases, the component court is family courts. The case can be filed in the court in the place where either spouse reside in or in the place where spouses have lived together for the last 6 months before the case.
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