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Can a Person Who Learns They Were Cheated on After Divorce Claim Compensation in Turkish Law?

According to Article 174 of the Turkish Civil Code, if a person violates the duty of fidelity within the marriage before the divorce and this causes moral damage to the other spouse, the aggrieved spouse can claim compensation. So what happens in case this violation of duty is discovered after the divorce?

Under Which Provisions Can a Person Who Learns They Were Cheated on After Divorce Claim Compensation?

In the case of an uncontested divorce, it is assumed that the parties have waived their obligations to each other. However, in the case of a violation discovered after the divorce, a compensation claim can be made based on the Law of Obligations, not on Family Law. The plaintiff can file a moral compensation lawsuit based on tort according to Article 49 and 58 of the Turkish Code of Obligations and the relevant Supreme Court decisions.

ARTICLE 49 – Anyone who causes harm to another through a wrongful and illegal act is obliged to compensate for that harm. Even if there is no legal rule prohibiting the harmful act, anyone who intentionally causes harm to another through an immoral act is also obliged to compensate for that harm.”

ARTICLE 58 – Anyone whose personal rights are violated may request a certain amount of money as moral compensation for the moral damage suffered.”

The Supreme Court considers adultery not only as a special reason for divorce but also as an attack on personal rights.

Example Supreme Court Decision: ” (…) In that case; the lawsuit based on the incident that was realized after the finalization of the divorce decision is related to the claim for moral compensation arising from the tort under the general provisions of the TCO. Indeed, the plaintiff also claimed compensation based on the reason for the tort and asserted the compensation claim within the legal period. In this case, the court’s duty is to examine the moral compensation claim, which is not of an ancillary nature to the divorce, according to the general provisions and to make a decision accordingly (…) ” HGK, E. 2017/2493, K.2021/108, T. 18.02.2021

If a Person Who Has Already Requested Moral Compensation Due to Divorce Later Learns They Were Cheated, Can They Claim Moral Compensation According to the TCO?

If events such as cheating come to light after the divorce, moral compensation can be claimed under the general provisions of the Turkish Code of Obligations (TCO). However, if a moral compensation claim has already been accepted under Article 174/2 of the Turkish Civil Code, additional compensation cannot be claimed according to the relevant articles of the TCO.

By What Procedures Can a Person Who Learns They Were Cheated on After Divorce Request Compensation?

Spouses who were unaware of their partner’s infidelity at the time of divorce and therefore did not request moral compensation can request compensation from the Family Court under Article 58 of the TCO by preparing the evidence and before the statute of limitations expires.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Claiming Compensation?

According to TCO Article 72, the compensation claim is subject to a two-year statute of limitations starting from the date the injured party learns of the damage and the liable party, and in any case, ten years from the date the act was committed.

Can a Person Who Learns They Were Cheated on After Divorce Request Compensation from the Third Party Involved in the Infidelity?

For many years, requesting compensation from the third party involved in infidelity has been a subject of debate in the Supreme Court’s decisions and doctrine. However, with the decision of the Supreme Court of Appeals General Assembly dated 06/07/2018 and numbered E. 2017/5, K. 2018/7, it was concluded that compensation cannot be claimed from the third party.

” (…) According to this article, moral compensation can only be requested from the other spouse who is at fault and only with the divorce case. Since there is no absolute personal right that a person can assert against everyone, such as not being cheated by their spouse, it is not possible for the third party involved in the act of cheating to violate the absolute right of the cheated spouse. In other words, the third party, who is not a party to the marital union and therefore does not have a duty of fidelity, is not obliged to comply with the obligations arising from the marital contract between the spouses (…) ”

Compensation Lawsuit Process

The process of filing a compensation lawsuit involves applying to the relevant court and submitting the necessary documents. The plaintiff must support the application with evidence and witness statements to substantiate the claim of infidelity. Considering that the legal process can be complex, it is important to act with the assistance of a lawyer.

For more help or consultation on this matter, you can contact us.

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