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Divorce Due to Adultery in Turkey

In Turkish law, divorce due to adultery is one of the absolute divorce grounds. If the adultery as the ground of divorce can be directly proved, the case will be automatically accepted.

Adultery means that a man has a sexual intercourse with a woman other than his wife or a woman has a sexual intercourse with a man other than her husband. In other words, one of the spouses has an extramarital sexual intercourse.  Legally, there is no difference between spouses; whoever has an extramarital intercourse, the other spouse has the right to sue.

THE CONDITIONS OF DIVORCE ON THE GROUND OF ADULTERY CASE

This action can be taken under the following conditions;

  • Being married
  • When a spouse commits adultery, the spouse should be in the marriage community. Even if spouses live apart or pause to live together, it is deemed that they live in the marriage community. Because, adultery constitutes the severest violation of the fidelity obligation that spouses owe to each other.
  • Having a sexual intercourse with someone else other than the other spouse

A spouse has a sexual intercourse with someone else other than the other spouse. Flirting, heavy petting, texting, dating, kissing or hugging cannot be deemed as adultery. The spouse should have a sexual intercourse. Even it happens only for once, it will be enough for divorce.

  • The adultery should be committed with fault

The spouse should knowingly commits adultery. Namely, it should have a fault in doing this. Otherwise, e.g. if the spouse is drugged, stunned, intimidated or threated to have a sexual intercourse, it cannot be deemed as adultery. The threat should be aimed at the life of the spouse.

PROVING THE ADULTERY  

Adultery can be proved using any kind of evidence. If a spouse has strong evidence about the adultery, the judge examines it and may conclude that the adultery is committed. When the adultery is proved, it is an absolute divorce ground. If the spouse committing the adultery admits it, it is one way of proving the adultery, but it is not binding  for the judge.

If the other spouse also commits adultery, it does not cancel the case.

LOSING THE RIGHT TO SUE IN CASE OF ADULTERY

One can lose the right to sue in case of adultery for two reasons; forgiving the adulterous spouse, the expiry of certain time.

  1. Forgiving the adulterous spouse

If the claimant spouse forgives the adulterous spouse explicitly or implicitly or continue the marriage, it loses the right to sue. For this, it should have a free will and should not be intermediated or threatened to do so.

  1. The expiry of certain time

The expiry of the required time is important in divorce on the ground of adultery suits. One loses the right to sue within 6 months upon learning the adultery or within 5 years in any case. The court considers this time on its own motion.

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