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alimony debts in Turkey

How Does Alimony Work in Turkey?

In Turkey, Unpaid alimony debts following divorce can be collected through alimony enforcement proceedings. In this article, you will find answers to questions such as what is accumulated alimony enforcement, how to initiate it, what documents are required, and learn the necessary steps to protect your rights in Turkish legal system.

What is Alimony?

Alimony is the amount of money paid by one party to another whose financial situation is weak as a result of divorce or separation. The aim is to provide financial support to prevent them from falling into poverty and to enable them to maintain their livelihood.

Types of alimony include:

1. Poverty alimony: Alimony paid to the party at risk of falling into poverty after divorce or separation.

2. Participation alimony: Alimony that spouses are required to pay together to cover the living expenses of their common children after the termination of marriage. Also known as participation alimony.

3. Precautionary alimony: Alimony paid temporarily and as a precautionary measure by the court while the divorce case is pending.

What is Alimony Debt?

Alimony debt is the total amount of unpaid alimony owed by the alimony debtor to the alimony creditor for past periods. This debt can be collected by the alimony creditor through enforcement proceedings.

To calculate accumulated alimony debt, the alimony amount determined by the court and the unpaid months are taken into account. The debtor can pay the accumulated alimony debt in advance or in installments.

What is Alimony Enforcement in Turkey?

The alimony creditor, in case of non-payment of alimony, can initiate enforcement proceedings to collect it through legal means. For this process, the alimony creditor must apply to the enforcement office and present documents related to their claim (court decision, judgment, etc.).

Collection of Alimony through Enforcement Proceedings in Turkish Law

The steps to collect unpaid accumulated alimony through enforcement proceedings are as follows:

Application for Enforcement and Payment Order: The first step is to apply to the enforcement office with a request to initiate enforcement proceedings against the debtor. After enforcement proceedings have commenced, a payment order will be sent to the debtor.

Notification: The submission of the petition alone is not sufficient. The request for payment of alimony is notified to the alimony debtor by the enforcement office. Objection: The debtor who receives the notification has the right to object to the debt within seven days.

Payment and Collection: If no objection is made within the specified period and the debt is not paid, the debt is collected through enforcement by the enforcement office.

Statute of Limitations for Alimony Debt:

The statute of limitations for accumulated alimony debt is 10 years.

– This period begins from the date when the last installment is paid or the alimony obligation ends.

– After the expiration of the statute of limitations, the creditor cannot initiate legal proceedings.

Alimony Enforcement and Wage Garnishment

In case of non-payment of alimony debt, the creditor can initiate enforcement proceedings for the collection of alimony by wage garnishment. An important aspect of this process is wage garnishment.

Article 83 of the Execution and Bankruptcy Law regulates what can be partially seized and how much deduction can be made from wages. According to the article, an amount less than one-fourth of wages or salaries cannot be garnished.

The alimony creditor can receive regular payments by garnishing the wages. These payments cover the current alimony amount and one-fourth of the accumulated alimony.

Is Imprisonment Imposed for Non-Payment of Alimony in Turkey?

In case of non-payment of alimony debt, the creditor can request the debtor to be sentenced to imprisonment for up to three months by lodging a complaint with the enforcement criminal court. This request can be made for the last three months’ unpaid alimony.

To avoid imprisonment:

– The debtor must pay the last three months’ alimony and submit the payment receipt to the enforcement criminal court.

– Otherwise, the court will decide on imprisonment.

Methods of Payment for Alimony in Turkey

Alimony payment must be made by the obligated person in the manner and within the time frame determined by law. The payment method depends on whether an enforcement procedure has been initiated by the alimony creditor:

If there is an Enforcement Procedure:

– The debtor of accumulated alimony must make the payment to the relevant enforcement office account.

– Payment should be made with the enforcement procedure number and file number specified.

If there is No Enforcement Procedure:

– The debtor of accumulated alimony can make the payment to the alimony creditor in cash or via bank account.

– A written payment receipt should be obtained for cash payments.

– In bank transfers, the statement should include the phrase “Alimony Payment”.

What Can Be Done If Alimony Is Not Paid?

To collect unpaid accumulated alimony by the obligated party, two different enforcement proceedings can be resorted to:

1. Enforcement Proceeding without a Judgment:

– Applied for alimony types that do not require a judgment or court decision, such as precautionary alimony.

– The alimony creditor can initiate enforcement proceedings by applying to the enforcement office.

2. Enforcement Proceeding with a Judgment:

– Applied for alimony types determined by a judgment or court decision, such as poverty and participation alimony.

– The alimony creditor can initiate enforcement proceedings by applying to the enforcement office.

Non-Collection Situation:

If the debtor of accumulated alimony does not pay the debt despite the enforcement proceedings, the alimony creditor can apply to the enforcement court and request the debtor to be subjected to imprisonment for up to three months.

Where Can Complaints Be Filed If Alimony Is Not Paid?

In case of non-payment of accumulated alimony debt in Turkey, the alimony creditor can lodge complaints with the following authorities:

Enforcement Criminal Court: Can initiate enforcement proceedings for the collection of accumulated alimony and request the debtor to be subjected to imprisonment. Public Prosecutor’s Office: Violation of the alimony obligation by the debtor of accumulated alimony may constitute a crime. In this case, the alimony creditor can file a criminal complaint.

Time Limits in Enforcement Proceedings for Alimony:

Notification of Payment Order: The debtor is notified of the payment order. The notification period varies depending on the enforcement office and the debtor’s address but generally lasts about 1 month.

Objection Period: After the notification, the debtor has 7 days to object. If there is no objection, the enforcement becomes final and enforcement proceedings accelerate. If there is an objection, different time limits apply depending on the type of objection: For enforcement proceedings without a judgment, such as precautionary alimony, a case for lifting the objection is filed. This case is resolved faster than the cancellation of the objection and may take a few months. For enforcement proceedings with a judgment, such as poverty, participation, or assistance alimony, the debtor’s objection means filing a lawsuit and does not stop the enforcement proceedings.

Complaint Situation: If there is a complaint due to the debtor’s non-payment of alimony, the process may take several more months.

You can contact us for further assistance or consultation about the execution of alimony in Turkey.


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