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Limitation of the Spouse’s Authority to Dispose of Property in Turkish Law

Although there is a general rule that spouses have the freedom to dispose of their assets freely, Article 199 of the Turkish Civil Code (TCC) allows for the limitation of this authority in exceptional circumstances, such as protecting the family’s economic assets or fulfilling financial obligations arising from the marriage. In this article, we will discuss this concept, also known as the limitation or restriction of the authority to dispose of property, with examples and Supreme Court decisions.

The main topics to be discussed in our article are:

Article 199 of the TCC: What does this article regulate? Under what conditions can the authority to dispose of property be limited?

Lawsuit: How to file a lawsuit for the limitation of the authority to dispose of property?

Lawsuit Petition: What information should be included in the petition?

Restrictive Annotations: Examples of situations where spouses can limit the authority to dispose of property.
Supreme Court Decisions: Examination of some Supreme Court decisions on this issue.

Article 199 of the TCC: Restriction of the Spouse’s Authority to Dispose of Property

Article 199 of the Turkish Civil Code (TCC) allows a judge, upon the request of one of the spouses, to make decisions regarding the specified assets to the extent necessary to protect the family’s economic assets or fulfill a financial obligation arising from the marriage.

There are two main conditions for the restriction of the authority to dispose of property:

1. Protection of the Family’s Economic Assets: If one spouse is spending or selling assets in a way that endangers the family’s livelihood and future, the other spouse can complain to the judge and request the restriction of the authority to dispose of property. The judge will consider the family’s financial situation, income and expenses, debts, and future plans while evaluating this request.

2. Failure to Fulfill Financial Obligations Arising from the Marriage: If one spouse does not fulfill financial obligations such as alimony, children’s living, and education expenses arising from the marriage, the other spouse can complain to the judge and request the restriction of the authority to dispose of property. The judge will consider the weight of the marriage obligations, the financial situations of the spouses, and whether alimony and other expenses are met while evaluating this request.

How to File a Lawsuit for the Limitation of the Spouse’s Authority to Dispose of Property?

The restriction of the authority to dispose of property is carried out through a lawsuit filed in the family court. In the lawsuit, the spouse requesting the restriction must present the reasons and evidence for the restriction in a petition. The judge, after evaluating the evidence, will decide whether the restriction is necessary. If a restriction decision is made, the restricted spouse’s transactions regarding the property will only be possible with the consent of the other spouse.

The lawsuit for the limitation of the authority to dispose of property is filed in the court of the family’s place of residence. The lawsuit petition should detail the events and evidence that form the basis for filing the lawsuit.

Example: If one spouse becomes addicted to gambling and endangers the family budget and fails to pay marital debts, the other spouse can request the restriction of the authority to dispose of property under Article 199 of the TCC. The judge, after evaluating the evidence, can make a restriction decision. With this decision, the transactions regarding the property of the gambling-addicted spouse can only be carried out with the consent of the other spouse.

The information that should be included in the lawsuit petition is as follows:

Identity information of the plaintiff and defendant spouses
Marriage date and place
Clear and concise statement of the subject of the lawsuit
Detailed explanation of the events and evidence that form the basis for filing the lawsuit
The plaintiff’s request (e.g., a decision that the transactions regarding certain assets of the defendant can only be carried out with the consent of the plaintiff)

In addition to the lawsuit petition:

A copy of the marriage certificate
Original or certified copies of the evidence

should be submitted.

Example of a Petition for the Limitation of the Spouse’s Authority to Dispose of Property

To the Duty Family Court;

Plaintiff:
T.C. Identification Number:
Address:
Phone:

Attorney:

Defendant:
T.C. Identification Number:
Address:

Subject: Request for the Limitation of the Spouse’s Authority to Dispose of Property

Explanations:

The plaintiff and defendant got married on [Marriage Date]. They have [Number of Children] children from this marriage.
During the marriage union, the plaintiff and defendant have sustained their family with [Income Status].
The defendant spouse has recently started to display behaviors such as [Defendant Spouse’s Spending Behaviors]. This situation endangers the financial condition of the family union and threatens the family welfare.
The irresponsible use of the defendant spouse’s authority to dispose of property also makes it difficult to meet family needs.
The plaintiff spouse has made various attempts to stop these behaviors of the defendant spouse. However, these attempts have not been successful.
In this situation, it has become necessary to restrict the authority of the defendant spouse to dispose of property in order to protect the family union and family welfare.

Legal Grounds:

Turkish Civil Code, Code of Civil Procedure, and other relevant legislation

Evidence:

Population Registry Sample
Marriage Certificate
[Documents Showing the Defendant Spouse’s Spending Behaviors]
[Other Evidence]

Request:

To restrict the defendant spouse’s authority to dispose of immovables, vehicles, etc.,
To restrict the defendant spouse’s authority to withdraw money from bank accounts,
To restrict the defendant spouse’s authority to use credit cards,
[Other Necessary Restrictions],

I respectfully request and demand that the necessary proceedings be conducted and that the above-mentioned requests be accepted.

[Date]

Plaintiff
[Name Surname]
[Signature]

If There Is a Lawyer:
Lawyer
[Name Surname]
[Bar Association T.C. Identification Number]
[Signature]

Annotations Restricting the Authority of Spouses to Dispose of Property

Under Article 199 of the Turkish Civil Code (TCC), upon the request of one of the spouses, the judge can decide that transactions regarding the specified assets can only be carried out with the consent of the other spouse. This decision is recorded as an annotation in the land registry, thereby restricting the authority of the spouse to dispose of property.

What Is an Annotation?

An annotation is a right recorded in the land registry that does not affect the ownership right of the immovable but restricts or limits the disposal of the property. Annotations restricting the authority of spouses to dispose of property can be categorized as follows:

How to Request and Remove an Annotation?

If the judge accepts this request after evaluating the evidence presented in the lawsuit petition, he will decide to record an annotation in the land registry.

To remove the annotation, the spouse who placed the annotation or the relevant person requesting its removal must file a lawsuit with the judge. The judge will decide to remove the annotation after evaluating the reasons for the lawsuit.

Example:

Ayşe and Mehmet have been married for 10 years. The couple, who have 2 children from their marriage, have recently started to experience financial difficulties. Despite these difficulties, Mehmet wants to sell the family home. Ayşe, opposing the sale of the family home, files a lawsuit with the judge to request the restriction of Mehmet’s authority to dispose of property. The judge, after evaluating the evidence, accepts Ayşe’s lawsuit and places an annotation restricting Mehmet’s authority to sell the family home.

As seen in this example, Article 199 of the TCC allows for the restriction or limitation of the authority of spouses to dispose of property to protect the family’s economic assets and ensure the continuity of the marriage union.

Supreme Court Decisions on the Limitation of the Spouse’s Authority to Dispose of Property: Examples and Explanations

In this section, some important Supreme Court decisions regarding the limitation of the spouse’s authority to dispose of property according to Article 199 of the Civil Code will be discussed and explained with examples.

Supreme Court Decisions:

In its decision numbered 2020/15483 E. 2021/19859 K., the 15th Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court ruled that if one of the spouses wants to sell the immovable necessary for the interests of the marriage union and family livelihood, the other spouse can bring this transaction to the court and the judge can decide to make the sale of the immovable subject to the consent of the spouse.

In its decision numbered 2021/12494 E. 2022/14051 K., the 17th Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court ruled that if one of the spouses’ debts endanger the family budget and also put the other spouse’s assets at risk, the judge can restrict the debtor spouse’s authority to dispose of property upon the request of the other spouse.

In its decision numbered 2022/1123 E. 2023/1567 K., the 13th Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court ruled that if one of the spouses squanders the family budget due to reasons such as gambling or alcohol use and endangers the other spouse’s assets, the judge can restrict the authority to dispose of property related to harmful habits such as gambling or alcohol use upon the request of the other spouse. This decision shows that Article 199 of the TCC also aims to protect the family’s peace and welfare by restricting the authority of the spouse to dispose of property.

In its decision numbered 2018/18360 Esas, 2018/21655 Karar, the 2nd Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court accepted that the plaintiff spouse claimed that the defendant spouse had a gambling habit that negatively affected the family budget, and accepted the restriction of the defendant spouse’s authority to dispose of property, acknowledging that the defendant spouse’s gambling habit threatened the family welfare.

In its decision numbered 2017/1245 Esas, 2017/20516 Karar, the 15th Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court accepted the restriction of the defendant spouse’s authority to dispose of property, acknowledging that the defendant spouse’s attempt to sell the common residence alone could cause financial damage to the family and threaten family welfare.

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Limitation of the Spouse’s Authority to Dispose of Property

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