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Rights of Women in Divorce Case in Turkey 

Rights of Women in Divorce Case in Turkey 

In Turkey, the decision to end a marriage is a challenging process both emotionally and legally. Divorce carries financial and emotional costs for both parties. In this challenging process, it is crucial for women to be aware of their legal rights and options. In this article, we aim to provide guidance to women considering filing for divorce or already in the process of divorce.

Rights Arising from Property Regime and Property Division

What is Property Division in Turkey?

Property division is a legal process that regulates how the assets acquired during the marriage will be divided between spouses in case of divorce. Spouses have equal rights over the assets in Turkish Law.

How is Property Division Done?

Property division can be done in two ways:

1. Property Division in Consensual Divorce: Spouses can agree on property division. This agreement should be made in writing and certified by a notary.

2. Property Division in Contested Divorce Cases: If spouses cannot agree on property division, they need to file a lawsuit and obtain a court decision. The court determines the proportion of property division by evaluating the assets and considering various factors.

Rights of Women:

Right to Equal Share: A woman is entitled to half of the assets acquired during the marriage.

Right to Contribution Share: If a woman has contributed to the family budget by performing household chores, childcare, etc., she can claim a contribution share.

Right to Appreciation Share: If a woman has contributed to the increase in her husband’s assets, she can claim an appreciation share.

Right to Protection of Personal Property: Assets acquired by the woman before the marriage and personal property owned by her during the marriage are not subject to division in divorce.

Right to Claim Jewelry: Jewelry is not considered acquired property in the property regime, and all jewelry worn by the woman at the wedding is her personal property. Therefore, the male spouse cannot claim any rights to these items. As a result, in a divorce case, the woman has the right to claim all the jewelry given to her.

Note: A property division lawsuit must be filed within 10 years after the divorce becomes final.

Women Rights Arising from Alimony in Turkish Law

Alimony is the financial support provided to the spouse who faces financial hardship after divorce to ensure their maintenance and housing. In this context, it is essential to protect the woman’s rights and provide necessary support.

Types of Alimony:

Interim Alimony: Alimony paid to the spouse who is at risk of poverty until the divorce case is finalized. A woman can claim interim alimony regardless of fault.

Poverty Alimony: Alimony paid to the spouse who falls into poverty after the divorce is finalized. To receive poverty alimony, certain conditions must be met. These conditions are as follows:

– Falling into poverty due to divorce

– The fault not being more serious

– The marriage lasting at least 3 years (this period is not required if there are children)

– Not living in a common residence (if the spouse entitled to alimony lives in the common residence, the amount of alimony they receive may decrease)

A woman can use her right to poverty alimony by filing a lawsuit either with the divorce case or within 1 year after the case is finalized.

The amount of alimony is determined by the judge considering criteria such as the financial situation of both spouses, the duration of the marriage, and the presence of common children.

The right to alimony in divorce is not only a financial support but also an important right that helps the woman psychologically relax and start a new life. Therefore, it is crucial that the legal regulations regarding alimony are in favor of women and this right is protected.

Custody and Right to Personal Relationship with the Child Custody Right:

According to the Turkish Civil Code, custody is jointly owned by the mother and father. However, in the event of divorce, custody is awarded to one of the spouses by the judge, considering the best interests of the child. At this stage, many factors such as the child’s age, health condition, personality traits, relationship with both parents, both parents’ ability to care for and raise the child, and conditions are taken into account.

The child’s opinion can also be heard and evaluated by the judge. However, the child’s opinion alone is not determinative.

A woman can request and defend her custody right in the divorce case.

The likelihood of the judge granting custody to the mother increases, especially in the following situations:

– If the mother has financial means to meet the child’s basic needs and provide a suitable environment.

– If the child has formed a stronger bond with the mother, and separation from the mother would negatively affect the child psychologically.

– If the father is inadequate or negligent in caring for and raising the child.

However, it should be remembered that custody decision is not unilateral. Both parents have custody rights, and these rights are equal.

Custody should be arranged in the best interest of the child. Therefore, if the mother and father can agree on custody, this situation is also taken into account by the judge, and custody may be jointly awarded to both parents.

Establishment of Personal Relationship with the Child

After divorce, the parent who is not granted custody still has the right to regularly visit and establish a relationship with the children. This right is crucial for maintaining the bond between the non-custodial parent and the child and preventing the child from being deprived of either parent.

The personal relationship with the child is regulated in Article 337 of the Turkish Civil Code. According to this article, the judge allows the parent to have the opportunity to meet the child on certain days and hours, considering the child’s best interests and hearing the child’s opinion.

Right to Request Use of Family Residence in Divorce Proceedings

During the divorce proceedings, a woman has the right to request allocation of the family residence to herself from the court. The fact that the male spouse is the owner of the family residence does not prevent the woman’s request. Additionally, the fault of the female spouse in the divorce does not prevent the allocation of the family residence to her.

Right to Material and Moral Compensation

Material and moral compensation is the money paid by one spouse to the other who suffers material or moral harm due to divorce. In this context, the woman has the right to compensation, and this right should be protected.

What is Material and Moral Compensation?

Material Compensation: Money paid by one spouse to the other who suffers financial harm due to divorce. This compensation is paid to ensure the maintenance and housing of the spouse who falls into poverty or financial distress due to divorce.

Moral Compensation: Money paid by one spouse to the other who suffers damage to their personality rights due to divorce. This compensation is paid to compensate for the mental pain suffered by the spouse due to events such as insult, infidelity, violence during the divorce.

Conditions for Receiving Compensation:

Fault: To receive compensation, the spouse claiming compensation must be faultless or less at fault. Equally at fault spouses cannot claim compensation from each other. Harm: To receive compensation, there must be material or moral harm due to divorce. Causality: To receive compensation, there must be a causal relationship between the fault of the liable spouse and the harm.

Factors Determining the Amount of Compensation:

Faults of the spouses: The amount of compensation is determined according to the proportion of the faults of the spouses. The faultless or less at fault spouse has the right to claim more compensation.

Financial situations before and after the divorce: The amount of compensation is determined by considering the financial situations of the spouses before and after the divorce.

Duration of the marriage: The amount of compensation is determined by considering the duration of the marriage. Higher compensation amounts can be determined for long-term marriages.

Presence of common children: Whether there are common children also affects the amount of compensation.

Wear and tear share: It arises when one of the spouses contributes more financially or morally than the other during the marriage. The judge balances this situation and decides on an appropriate compensation.

In the case of moral compensation: The amount of compensation is determined by the judge considering the extent of the moral pain suffered, the concrete situation of the event, and similar factors.

Right to Benefit from Legal Aid and Support Services

Women in the divorce process should be aware that they are not alone and that they can benefit from many legal aid and support services to defend their rights.


Expanding access to legal and psychological support services provided to women during the divorce process and ensuring awareness of these services is important. To exercise these rights, it is necessary to act in accordance with the laws and conditions of the case. Therefore, seeking support from an expert will be beneficial.

For further assistance or consultation on this matter, you can contact us.

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