How To Divorce In Turkey And Separate Your Assets?

Divorce in Turkey

In our previous post (How To Divorce In Turkey as A Foreign Citizen), we explained the details about how to divorce in Turkey, and how the case must be filed as a foreign citizen. After our post, we received several enquiries from our clients about the separation of assets in a divorce in Turkey. So, in this post, we will continue on the subject and try to inform about how the separation of assets is made in a divorce in Turkey.

Let us start by clarifying that the separation of assets is made after the divorce decision has been issued, and that a separate case must be filed, as both cases cannot be filed at the same time.

The most important information for all separation of assets cases in Turkey is whether the marriage took place before or after the 1st of January 2002, as the regulations on the separation of assets changed on that date.

According to the amendment made to the Civil Code, if a couple married before the 1st of January 2002, any property that they bought before that date belongs to the person in whose name it is registered.

If the couple married after the 1st of January 2002, or if they got married before 1st of January 2002 and bought the properties after that date, as a rule, these will be shared equally between the couple, regardless of who is registered as the owner. To this rule, some specific exemptions are made, but we will not go into these.

The new separation of assets regime was introduced into Turkish Law as part of the change regarding “the participation in acquired properties” of the Civil Code in 2002. According to the new regime, the main principle for all separation of assets cases after a divorce in Turkey, is to categorise all assets as either personal property or acquired property.

If an asset is considered as personal property, the other party cannot claim a right on it in a separation, whereas, if the property is considered as acquired property, both parties can claim a right to half of it.   

Below we present some examples to highlight the difference.  

Personal properties:

  • Assets belonging to one of the spouses before the marriage or that were acquired by a spouse during the marriage by inheritance or as a gift.
  • Compensation for non-material damages that a spouse received from third parties.
  • Items that were reserved for personal use by one of the spouses.

Acquired Properties:

  • Goods that were acquired in return for work done.
  • Income from personal property (e.g., rent from inherited property).
  • Payments made by social security organizations and similar funds.
  • Financial compensation paid due to loss of capacity to work (e.g., financial compensation received by a working spouse due to a workplace accident).

If one of the spouses claims a property as his/her personal property, they must prove their claim. This is because, as a rule, all property acquired during a marriage is considered to be acquired property, not personal property. If a spouse cannot prove that the property is his/her personal property, it will automatically be included in the distribution.

In addition to the regime described above, spouses can agree on what they consider as their personal property, by making a contract before, or during their marriage. In this case, after a divorce in Turkey, the case for the separation of assets can be filed as described above, and the court will make a decision based on their agreement.

If you have any questions about the divorce in Turkey, please do not hesitate to contact us.  UT Legal, through its offices in London and Istanbul, can handle all the procedures for you.


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