Article: Turkish divorce law update

Author: Berk Çektir  Full Profile here

1 February 2016

One of the most common grounds for divorce is the breakdown of marriage. There may be various reasons. In multinational marriages in particular, cultural differences and language barriers triggers other natural difficulties of a marriage. Emotions fade away and love songs do not help in the end.

One of the parties is usually quicker to leave home and start setting up a new life. The remaining spouse might be left in difficulties or obligations undertaken during the marriage. Most of the time when a marriage breaks down, the wife is abandoned and left with the responsibility of caring for the children, with all the difficulties of being a single mother.

 The parties may come to communicate reasonably and in good terms and can come to an agreement vis-à-vis a settlement. In some cases there are terrible reasons for divorce -- the father abusing the daughter or even worse, which would be even more unpleasant to mention here in this column. In such circumstances it is very unlikely that the spouses will come to an agreement and the matter will also face criminal proceedings.

Men usually have the tendency to support the wife and children less than they used to in the past, so the (ex) wife and children go on living with less money to pay for their needs.

Communication with the children decreases and, once the man enters into a new relationship, the frequency of the calls or visits drops, worsening the relationship.
Therefore, the most important element of a settlement is to agree on the financial terms and visitation. Who is going to visit whom, when and where? All these are important questions to answer.

Alimony and child support is one thing. What about the hidden costs? Who will be paying the transportation costs of the visits? Who will be paying the utilities and mortgage? Who will pay the unexpected school trip? There should be a cushion for the single mother to be able to cover all these expenses without feeling any embarrassment or worrying about her dignity.

In some cases the single mother is desperate and does not even have the means to pay for an attorney. Some law firms, like ours, take on such cases pro bono.
It is also a common mistake to accept the help of the divorcing husband finding a lawyer for the wife who cannot afford to pay the fees of a solicitor. In such a case, a foreign wife (for instance, English) is pushed to accept working with a Turkish lawyer who does not speak any English. The communication then takes place with the help of the husband. The lawyer appointed for the wife then prepares the papers as told, thinking this is the wish of his/her client. In such cases, at least the protocol must be bilingual to make it clear to all what terms have been agreed upon.

Disclaimer: this article was accurate at the time of publication (1st February 2016). Before relying on its contents, consult a legal advisor for any relevant updates and applicability to your interests.

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