CONDITIONS FOR UNCONTESTED DIVORCE: STEPS, DOCUMENTS, THINGS TO CONSIDER
The uncontested divorce process is a procedure in which a married couple applies to the court with a protocol demonstrating their agreement on issues such as divorce, property division, and custody in order to terminate their marriage. Uncontested divorce in Turkey is one of the general divorce reasons specified in Article 166/3 of the Turkish Civil Code.
The conditions for uncontested divorce process are stated in the law. With this method, couples can file for divorce if they both agree that the foundation of the marital union has been shaken and that the shared life can no longer be continued. This method minimizes disagreements between couples, making the divorce process less stressful and less costly.
Parties usually create the uncontested divorce agreement protocol through their uncontested divorce lawyers, and this document is submitted to the court for approval. The uncontested divorce process in Turkey represents an approach based on mutual understanding and agreement between the parties. This process is an effective way to legally terminate a marriage.
For detailed information on divorce in Turkey, you can visit our “Divorce in Turkey” page.
HOW DOES AN UNCONTESTED DIVORCE PROCESS WORK IN TURKEY?
An uncontested divorce process is a type of divorce where the parties agree to end their marriage and apply to the court. The first answer to the question of how an uncontested divorce works is that there must be compatibility and cooperation between the parties. The successful completion of the uncontested divorce process requires specific conditions and steps. The basic stages of the process regarding the question of how an uncontested divorce works are:
- Compatibility and Cooperation: The fundamental requirement for an uncontested divorce process is that the parties have reached an agreement regarding the divorce. This includes issues such as property division, custody, and alimony. There should be a solution-oriented communication and cooperation between the parties.
- Preparation of Divorce Protocol: The couples must prepare a uncontested divorce agreement stating that they have agreed on all consequences of the divorce. This protocol should not contradict the relevant provisions of the Civil Code.
- Filing for Uncontested Divorce: The couples must prepare a lawsuit petition and apply to the court along with the divorce protocol. The divorce case is initiated, and the application documents are submitted to the court. The parties should specify the agreed-upon issues in the divorce petition.
- Property Division: If there are assets acquired during the marriage, an agreement should be made on how to divide these properties. This includes movable assets, real estate, bank accounts, and other assets.
- Custody and Children: If the couples have children, an uncontested divorce agreement should be reached on issues such as who will have custody, visitation rights, and the financial needs of the children.
- Alimony and Obligations: Alimony refers to financial support provided by one ex-spouse to the other. The parties should come to an agreement on alimony in an uncontested divorce in Turkey. Additionally, other financial obligations (e.g., children’s education expenses) should be determined.
- Approval of the Agreement: The agreement between the parties must be approved by the court. The court evaluates the agreement to ensure the rights and interests of the parties are protected.
- Finalization of Divorce: Once the court approves the agreement submitted by the parties, the divorce decision becomes final, and the parties are officially divorced.
- The process and laws for uncontested divorce process vary in each country. Therefore, it is important to review the laws of your country and seek professional advice from a lawyer lawyer for uncontested divorce.
- Since the uncontested divorce process encompasses all the details of the agreement, careful consideration and written documentation of the agreement are essential to protect the rights of both parties.
In conclusion, when there is compatibility and cooperation between the parties, the uncontested divorce process can be a preferred route. However, every situation is unique, and guidance from a lawyer can further facilitate the process and help protect the rights of the parties.
CONDITIONS FOR AN UNCONTESTED DIVORCE IN TURKEY
In order to proceed with an uncontested divorce, our legal system requires certain conditions. The conditions for an uncontested divorce are outlined below:
The marriage union must have lasted for at least 1 year from the date of marriage
One of the prerequisites for an uncontested divorce is that the marriage union must have lasted for at least one year from the date of marriage. This condition is automatically verified by the court. If an uncontested divorce case is filed before one year has passed since the marriage, the case will not be accepted. Therefore, in cases filed before one year, contested divorce procedures are applied. During this period, evidence is collected from the parties and witnesses, and a divorce decision can be made after their testimonies are heard.
The spouses must either jointly file the lawsuit or accept the lawsuit
For the spouses to proceed with an uncontested divorce, one party must file the lawsuit, and the other party must accept it. However, for an agreement to be reached with one party accepting the lawsuit, it is important that the divorce case does not rely on specific legal grounds. In other words, uncontested divorce can only be chosen in cases of general grounds, such as severe conflict.
The clear expressions of the spouses’ intentions must be obtained
In an uncontested divorce case, the participation and clear expressions of the spouses’ intentions are among the conditions. This rule ensures that the legal process proceeds fairly and transparently, and guarantees that the parties act with their true intentions without any pressure.
It is essential for the spouses to be heard by the judge in person during the uncontested divorce hearing. Therefore, an uncontested divorce cannot be carried out through written statements alone. However, the Audio and Video Information System (SEGBİS) can be used for listening at the uncontested divorce hearing in Turkey
During the uncontested divorce hearing, the judge reads and records the signed statements of the parties. If the statements are not read, a divorce decision cannot be made. If one of the parties refrains from signing, the case turns into a contested divorce case. This process ensures that the intentions of the parties are clearly and unequivocally determined, leading to a fair and accurate conclusion of the legal procedure.
Reaching an Agreement on Financial Matters
An agreement regarding financial matters should encompass both material and moral compensations as well as spousal support. It is necessary for the parties to reach an agreement on these matters, and for the judge to find this agreement appropriate. The nature of the compensation presented to the court, the method of payment, and all other conditions should be clearly stated. It is not possible to withhold compensation claims and proceed with an uncontested divorce process. Therefore, in the uncontested divorce agreement, either material and/or moral compensation should be requested, or these rights should be waived.
Additionally, the agreement on spousal support in an uncontested divorce must also be deemed appropriate by the court. In this context, the court should inquire whether the parties wish to request spousal support, and when taking statements, it should be clearly indicated what type of support each is.
For detailed information on alimony and compensations that can be requested during the divorce process, you can review our “Divorce Alimony and Compensation” page.
Reaching an Agreement About Children
A detailed evaluation should be made regarding the situation of children subject to custody in the uncontested divorce process in Turkey. This is extremely important for the well-being and future of the children. The statements of the parties should be taken into account, considering the physical, emotional, and educational needs of the children.
In this context, the situation of the children is evaluated under three main headings:
- Child Alimony: A financial agreement should be reached between the parents, considering the financial needs and maintenance expenses of the children. This is crucial for meeting the basic needs of the children. For detailed information on participation alimony, you can review our “Child Alimony” page.
- Custody: A decision should be made regarding who will oversee the child’s daily life and make decisions for them. This will be influential in areas such as the child’s education, health, and daily routine. For detailed information on custody, you can review our “Custody of the Child” page.
- Visitation Rights: It should be determined how the child will maintain a relationship with the other parent after the divorce. This includes matters such as the frequency of visits and time spent together during holidays.
These three important issues are areas where the judge may intervene. Taking into account the statements of the parties, the judge will make a decision in the uncontested divorce hearing to ensure the best possible protection and fulfillment of the children’s needs. In this way, a fair and balanced agreement concerning the children’s future is reached, ensuring their well-being is maximized.
The Judge’s Approval of the Agreement on Financial Matters and Children
In a divorce case, the judge’s approval of the uncontested divorce agreement on financial matters and children between the parties is a critical step. If the parties reach an agreement on financial issues and the children’s situation, the divorce process can conclude as uncontested. For this purpose, the parties should sign an uncontested divorce protocol. However, it is also necessary for this protocol to be deemed appropriate by the judge.
If the judge deems the uncontested divorce agreement insufficient or in violation of the law, they may offer suggestions to the parties to encourage reconciliation. If the parties accept these suggestions or come to an agreement amongst themselves, the divorce process can be concluded as uncontested. However, in the event that the parties cannot reach an agreement or do not accept the judge’s suggestions, the case may turn into a contested divorce case.
HOW TO FILE AN UNCONTESTED DIVORCE CASE IN TURKEY?
If the conditions for an uncontested divorce are met, specific steps need to be followed to file an uncontested divorce case. How to file an uncontested divorce case?:
- Preparing the Uncontested Divorce Agreement: The spouses prepare a detailed divorce protocol that includes the conditions of the divorce. Matters such as alimony and other financial issues, custody, and children should be decided in the uncontested divorce.
- Application to the Courthouse: The prepared uncontested divorce agreement along with the uncontested divorce petition is submitted to the registry offices of the courthouses.
- Payment of Fees: The necessary litigation fees for the application are paid. In uncontested divorce cases, there is a fixed fee. In addition to the fixed fee, an advance payment for court expenses is also required. These expenses are detailed on the submission form.
- Filing the Case: After the fees are paid, the case is officially filed. The case file is submitted to the court by the registry office and is assigned a case number.
- Preparation of the Court Decision Record: The court reviews the case file, prepares a court decision record, and sets a date for the uncontested divorce hearing.
- Submission of the Original Written Protocol to the Court: If the original of the divorce protocol was not submitted to the court when the case was filed, it is presented to the court before the hearing date.
- Attendance at the Hearing: On the appointed uncontested divorce hearing date set by the court, both spouses personally attend the court. The parties declare to the court that they themselves have signed the divorce protocol and accept it.
- Court Decision: The court examines the protocol and divorce requests of the parties. If there is no violation of the law, the case is accepted.
- Finalization of the Divorce Decision: From the date of serving the reasoned decision to the parties, after the appellate period has passed, the decision becomes final, and the uncontested divorce process in Turkey is completed.
These steps are the fundamental stages that need to be followed to initiate and complete the uncontested divorce process. It is important to remember that this process must take place with the free will of both parties.
WHERE TO FILE AN UNCONTESTED DIVORCE CASE IN TURKEY?
The first answer to the question of how to file an uncontested divorce case in Turkey is that the case should be filed in the competent court. According to the general jurisdiction rule, it is filed in the family court where either of the spouses resides or in the family court where they have lived together for the last six months. However, with the agreement of the parties, any court in Turkey can also have jurisdiction. The competent court is the family court. If there is no family court available, in this case, the civil courts of first instance will have jurisdiction.
AN UNCONTESTED DIVORCE CASE HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE IN TURKEY?
An uncontested divorce case typically concludes in a single session. However, in some cases, the process may vary. The estimated durations for an uncontested divorce case are outlined below:
- Filing the Application and Setting the Hearing: The application for an uncontested divorce case is submitted, and the court usually sets a hearing date within 1 week. Both spouses are invited to the hearing.
- The Hearing and Divorce Decision: If everything is in order on the hearing day, the court grants the uncontested divorce in a single session.
- Writing the Reasoned Decision: The court writes the reasoned decision, which takes approximately 40 days.
- Notification and Appellate Process: The reasoned decision is served to the parties. If the parties do not wish to file an appeal, the decision is awaited for finalization. The appellate period is 2 weeks. If the parties do not wish to wait for this period, they can submit a petition to the court stating their waiver of the right to appeal.
- Finalization and Correction of Registry Information: After the decision is finalized, the reasoned decision including the finalization note is notified to the Civil Registry Office, and the registry information of the parties is corrected.
Taking this process into consideration, the answer to an uncontested divorce how long does it take, on average, 1-2 months. With effective management by a competent uncontested divorce lawyer, this duration can be shortened.
AN UNCONTESTED DIVORCE CASE FEES AND EXPENSES IN TURKEY
The fees and charges for an uncontested divorce case are as follows:
- Fixed Fees and Charges: There is a fixed fee set for an uncontested divorce case. In addition to this fee, an advance payment for court expenses is made.
- Granting Power of Attorney to the Attorney: If the spouses grant power of attorney to an uncontested divorce lawyer, the lawyer’s fee is determined through a specific agreement.
- Attorney’s Power of Attorney Fee (2023): According to the 2023 Attorney Minimum Fee Schedule, the attorney’s power of attorney fees for an uncontested divorce case are set at a minimum of 17,900 TL.
It is important to remember that the designated fees and charges must be paid at every stage of the uncontested divorce case. Additionally, uncontested divorce lawyers’ fees and other financial details can be subject to special agreements between the parties. Therefore, consulting with an attorney is crucial to obtain detailed information and ascertain the exact fees.
HOW SHOULD THE UNCONTESTED DIVORCE AGREEMENT BE?
The agreed divorce agreement is a document in which the spouses define their rights and obligations after the divorce. The first requirement for filing an agreed divorce case is the preparation and submission of the divorce protocol. An example of the agreed uncontested divorce agreement should be submitted to the court when filing an agreed divorce case. The original copy of the signed agreement must be submitted no later than the date of the hearing.
Below, you will find a general guide on how an uncontested divorce agreement should be:
Mandatory items to be included in the uncontested divorce agreement:
- Title and Parties’ Information: At the beginning of the protocol, the name of the document should be stated as ” uncontested divorce agreement”. Then, the names of the spouses, their Turkish Republic ID numbers, and contact information should be provided.
- Divorce Request and Reason: The reason for the divorce and the grounds on which it is based should be stated. For example, “Due to severe incompatibility between the parties, a mutual decision to divorce has been made.”
- Children’s Situation: Matters concerning children, such as custody, child support, and personal relationship, should be explained.
- Property Division and Compensation: Economic matters between the spouses, such as property division, claims for material and moral compensation, should be addressed.
- Alimony Arrangements: If applicable, financial matters between the spouses, such as spousal support, should be specified.
- Debts and Assets Arising from Marriage: Debts and assets that arose during the marriage should be outlined, along with how they will be divided.
- Division of Real Estate and Movable Property: If applicable, information regarding how immovable and movable properties will be transferred and distributed should be provided.
- Signatures and Dates: At the end of the uncontested divorce agreement, the names, surnames, signatures, and dates of the parties should be included. It should be noted that the agreed divorce protocol should be prepared and signed voluntarily by both parties in the agreed divorce process.Additionally, it is important for the protocol to undergo scrutiny by the lawyers of both parties for its legal validity.
Optional additions to the uncontested divorce agreement:
- Agreement for the divorced woman to continue using the man’s surname: The continuation of a divorced woman’s use of the man’s surname after the divorce is subject to the man’s consent. The agreement regarding the surname can be written into the protocol and approved by the judge. This way, the protocol provision that becomes a court decision must be implemented by the civil registry offices.
- Agreement for the payment of credit debt in divorce: In the divorce agreement, the parties can decide on how to pay off an existing credit debt. This involves agreeing to assume responsibility for paying off the remaining installments of a credit taken during the marriage. Such an assumption of responsibility agreement is referred to as a “debt assumption” agreement.
- Agreement for the transfer of real estate in uncontested divorce process: In an agreed divorce, it is possible to make an agreement regarding the settlement of properties acquired during the marriage. Parties often agree on the transfer of real estate to each other or to their children. If the title deeds of these properties are not properly adjusted for compliance, a lawsuit can be filed for the cancellation of the title deeds and their registration in their own names.
- Agreement for the payment of rent and dues in divorce: Married couples with children often include provisions in their agreed divorce protocols regarding how the rent and dues of the residence where the children will reside will be paid. Such arrangements have binding consequences, and non-compliance with the agreed divorce may initiate enforcement proceedings.
JUDGE’S INTERVENTION IN THE UNCONTESTED DIVORCE AGREEMENT
The judge may intervene in the agreed divorce protocol and make suggestions when deemed necessary. If the parties accept these suggestions, the agreed divorce decision can be made. However, an agreed divorce decision cannot be made based on conditional acceptance or waiver.
Furthermore, the judge cannot unilaterally decide on certain matters outside the protocol. For example; the judge cannot rule on interim alimony outside the protocol, cannot adjust personal relationships without obtaining statements from the parties, cannot decide on interest payments if not specified, and cannot decide on custody outside the arrangements.
Additionally, for the judge to be able to make a divorce decision, the records subject to regulation must be presented and examined, the practical applicability of the regulation must be checked, and any potential points of dispute must be explained to the parties.
PROPERTY SHARING IN THE UNCONTESTED DIVORCE PROCESS
In an uncontested divorce process, property sharing can be freely determined by the parties. The decision on how assets acquired during the marriage will be shared is made by the spouses, and the judge incorporates this decision into the divorce decree. Therefore, a separate property sharing case cannot be filed after an agreed divorce. However, in some cases, due to an incomplete or incorrect divorce protocol, a separate case for property sharing may need to be initiated.
The arrangements foreseen in the divorce protocol must be approved by the judge and form the basis of the judgment. For example, if there are immovable properties envisaged for registration in the protocol, the judge must issue a registration decision regarding them.
ALIMONY AND WOMEN’S RIGHTS IN UNCONTESTED DIVORCE PROCESS
In an agreed divorce, it is crucial for the woman to be aware of her rights and to include these rights in the agreement protocol correctly. A woman can make various demands, such as alimony, compensation, registration of her share of properties in her name within the scope of property sharing, custody, child support, dowry receivable, household goods receivable. A finalized divorce decree cannot be annulled. Therefore, it is important for women to include these rights correctly in the agreement protocol.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE UNCONTESTED DIVORCE DECREE IS NOT FOLLOWED IN TURKEY?
The provisions in the uncontested divorce agreement are of utmost importance and binding for the parties involved. Since the court faithfully reflects the divorce protocol in its reasoned decision, the provisions specified in the protocol hold the status of an official court ruling for the parties.
In cases where payments like alimony and compensation outlined in the agreed divorce protocol are not made, or matters such as the non-execution of title deeds or the transfer of property ownership are not carried out, the following types of lawsuits can be filed:
- Cancellation and registration lawsuit for title deeds
- Lawsuit for the determination of receivables
- Compensation lawsuit for the restitution of damages
- Negative determination lawsuit
- Enforcement objection cancellation lawsuit
CAN AN UNCONTESTED DIVORCE CASE BE FILED WITHOUT A UNCONTESTED DIVORCE LAWYER IN TURKEY?
There is no mandatory requirement to file an agreed divorce case with a uncontested divorce lawyer. However, there are some important points to consider in this situation:
- Accurate Preparation of the Agreement: If you are filing for divorce without a lawyer, it is crucial to carefully prepare the agreed divorce protocol. The protocol must contain all details in compliance with the law, in a complete and clear manner.
- Personal Attendance on the Hearing Day: The parties must personally attend the court proceedings and be present during the uncontested divorce hearing.
- Applying to the Court and Preparing Documents: Applying to the court and preparing the necessary documents are the responsibilities of the parties. These documents include the divorce petition and the uncontested divorce agreement.
- Fees and Expenses: The required uncontested divorce fees and expenses must be paid when applying to the court.
- Choosing the Correct Court: Choosing the correct court is important to avoid any loss of rights. Generally, the court with jurisdiction is either the residence of one of the spouses or the court where they have lived together for the last six months.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SEEKING LEGAL SUPPORT OF A LAWYER FOR UNCONTESTED DIVORCE
Seeking legal support in an uncontested divorce process is highly important. A mistake made in the agreement protocol or during the court process can lead to significant loss of rights. Therefore, the importance of a uncontested divorce lawyer in the agreed divorce process is substantial and valuable from various perspectives. Here’s why:
- Legal Knowledge and Experience: Lawyers are well-versed in legal processes and requirements. They evaluate the terms of the agreed divorce and choose the most suitable process for you.
- Documentation and Protocol Preparation: Uncontested divorce lawyers arrange all necessary documents for the case. This is crucial for a proper start to the case.
- Protecting Your Rights: A lawyer for uncontested divorce advocates for your rights and fights for the best outcome for you. They guide you at every stage of the legal process.
- Proper Agreement Preparation: Proper preparation of the agreed divorce protocol is crucial. A uncontested divorce lawyer prepares a protocol that aligns with the rights and demands of the parties.
- Expediting the Legal Process: With a lawyer’s guidance, the legal process progresses more swiftly. Tasks such as document preparation, filing the application, and scheduling the hearing are expedited thanks to the lawyer’s experience.
- Mediation Between the Parties: A lawyer mediates to achieve reconciliation between the parties. This facilitates a smoother and faster progress of the uncontested divorce process.
- Balanced Agreement: A lawyer ensures that the protocol is created in a balanced manner between the parties. This helps reduce future disputes.
- Reducing Legal Risks: A lawyer for uncontested divorce identifies possible legal risks in the case and takes precautions against them. This helps prevent potential problems in the future.
In conclusion, a uncontested divorce lawyer’s guidance in an agreed divorce case is critically important for the smooth and fair progress of the process. It is important to have an expert lawyer’s guidance to protect the rights of the parties and achieve the best possible outcome.
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