Koca & Ersöz Hukuk Bürosu / Anwaltskanzlei


Our citizens living in abroad often apply to domestic courts when they want to get divorced. These courts are the most proximate ones and they can be able to get a government aid for legal charges so as not to pay for the court or the lawyer. However, Turkish citizens don’t appear as “divorced” in Turkish register offices by getting divorced in another country. In order to complete this process, they have to litigate a recognition case in Turkey.
After the divorce in abroad, most of our citizens fail to actualize the phase of completing it by processing a recognition case in Turkey. Therefore, they are still appeared as “married” according to Turkish register and they usually realize it when they want to get remarried. In this case, they have to litigate a recognition case and face with a legal process lengthened from 2 to 15 months. Apart from this, there are significant advantages of prosecuting a recognition case right after the completion of the divorce in another country. These are:

1. If there isn’t any recognition case litigated in Turkey after the divorce suit in abroad and if one of the spouses is dead, the surviving spouse becomes the beneficiary of the deceased and obtains the right to get a share of 1/4 or 1/2 of the heritage. Surviving spouse can elicit a certificate of inheritance from Turkish courts and transfer the share of heritage (ie. real estate, bank account) to herself/himself from the deceased. In this case, it is compulsory for the rest of the beneficiaries to prosecute a recognition case and complete the process. It is the only way for the beneficiaries to cancel the share of the survived spouse.

2. In the case there wasn’t a recognition case processed after the divorce and when female spouse got pregnant and delivered the child, the child is directly registered in the ex-husband’s records and becomes a legitimate child. This can lead to a process of paternity suit for disclaiming lineage (ancestry) and affiliation proceedings for biological father which are more costly.

3. For spouses get divorced in abroad, the precondition of the case for sharing property acquired in Turkey during marriage is the divorce which is actualized and conclusive. This case can be filed within the year after the finalization of the divorce; otherwise it faces with statute of repose. Therefore, if divorced parties are willing to share property -especially it is obligatory to file the case in Turkey in terms of real estate- they have to file the recognition case and property sharing case simultaneously. After the years passed over the divorce in another country, it is against the good faith to process a recognition case in Turkey and claim share of property.

4. After time passes over their divorce in abroad, spouses tend to lose their contact with each other. One of the parties or both can even acquire another citizenship after divorce. In this case, in order to file a recognition case for the spouse remaining Turkish citizen, there needs to be an address search for the other spouse. If one of the spouses acquired another citizenship, for the recognition case filed in Turkey, a compulsory notification in a diplomatic way to that spouse is derived. This leads to a process which lasts long and has high costs of translation for the parties.

Because of the reasons stated above, it is advised for our citizens finalized their divorce suits in abroad to process a recognition case in Turkey right after and finalize it. Otherwise, they can face with a very harsh and costly process at the time they need their resources.

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