Turkey: The Divorce Case Based Upon Threat To Life, Maltreatment And Defamatory Behavior

Last Updated: 17 August 2016
Article by Elif Dokuz

The divorce based upon threat to life, maltreatment and defamatory behavior has been regulated at Turkish Civil Code No. 4721, Article 162. According to this article, each spouse can file for divorce case in case of a threat to life, maltreatment and defamatory behavior by the other spouse. In addition to that, the spouse who has the right to sue, has to file for divorce within 6 months after she/he learned he ground of divorce and within 5 years in any case after the cause aroused. The spouse who forgives will lose his/her right to sue. In this context, threat to life, maltreatment and defamatory behavior are regarded as special and absolute grounds for divorce.

At the Article 162 of the Turkish Civil Code No. 4721; threat to life, maltreatment and defamatory behavior are regarded as three fundamental reasons for divorce.

1- Threat To Life

Threat to life can be explained as the motive to murder the other spouse intentionally and the realization of the acts in regard to murder the other spouse. accordingly to this desire. Within the context of the related article, the material fact for divorce case is to determine the intention which is oriented to the spouse's life. The actions without the intent of murder are not within the scope of the related article. Thereby, the spouse's acts in regard to killing by negligent acts or carelessness can not be considered as a divorce reason. However, incentivisation of a spouse for suicide by the other spouse during the union of marriage may be counted as a material fact. Hence, the matters of watching the spouse dying, the spouse's survival despite the intention of murder and the related actions to that and homicidal attempt are considered as thread to life and the divorce case may be filed through these reasons.

To file a claim based on threat to life; actions based on the desire to murder must be towards to the spouse. Therefore, the violation and actions to the other family member's are not pursuant to the relevant article. Due to this reason, the acts which stayed in the lines of homicidal attempts are suitable for the relevant article.

2- Maltreatment

Maltreatment can be defined as committing relentless physical and psychological violance, torturing, depriving the spouse of food and water and such abusive actions during the union of marrige by one of the spouse. In order to file a divorce on the ground of maltreatment, such actions must be towards to the spouse and must be committed by intention to harm deliberatively and physical and psychological destruction on the spouse must be incurred by this action. The judge decides which kinds of actions cover the base of maltreatment according to concrate case.

In order to bring an action due to maltreatment, the acts that cause physical and psychological violence, torture and suchlike treatments during the marrige must be targeted to the other spouse. Therefore, the acts which are committed against to other family members such as spouse's mother, father or any other relative, are not in the limits of the related article.

3- Extreme Defamatory Behavior

Extreme defamatory behavior may be explained by severe harming attacks towards the other spouse's honor and dignity by the violation of personal rights of the spouse during the union of marriage. As we mentioned in maltreatment, the judge has the right to determine which actions can count as an example of defamatory behavior upon the concrete case. The other condition of filing the divorce is that the actions towards to the other spouse's honor and dignity has to be committed deliberatively and intentionally.

The action for judicial separation based upon threat to life, maltreatment and extreme defamatory behavior during the union of marrige has been stipulated to the period of prescription by the law. Turkish Civil Code No. 4721, Article 162/2 states that plaintiff who has the right to sue forfeits his/her right at the end of 6 months starting from the date that she/he learned the cause of action and at the end of 5 years in any case starting from the date that the cause of action aroused. As a result these six month and five year periods constitutes period of prescription. Lapse of this period will be concluded as the dismissal of the divorce case.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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