Divorce not possible via video call: Court ruling

Divorce not possible via video call: Court ruling

Divorce not possible via video call: Court ruling

Turkey’s Supreme Court of Appeals has overturned the practice of receiving the statement of a partner residing abroad via video call during a consensual divorce case.

A Turkish couple, whose identities are undisclosed, applied to a local court through their lawyers after they decided to get divorced on the ground that they had been in conflict for a while.

Despite the divorce petitions signed by both parties, the judge wanted to take the statement of the plaintiff husband in an unusual way after it was learned that he was living abroad.

During the hearing, the judge decided to video call the man via WhatsApp and ruled for divorce following the call, giving the custody of children to the mother. Both sides appealed the decision later.

However, an objection to the decision came from the Justice Ministry and it demanded that the verdict be overturned “in favor of the law.” Thereupon, the case was sent to the Supreme Court.

In the decision, the Supreme Court pointed out that in order for the spouses to get divorced, the judge had to listen to the parties personally and conclude that their will was freely expressed.

It also underlined that the petitions considered in the decision of the local court were not signed by the couple, but by the couple’s lawyers.

The court accepted the objection made by the ministry, but unanimously decided that “the provision should be reversed in a way that will not change the outcome.”