Fidelity between couples not required after divorce case filed: Turkey's top court

Fidelity between couples not required after divorce case filed: Turkey's top court

Fidelity between couples not required after divorce case filed: Turkeys top court

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Turkey’s Supreme Court of Appeals has stated in a key ruling that fidelity among married partners would not be sought and be made the subject of a divorce after a divorce case has been filed.

The 2nd Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeals has decided that fidelity and other responsibilities married couples are required to possess are not prerequisites couples need to hold after they have filed a divorce case, daily Milliyet reported on its website on June 29. 

“Incidents that take place after the court date cannot be taken into account when defining faults [within divorce cases],” read a part of the court’s decision. 

With this rule, the Court of Appeals has changed its previous jurisprudence, during which courts could have decided negatively about compensation, alimony and parental rights if a breech in the matrimonial responsibilities was determined. 

Previously, couples needed to wait until the Court of Appeals’ approval of the court of first instance’s decision to be exempt from holding matrimonial responsibilities. This key ruling will also change this process. 

The ruling came after a case before the Court of Appeals, wherein a wife objected to the decision of a court of first instance on grounds that her husband had broken the fidelity responsibility towards her during the process when their divorce case was being heard. 

The Court of Appeals rejected the wife’s appeal, stating incidents after a divorce court date has been issued, including infidelity and not honoring other marital responsibilities, will no longer be made the subject of a divorce case. 

While most of the decisions were met anonymously at the Court of Appeals, this decision was announced to have been met with four votes pro to one against. Deputy Chairman Mahmut Kamacı defended the couples’ responsibility towards each other until the marriage is legally broken, but the other four votes counted for making this decision. 

The decision was also expected to affect cases in which one of the married partners, who claims to have been cheated on by his/her partner, opens a lawsuit against the lover of his/her partner, while they were still married. 

Many examples have been set in previous cases, when such lawsuits were accepted on the grounds of a “wrongful act,” and the lovers were forced to pay compensation to their lover’s married partners. 

Assessing the decision, attorney at law Fatih Karamercan said the chamber’s previous opinion was also being criticized by the doctrine, adding fidelity responsibility would be lifted only after the date of a divorce case.