Division of Assets During Divorce

Couples who are on the edge of divorce face countless problems, one of which is how to divide assets. This problem mainly emerges because couples don’t consult a lawyer not to spend money “in vain”. In this article, questions regarding property division during divorce are explained.

The legal property division is the regime of participation in acquired assets, as set forth in the civil code after the amendment on January 1, 2002. Unless otherwise consented upon, this regime is applied pursuant to the civil code. Acquired assets contain the assets acquired as long as that regime is applied.

As the civil code states, the matrimonial regime ends on the date of the beginning of the lawsuit for divorce. Assets and debts pertaining to the division are calculated as of the date thereof. In this regime, every spouse has the right to claim to half of the acquired assets.

This claim is foreseen in the civil code. Thus, it is not important whether one spouse works or the amount of each spouse’s acquisition. The key point in this division process is determining which assets are deemed as acquired and which are personal.

How are the acquired assets calculated?

There is a list made in compliance with supreme court jurisprudence as follows:

First of all, acquired and personal assets should be divided. As abovementioned, spouses have claims to the half of acquired assets, not to the personal assets.

Personal assets are set forth in the Turkish civil code as follows:

-Property that one spouse owned before the marriage

-Gifts received by one spouse before or during the marriage

-Inheritances received before or during the marriage

-Properties that the spouses agree to separate from acquired assets.

-Properties acquired by one spouse using separated property assets

-Immaterial compensation from third parties.

Acquired assets are also set forth in various codes as follows:

-İncomes of personal assets

-Payments or subventions of Social Security Institution or other institutions founded for the employee benefit plan.

-Material compensations ordered in respect of personal injury

-Other assets replacing acquired assets.

According to Article 229 of the Civil code, additional assets should be included in the acquired assets after determining acquired assets. Those additional assets are as follows:

-Complimentary assets, except for ordinary gifts, which are acquired within one year before the end of the matrimonial regime without the consent of another spouse.

-Assets transferred with intent to decrease acquired assets within the matrimonial regime

After including additional assets, if a personal debt is recovered from acquired assets or vice versa, compensation should be made and the amount as a result of this compensation should be transferred to the assets in question. The last part consists of subtracting debts pertaining to the acquired assets therefrom. The amount obtained is the final amount to be divided by half.

Does the division proportion change if one of the spouses is found culpable in divorce lawsuit?

The answer is no but with an exception. Even if one spouse is found culpable, the division proportion does not change unless the reason for the judgment for divorce is adultery or an offence against life. In the latter case, the court may make a judgment against the culpable spouse for decreasing its proportion of acquired assets or for removing its right to claim.

Is there any statute of limitations?

A legal demand regarding the division of acquired assets is subject to the 10-year statute of limitations. This period begins from the end of the matrimonial regime. Therefore, if the matrimonial regime ends with the judgment for divorce, the period begins from the date on which finalization statement of the judgment is made.

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