Custody of children in Turkey

The rights of custody after divorce in Turkey
custody of child

The question of custody after divorce in Turkey is one of the most important for foreign women. The biggest fear of each mother is to be separated from the child. In this article we would like to clarify important legal aspects, and to explain how the court makes a decision on giving the custody of child to one of the parents.

The term "custody of a child" implies certain rights and duties of parents to provide the safety, proper care and development of the child.

According to the Civil Code of Turkey, every child who has not attained the age of 18 needs guardianship.

When the parents are married, the custody of the child must be carried out joitly by both of them, but when it comes to divorce, the main question is which of the parents the child will stay with.

In Turkey the child custody can be awarded only to one of the parents as the joint custody can no longer be carried out after the divorce. The decision on child custody (as well as on other consequences of divorce) can only be made by the court of Turkish Republic. Before making this decision, the judge must listen to both of the parents. The court always considers the child's welfare to be the main priority and tries to meet the interests of a child.

In order to decide which of the parents the child should stay with, the judge takes the following factors into account:

  • the age of the child.
  • psychological, physical and emotional development of a child.
  • education of a child.
  • needs of a child.
  • economic and social position of each parent.
  • education and professional activity of each parent.
  • social circle and lifestyle of each parent.

According to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the European Convention on the Exercise of Children's Rights, which were adopted on the territory of Turkish Republic, every child who is able to freely express his/her thoughts, has the right to voice his/her opinion in the court. The judge must take the views of the child into account.

The court must make the decision objectively and impartially, so any statement uttered in court must be proved by the evidence. In practice, there are cases where a parent even gives the court pictures of the house where the child will live. You can aslo read about the types of alimony payments in Turkey.

According to the laws of Turkish Republic, the fact that the child's mother is not Muslim and original Turk does not prevent normal physical, mental and personal development of the child. Therefore, nationality and religion the child's mother can not affect the decision of the court.

The court can not award the guardianship to anyone else but the father or the mother of the child.

As very young children are in dire need of special maternal care, they usually stay with their mother. However, if there is evidence pointing to the fact that living with the mother may be dangerous and may prevent normal mental, physical and personal development of the child, the court has the right to award the custody rights to the father.

The mother can not get custody of the child if she leads an immoral lifestyle, has bad habits and so on.

If in the case of uncontested divorce the child's mother voluntarily agreed to give the rights of custody the father, she will not be able to request the restoration guardianship rights again.