There are four matrimonial property regimes in Turkey, the default one being joint acquired property regime.
It is possible to sign an agreement containing different provisions for these regimes in areas that are allowed by law, but it is not possible to change them completely or to accept another regime altogether. This means that couples getting married can sign an agreement choosing one of the other three property regimes, if not, the default regime joint acquired property comes into effect and it is applied in the dissolution of the property regime.
* Av. Gonca Şahin & Av. Nevin Can
1- Joint Acquired Property
As it was mentioned above, joint acquired property regime is the default matrimonial property dividing system in Turkey. Since most couples do not sign an agreement selecting another regime, default regime is the one that is most frequently applied. In this system, each spouse’s properties are divided into two categories; acquired possessions and personal possessions. As is evident by the name, acquired possessions are the couple’s joint property and the personal possessions belong to each spouse her/himself. Acquired possessions are comprised of a spouse’s acquisitions in return for their work, social security or social help payments, compensations for loss of their working ability, the income from their personal possessions, and possessions that replace other acquired possessions. Personal possessions are any property that is in the personal use of solely one spouse, all property that was within their individual assets prior to the marriage, any donations or inheritances, compensations for non-pecuniary damages, and possessions replacing personal possessions. While dissolving this matrimonial property regime, each spouse keep their personal possessions for themselves; acquired possessions’ worth is balanced, and the remaining is divided equally. Each spouse can claim the other spouse has not contributed to an acquired possession or that s/he had contributed to the other spouse’s personal possessions that increased its value and if these claims are proven, the division is made accordingly.
2- Joint Property
In the joint property regime, all possessions except for any property that is in the personal use of a spouse and compensations for non-pecuniary damages are in the spouse’s joint property. However, different assets can be considered as personal possessions if there is a provision in the agreement between spouses. In the event of dissolution, balance of the joint property is divided equally, and spouses can claim their share of the increase in value if they have contributed to the other’s personal possessions.
3- Divided Property
In this property regime, each spouse’s assets are their own personal possession, and they are divided as such. Only the assets that are designated to the family and the investments that are made to secure the family’s future are divided equally between spouses. Compensations for non-pecuniary damages, donations and inheritances are exempt from equal division, even if they were designated to the family or invested to secure its future.
4- Joint Divided Property
This regime is a combination of divided property and joint acquired property regimes. Each spouse’s assets are their own personal possession, but if the owner of an asset cannot be proven, this asset is considered as a joint and is divided equally. Same goes for the assets that are designated to the family and the investments that are made to secure the family’s future. Additionally, each spouse can claim they had contributed to the other spouse’s personal property and demand their share of the increase in value.