The Problem of Post Marital Spousal Support Without a Time Limit

Yagci K.

ISTANBUL HUKUK MECMUASI, vol.76, no.1, pp.323-358, 2018 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 76 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.26650/mecmua.2018.76.01.0012
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.323-358
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


One of the financial consequences of divorce deals with post marital spousal support (alimony). According to Article 175 of the Turkish Civil Code, "the party falling to poverty due to divorce may demand from the other side spousal support without a time limit for living costs, in proportion to the financial power of the other spouse on the condition that the fault of the recipient shall not be heavier than the fault of the obligor. It is not necessary for the obligor to be faulty." The party demanding spousal support, of course, has the option to confine a spousal support claim to a certain period of time. In cases where lifetime spousal support is demanded, there is a debate about whether the judge has to rule on the obligor paying spousal support without setting a time limit or if he can confine the spousal support payment to a certain period of time. The Court of Cassation and the prevailing view of the Turkish doctrine acknowledge that the judge does not have the discretionary power to confine the spousal support to a certain period of time. This practice of the Court of Cassation, which led to the obligation to pay spousal support lasting for a lifetime, in some cases, causes unfair consequences for the obligor, especially in short marriages and childless marriages. A possible amendment of the law, bringing a time limit to the spousal support, has been brought to the agenda of the ministry of family affairs and the parliamentary commission due to intensely asserted grievances. In this article, the period of spousal support is evaluated in terms of de lege lata and de lege ferenda.