Due to the fluctuant economic situation and rapidly increasing expenses, the existing alimony amount may not be sufficient in changing conditions. In such cases, alimony recipients can file a petition for an alimony increase, aiming to raise the alimony amount. The modification of alimony is a type of lawsuit filed by the parties based on reasons such as the current alimony amount no longer being just due to changing economic conditions or increased expenses, or an improvement in the financial situation of one of the parties. In the article, we will briefly touch upon alimony and its types, then delve into the details of the modification of alimony, discuss the conditions and procedure for filing a modification of alimony lawsuit in Turkey, and finally answer frequently asked questions on the subject.

Alimony and Its Types

In general terms, alimony is the monthly support paid by one party to the other during or after a divorce case, for the party in need of financial assistance. Alimony is commonly granted to women, but it can be awarded to both men and women. Besides the alimony obligation arising from divorce cases, there is also a type of alimony called "support alimony," which is paid to certain family members who have fallen into poverty. Below, we will briefly explain the types of alimony. You can find detailed information about alimony and its types in our article titled "Alimony and its Types in Turkey."

Provisional Alimony

Provisional alimony is a type of alimony determined by the judge during a divorce in Turkey, granted to the party who would face a decrease in their living standards or fall into poverty if they do not receive alimony. Provisional alimony can be awarded until the divorce case is concluded or for a certain period. The grant of provisional alimony depends solely on the financial situation of the parties, regardless of their fault in the divorce.

Maintenance Allowance

Maintenance allowance is granted indefinitely to the party who would experience economic hardship or be unable to maintain their current living standards after the divorce, provided that their fault is not heavier than the other spouse's fault. This type of alimony can be requested not only in divorce cases but also through separate lawsuits. However, if spouses who divorced by mutual agreement made a declaration in the divorce agreement protocol stating that they waived their right to maintenance allowance, they cannot later request maintenance allowance

Child Support

Child support is the alimony paid by the party who does not have custody of the child to the other party to contribute to the child's expenses. The grant of child support is independent of the parties' faults. Child support is awarded to contribute to expenses such as the child's nutrition, health, and education.

Support Alimony

Support alimony is the type of alimony paid by individuals to their descendants (e.g., grandchildren), ascendants (e.g., grandparents), or siblings who would fall into poverty if not supported.

What is The Meaning of Modification of Alimony in Turkey?

Modification of alimony is done through a lawsuit filed to request an increase in the current alimony amount due to changing economic conditions or reasons such as increased expenses of the alimony recipient. Since provisional alimony is a type of alimony granted during a divorce case, it will not be subject to the modification of alimony. Requests for increasing, decreasing, or lifting provisional alimony are presented to the court; a separate lawsuit is not filed. The alimony increase petition can be filed for maintenance allowance, child support, and support alimony.

How to File an Alimony Increase Lawsuit?

To modify alimony in Turkey, the first condition is to receive an alimony. Additionally, a properly prepared alimony modification petition in Turkey in accordance with the Civil Procedure Code is required. A poorly prepared alimony increase petition will be rejected; therefore, seeking legal assistance in Turkey can be beneficial. The petition should include reasons, supported by evidence, explaining why the current alimony amount is no longer sufficient due to changing circumstances, increased expenses, or other relevant factors. The alimony increase petition must be submitted to the competent and authorized court, as mentioned below, to initiate the lawsuit.

Competent Court for the Alimony Increase Lawsuits

Regarding the competent court for the modification of alimony in Turkey, according to Article 177 of the Turkish Civil Code, the court where the alimony recipient resides is competent. If there is no family court where the parties reside, the lawsuit should be filed with the civil court of first instance.

Conditions for Filing a Modification of Alimony Lawsuit

The conditions for filing a modification of an alimony petition in Turkey are regulated in the Turkish Civil Code. In summary, Article 176/4 of the Turkish Civil Code states that "When the financial situation of the parties changes or justice requires, the amount of alimony may be increased or decreased," and Article 331 of the same code states that "In case of a change in the situation, the judge shall either re-determine the amount of alimony or abolish it." These provisions emphasize that the alimony amount may change in the future due to certain reasons. In summary, the essential and fundamental condition for filing a modification of an alimony petition is the existence of one or more of the mentioned reasons. The lawsuit will be based on these mentioned conditions.

Moreover, in the case of filing a modification of alimony petition after a mutual divorce, the spouses must not have declared in the divorce agreement that they waived their right to maintenance allowance. Otherwise, an alimony increase petition can be filed for the alimony amount determined at that time.

Alimony Increase Petition

The alimony increase petition is prepared based on the aforementioned reasons. The petition should include events related to the alimony increase lawsuit. Additionally, the alimony recipient should present evidence supporting the reason they are raising the alimony increase petition. The demands and statements in the petition should be accompanied by their legal grounds. The requested increase in alimony should be reasonable in the overall alimony increase petition, as a high amount could lead to the rejection of the lawsuit. These issues are crucial for the positive outcome of the alimony increase lawsuit since the omission or incorrect presentation of these aspects in the petition may result in the rejection of the alimony increase petition. Therefore, it is advisable to seek the support of a family law attorney in Turkey.

Rejection of the Alimony Increase Lawsuit

The alimony increase petition may not always result in a positive outcome. Sometimes, the alimony increase petition may be rejected. The alimony increase petition is filed based on the conditions listed above. If there are deficiencies or inaccuracies in these conditions, the lawsuit may be rejected. For example, the alimony recipient may file an alimony increase petition, claiming that the financial situation of the party obliged to pay alimony has improved. However, if this cannot be proven, the alimony increase petition will be rejected. Alternatively, the judge may find the requested alimony increase amount to be unjust or too high. Additionally, if the judge deems that the current alimony amount is sufficient based on equity, the alimony increase petition may be rejected.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Alimony Be Increased After Divorce in Turkey?
The request for alimony increase is made by submitting an alimony increase petition to the competent and authorized court (the court where the alimony recipient resides). So, yes an alimony can increased after divorce in Turkey.
Can Child Support Be Increased in Turkey?
Yes, child support can be increased. According to Article 331 of the Turkish Civil Code, in the scope of child support, the amount of alimony can be increased if there are changes in the child's needs or if the current alimony amount is insufficient to meet the child's needs.
Who Can File a Child Support Increase Petition?
The child's mother or father, who has custody of the child, can file a child support increase petition against the other parent who does not have custody.
Can Maintenance Allowance Be Increased? 
Yes, maintenance allowance can be increased. According to Article 176/4 of the Turkish Civil Code, if there are changes in the financial situations of the parties or if justice requires, maintenance allowance can be increased.
How Long Does an Alimony Increase Lawsuit Last?
The duration of an alimony increase lawsuit depends on the parties' petitions, defenses, and how they manage the process. Lawsuits that are not properly filed according to the rules of civil procedure will prolong the process and increase the number of hearings. Working with a specialist family law attorney may lead to a quick resolution of the case.
How Often Can an Alimony Increase Petition Be Filed?
There is no specific legal provision stating that an alimony increase petition can be filed after a certain period of time. Therefore, as long as there is no bad faith contrary to the general principles of law, an alimony increase petition can always be filed.

CONCLUSION

Modification of the alimony petition can be filed in Turkey based on reasons such as the current alimony amount not being in line with current economic conditions, increased expenses of the alimony recipient, or the improvement of the financial situation of the party obliged to pay alimony. The requirements for the alimony increase petition depend on the occurrence of the reasons mentioned earlier. Accepting the lawsuit depends on proving these reasons and the judge's discretion. If these reasons cannot be proven, or if the judge finds the requested alimony increase amount unreasonable, the alimony increase petition may be rejected. Therefore, it is recommended to work with an alimony attorney.

For any questions or legal assistance regarding this matter, you may contact us at info@paldimoglu.av.tr.

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