There are two forms of termination of marriage by divorce known in Bulgaria the one with mutual consent (regulated by the Family Code) and the divorce in a civil action.
Forms of divorce actions in Bulgaria
During the divorce by mutual consent both spouses submit an application to the district court regarding this action. The mandatory condition which needs to be accomplished before accepting the mutual consent decision is that the marriage lasted at least three years preceding the date of application for divorce.
Besides the application, the spouses are required to submit a signed agreement containing the decisions regarding the custody of children(if applicable), personal relations and the maintenance of children born out of marriage, property issues, the use of family housing and the maintaining of the surname of husband. In case of a mutual consent divorce the Court did not examine the reasons for husbands to end the marriage.
Unlike the mutual consent divorce, the divorce in a civil action is based on a profound and irremediable breakdown of the marriage and the application is submitted by one of the spouses. The district court is hearing the parties and it is required to adjudicate on matters of official blame for the breakdown of the marriage, as well as custody, personal relations and the maintenance of children born out of marriage and property relations between them, the use of the family home, alimony between and last name of the husband.
After the divorce, the court may order the husband to bear the name of the other spouse if the latter agrees. If one spouse has become known as the other, the court may decide to keep it the same name. Another consequence of the divorce is that the commune property is transformed into a simple ownership.
After the divorce, the former spouses cease to be legal heirs to one another and lose all benefits arising from the disposition of property upon death of the other partner. After the divorce, donations of property of substantial value or incurred during the marriage of one spouse by the other spouse or his relatives cannot be cancelled unless cancellation is contrary to morality. Action for annulment of the donation may be made up to one year of divorce.
The court also decides which one of the spouses provide custody to the children and dependent children. In determining the parent to whom the custody will be granted, the court shall consider all the circumstances in the interests of children, hearing parents and children (if they are over ten years old).
Annulment of the marriage is one of the ways to end the marriage in Bulgaria. Annulment of the marriage can only be done by court order and it is mostly granted when one of the involved parties is under the age of eighteen or is already associated with another marriage;if one of the parties was placed under the guardianship or suffers from a mental disease or dementia that are grounds for placement under guardianship; one of the spouses is suffering from a disease presenting a serious threat to the life or health of offspring or spouse; if it is a lineal relative of the spouse; if it is the adoptive parent or adopted by the other spouse or was forced to conclude the marriage it by threats of serious and imminent danger to his or his family life, health and honour.
If you need legal advice regarding divorce or other business problems in Bulgaria, you may contact our lawyers.