, according to Bulgarian Family Code
, the only legally valid marriages are the civil ones. Therefore, the religious ceremony does not have a legal status, is optional and can be performed only after a civil ceremony has taken place.
Requirement for a legal marriage in Bulgaria
The Family Code in Bulgaria also states that the legal age for a marriage to take place is 18 years. If people under the age of 18 years old wish to get married, they have to be at least 16 years old and have the permission of the Chair of the Regional Court. In order to obtain this permission, an application to marry must be made at the regional court where the couple is resident. If the couple has different residencies, they can apply to one of the respective regions. Moreover, as marriages in Bulgaria are subject to residency requirement, one of the couples has to be a Bulgarian citizen or a long term or temporary resident of the country.
The validity of the Bulgarian Civil Marriage
A civil marriage in Bulgaria is generally recognized by foreign countries, but it is advisable that verification is made with the authorities of the respective countries. There are cases in which some countries require an apostle on the marriage certificate issued in Bulgaria by the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
If you need more information regarding the marriage procedure in Bulgaria
our law firm in Bulgaria
and our experienced Bulgarian lawyers
will provide all the necessary information. Do not hesitate to contact our attorneys in Bulgaria
for any in-depth information on the marriage procedure.
Same-sex marriage, not legally recognized in Bulgaria
If two persons of the same sex wish to get married, in Bulgaria there is no law that recognizes same sex marriage. Moreover, it is forbidden by the Bulgarian laws, but it is subject currently under debate. The same situation is found in the cohabitation that is currently not legally recognized by the Bulgarian laws.
Documentation needed for getting married in Bulgaria
The first step to getting married in Bulgaria is to apply to the local Town Hall where one of the marring parties is resident, and it has to be made at least 30 days before the chosen date for the civil ceremony. In order for the application to be taken into consideration, the couple is obligated to be present and have an identity card with them.
The documents required for getting married:
• Proof of identity
• Certificates of no Impediment to Marriage (a document that proves that the person is allowed to be married)
• Medical certificates (they must be valid for 30 days from the date of their issue. There are standard pre-marital medical checkups that a couple must take before getting married. The tests can done at any clinic in Bulgaria
There are special documents that may be required, but only in special cases:
• If under 18 years of age, a permit from the regional court
• If either party has previously been married, the final divorce decree, or death certificate of the former spouse if widowed