Separate branch of law. It deals with relations between persons connected with
marriage, blood relationship and tutorship. Marriage under Bulgarian law is not a
contract, but an equal union between man and woman in order to create a family.
Preconditions for formation of marriage
1.Legal capacity attained at 18 years of age, exception – 16 years with the permission
of the chairman of the regional court;
2.Lack of diseases that endanger the health of the other spouse and/or the children;
3.Lack of blood relations to a certain extent. The parties must have not be within the
prohibited degrees of consanguinity of affinity;
4.Lack of other marriage – single, divorced, widow;
Only valid is the civil ceremony. Church ceremony is available after the civil one.
Personal and property relations between spouses
Personal relations are difficult to lay down. Only basic principles such as principle of
loyalty, common living, care for the family and children.
All property rights and deposits acquired during the marriage through the mutual
participation of the spouses become matrimonial property. There is a rebuttable
presumption for participation. Outside the matrimonial property are the property
rights acquired before the marriage or after its termination, those received by way of
succession or donation, instruments for performance of profession, personal
The matrimonial property belongs to the husband and wife. It can not be divided
during the marriage, there are no shares. The spouses will receive shares (equal if both
have equal participation) after the termination of the marriage.
Termination of marriage
Divorce, rescission, death
Divorce – two types:
a) By mutual agreement – admissible only after 3 years after the marriage have
elapsed. The spouses present before the court an agreement concerning the
family name after the divorce, property relations, relations with the children,
use of the family premises, alimentation
b) By claim on ground of deep and irreversible destruction of marriage – the
court pronounces on the guilt of any of the spouses. The guilty one has no
right to alimentation towards the other one.
Motherhood and fatherhood
The act of a person taking as his lawful child a person who is not in fact his child.
Adoption may be realized if the person to be adopted is under 18 years and there is an
age difference of 15 years between the adoptive parent and the child. The names of
the parents and the children to be adopted are entered in registers at the municipality
Directorate for social care. The competent organ to allow adoption is the court. The
necessary consents must be obtained. The effect of adoption of to transfer all rights,
duties and liabilities from the natural parents to the adoptive parents.
Inheritance (succession) law
The branch of law which deals with the devolution (transfer) of property (rights and
obligations) on the death of its owner to other persons.
Deceased person – only natural person. Heirs – natural or juridical (only by will)
The owner may determine through his will who are the persons to inherit his property.
Certain persons have right to reserved part (guaranteed entitlement) of the property.
These include the surviving spouse, children and parents.
Will – formal unilateral act (testate succession). There are two types of will – in
handwriting or notary will.
1.The will in handwriting must be expressed in writing – the whole document, signed,
2.Notarised will – expression of will before a notary and two witnesses.
Succession by statute (Intestate succession) – the statute defines the heirs who are
entitled to inherit and their shares. When there is no will the intestate succession takes
place. There are 4 lines of succession:
I. Children or their children by way of replacement;
III. Brothers or sisters (siblings), grandparents;
IV. Other relatives till 6th degree
The surviving spouse inherits along with the relatives from the first to the
third line. If there are no relatives from the first to the third line the
surviving spouse inherits all. If there are no heirs from the first to the
fourth line or they do not wish to accept the property it goes to the State
and the municipality. They are responsible for the debts of the deceased
only to the limit of the rights received.
In order to receive the property of the deceased the heirs must accept the
property. This is made either expressly or through their conduct. There is
no time limit to receive the property.
Administration of the estate
The heirs entitled to it may administer or appoint administrator. Between
the heirs arise community of rights and obligations. The heirs are
responsible for the obligations of the deceased before its creditors. They
are responsible with their own property unless otherwise provided.