Bulgaria - Getting Married
Till 1945, the only way to get married in Bulgaria was in church. After this year, a decree-law replaced the religious marriage with a civil marriage, performed in front of a public authority as the only valid form of marriage. Marriage is contracted by mutual consent of the man and woman, given personally and simultaneously before the officer of civil status.
According to the Bulgarian Family Code, only civil marriages are legally valid in Bulgaria. The religious ceremony is optional and can be performed only after a civil ceremony has taken place. The religious ceremony itself has no legal status. To be legal, civil marriage must be concluded in the hall of the municipality that you choose, and in front of an officer of civil status.
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Marriage shall be concluded no sooner than thirty days from the filing of the municipality. With the permission of the officer for civil status of marriage may be concluded even earlier if important reasons require that. Official civil status officer shall verify the identity and age of the parties, the declarations filed by them and the medical certificates. If there is no obstacle to marriage, the official civil status shall ask the parties whether they agree to enter into a marriage with each other and then draw affirmative act of marriage, which is signed by the parties and two witnesses of it. Marriage is concluded with the signing of the act of entering into marriage and the official civil status.
Marriages in Bulgaria are subject to a residency requirement. One of the couple should be either a Bulgarian citizen or a resident (long-term or temporary) of the country.
The legal age for getting married in Bulgaria is 18 years. People under that age, but who have already turned 16, may get married with the permission of the Chair of the Regional Court . Application for a permit to marry must be made at the regional court where the couple reside; if they do not both reside in the same region, they may choose which region's court to apply to.
An application to marry is filed at the local Town Hall where one of the marrying parties is resident. This must be done at least 30 days prior to the chosen date for the civil ceremony. Both couples applying need not be present to make the application, however the identity cards of both are required. You are also required to have a Bulgarian Health Certificate by having a blood test in Bulgaria. This can be obtained by going to a clinic of your choice in Bulgaria and asking for a general check-up for marriage. Marriage is contracted publicly and solemnly in the municipality.
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- Identity cards of the newly married.
- Identity documents of the witnesses of the marriage.
- Declaration form that there are no impediments to marriage.
- Medical certificates that individuals do not suffer from the diseases referred to in the Family Code.
- Declaration that the person is aware of the other diseases, if any.
- Joint Statement notarized signatures for the selected mode if the newly married have chosen regime of property relation.
- Notary public certified document on the date of the marriage contract.
- An application form.
Certificate of marriage (original) is free of charge.
Where there is a valid marriage, termination of marital status is obtained through a dissolution or divorce lawsuit, which results in a judgment that returns both the man and the woman to the status of an unmarried (single) persons.
Please attach documents which can be used by people who would like to follow this procedure.
Please attach sample completed documents which would help other people who would like to follow this procedure.
The documents must be submitted 7 days before the chosen date for marriage.
The Municipality locations in Bulgaria can be found here: http://www.namrb.org/?id=187
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Videos explaining the procedure or to fill the applications. Attach videos using the following tag <&video type="website">video ID|width|height<&/video&> from external websites. Please remove the "&" inside the tags during implementation. Website = allocine, blip, dailymotion, facebook, gametrailers, googlevideo, html5, metacafe, myspace, revver, sevenload, viddler, vimeo, youku, youtube width = 560, height = 340, Video ID = Can be obtained from the URL of webpage where the video is displayed. e.g In the following url "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0US7oR_t3M" Video ID is "Y0US7oR_t3M".
In drafting the act of marriage each newly married stated that retains its surname or take the surname of her husband, and added the surname of her husband to her. Surname may be taken or added the name of the spouse with whom he is known in the community.
When one of the newly married for valid reasons, can not appear in the municipality, at the discretion of the officer for civil status, marriage may be contracted elsewhere.
Cannot marry each other:
Brothers and sisters, their children and other collateral relatives up to the fourth degree including.
Same-sex marriage is not permitted in Bulgaria; there is no legal recognition of same sex partnerships. However this is currently under debate.
A civil marriage, performed according to the laws of the Republic of Bulgaria, is generally recognised in other countries. This should be checked with the relevant authorities of the country in question.
More information which might help people.