The Bulgarian Family Code regulates three property regimes between spouses. They can also change the property regime during the marriage.
The applicable property regime shall be registered at the Registry Agency. The registration is performed ex officio on the basis of a notice from the municipality the register of which keeps the civil marriage certificate.
Where no property regimes between spouses has been entered into the register the regime of community of property governs transactions between each spouse and a third party.
Matrimonial Community of Property
In this case the properties acquired during marriage as a result of joint contribution become equally owned by both spouses in common, regardless of the fact in whose name they have been acquired. The joint contribution may be expressed in the input of resources, labour, care of the children and housework.
Rights in rem acquired before the marriage, as well as those acquired during marriage by inheritance or gift belongs to the spouse who has acquired them.
Personal property are also the chattels acquired by either spouse during marriage, which serve ordinary personal needs or the exercise of a profession or occupation.
As well, personal property are the rights in rem acquired during marriage by either spouse who is a sole proprietor for the purpose of engaging in business activities and included in his or her business.
Furthermore, personal property are the rights in rem acquired during marriage exclusively with personal property.
Spouses dispose jointly with common property. Each spouse is free to dispose with his or her personal property in a transaction with a third party or the other spouse.
Any action of disposal with the marital home which is the personal property of either spouse shall be carried out with the consent of the other spouse, where the spouses have no other housing which is common property or personal property of either.
The matrimonial community of property shall be terminated:
- upon the dissolution of the marriage;
- by the court during marriage provided there exist compelling reasons to do so;
- in case the spouses choose the regime of separation of property or conclude a marriage contract.
Spouses have equal shares upon termination of the community of property. They are jointly liable for debts incurred to meet family needs.
Statutory Regime of Separation of Property
According to this regime the rights acquired by each spouse during marriage remain his or her personal property.
Spouses are jointly liable for debts incurred to meet current family needs.
A Marriage Contract
Marrying partners may settle their property relations in a marriage contract. They may conclude such contract also during marriage.
The conclusion, the amendment and the termination of the marriage contract shall be specified in the civil marriage certificate and registered at the Registry Agency.
The marriage contract contains arrangements concerning only property relations of spouses. Therefore, any provisions regulating personal relations between spouses are not valid. A clause envisaging the transformation of prenuptial property of either party into common matrimonial property is not valid too. As well, the marriage contract may not include clauses concerning the event of death.
The marriage contract shall be concluded by the parties in person and given in writing with notarized content and signatures.
A marriage contract enters into force from the date of marriage. When concluded during marriage, the contract takes effect from the date of conclusion of the contract or any other date specified therein.
A marriage contract may be terminated:
- at the mutual consent of the parties;
- at the claim of either spouse in the event of material change of circumstances, where the contract presents a serious threat to the interests of this spouse, the children under age or the family;
- upon dissolution of marriage, except for the clauses settling the effects of termination and intended to apply afterwards.
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