We, solicitors of ID Law office, can provide you with the necessary legal assistance when it is required to settle issues related to exercising of the parental rights or if you want to make changes in the already settled relationship due to changes in facts and circumstances. Additional information about exercising of parental rights is provided below.
EXERCISE OF PARENTAL RIGHTS
The general principle of the Bulgarian legislation is that the parents should exercise the parental rights together in order to protect interests of the child. In case of divorce or separation of parents who are not married, they should settle the issues related to the custody, the place of residence of the child, the alimony and the personal relationships with the child. If the parents come to agreement on these questions, they should require the court to approve this agreement in order to avoid any disputes between the parties. Otherwise, in case the parents are not able to agree on those matters and to sign an agreement, there is an unresolved dispute that arises between the parties, which dispute can be resolved only in court.
The District court is the authority that has jurisdiction to consider such disputes. If the dispute is solved during the divorce case such authority is the district court of the defendant, and if the parents are not married the dispute should be considered by the District Court relevant to the child’s address.
The litigation proceedings begin with submitting of a claim by one of the parents which claim should contain certain requisites, such as: details of the parties; their addresses; description of the actual situation and of the facts upon which the plaintiff rely; evidences; paid state fee and etc. The case is developed in accordance with the general rules of the Civil Procedure Code as the procedure involves sending and delivery of the claim and the evidences to the defendant, the right of the defendant to reply, appointment of the court hearing, the hearing itself and announcement of the decision. There are general rules for delivery and summoning of the defendant in case he cannot be found at the address, refuses to receive the court documents, lives abroad and other.
In order to resolve such dispute, the court analyses each case strictly individually and judges all the circumstances and facts related to a particular case. Those circumstances should be proved by the parties via providing of evidences. The basic principles and the circumstances on the ground of which the court decides how to protect the interests of the child and the principles on which the court practice is based are enshrined in the art. 59, par. 4 of the Family Code and in the Resolution No 1 from 12.11.1974 in civil case № 3/74, Plenum of the Supreme Court. The main principles are the following:
- Sex of the child. It is assumed that it is better a female child to be raised by and to live with her mother while for a male child the father has the same educational qualities as the mother;
- Age of the child. It is assumed that the mother should take care for the child in the first years after the birth, in case of health problems, etc.;
- Care and attitude of the parent to the child;
- Private educational qualities of the parent /education, culture and so on/;
- The moral qualities of the parent /what example he sets for the child/;
- The ability and desire of the parent to raise the child. It is important what conditions he can provide /housing and other/;
- Assistance of third parties;
- Affection and personal desire of the child /the court should take into consideration whether the child was intentionally alienated from one of the parents by another parent/;
- Question about the blame for the termination of the marriage is taken into consideration only in case such blame is related with behaviour that will have negative effects during raising of the child.
What is important is the fact that the legislator entrusted the court to decide where and how the child’s interests will be protected in the best way. The Court hears both parents, receives a statement from the Social Assistance Directorate and, if required, from a psychologist. During the case the parties can come to an agreement, which should be confirmed by the court. If such agreement is not reached, the court issues its decision. In this decision the court determines the exact days and terms when the parent can see and take the child from the parent who received the right to exercise his parental rights.
It is important to have in mind that the present article refers to the exercising of the parental rights and not to their termination. Very often people do not see the difference between exercising and termination of parental rights.
It should be remembered that according to the art. 59, para. 9: “In the event of change in circumstances the court can make changes to the previously defined measures and to determine new such on the petition of one of the parents, at the request of the Social Assistance Directorate or by the official channel.”
Because of the fact that the relationship between the parent and the child are emotional, have a long time impact and importance for both sides, the choice of the specialist in such matter is crucial for a favourable resolution of the case.
The present article does not represent a legal advice but a general theoretical essay on a specific legal issue. ID Law office is not liable in case of a misunderstanding of the information provided in this article.
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