Marriage contracts under the Bulgarian law


The marriage contract (matrimonial contract) is an agreement in writing signed between
the spouses. The marriage contract defines and clarifies the relationship between the spouses related
with the property, alimony, division of property. Matrimonial contract may also be signed by the
spouses during the matrimony.  In these cases the conclusion of a marriage contract shall be
recorded in the Marriage Certificate and the contract should be registered. The marriage contract
only affects the physical relationships between spouses. The arrangements are related mainly to the
parties' rights regarding the property that is acquired during the marriage; the rights of the parties
related with  their possessions before marriage, including the family home, participation in the cost
obligations, maintenance of spouses during the  marriage and after divorce, property consequences
of divorce and child support.

The marriage contract is a personal contract. The marriage contract cannot be signed by a proxy.
The marriage contract, which transferred ownership or establish or transfer rights on real estates,
should be entered into the Land Register to the Registry Agency. The marriage contract is in writing
with notarized signatures and content.

Shortly, the persons, entering into matrimony may settle their property relations between themselves
by a matrimonial contract.  Matrimonial contract may be signed only by judicially able persons.  
The matrimonial contract shall contain agreements only about property relations between the parties, as:
1. the rights of the parties over the property, which has been acquired during the matrimony;
2. the rights of the parties over the property, possessed by them before the
matrimony;
3. the ways of management and disposition with the property, including the family home;
4. the participation of the parties in the expenses and obligations;
5. the property consequences in case of divorce;
6. the support of the spouses during the matrimony, as well as in case of divorce;
7. maintenance of the children from the matrimony;
8. other property relations, as far as this does not contradicts this Code provisions.
The matrimonial contract shall not contain provisions in case of death. The restriction shall not refer
to the provisions about the spouses’ shares in case of termination of agreed matrimonial property regime.
For the unsettled by the matrimonial contract property relations, the legal regime of matrimonial property
shall be applied.

Concluding matrimonial contract
The matrimonial contract shall be concluded personally by the parties in writing with a notary certification
of the contents and the signatures.  The matrimonial contract, by which the right to ownership is transferred
or another property right is established, or transferred on immovable property, shall be certified by a
notary, in whose region is the property. In cases, where the properties, subject to the contract are situated
in regions of activity of different notaries, the notary certification shall be prepared by a notary in one
of these regions upon the choice of the parties. The contract, by which the right to ownership is transferred,
or another property right is established or transferred over an immovable property, shall have transfer action
and shall be entered into the property register.  In cases, where the matrimonial contract has been signed
during the matrimony, its signing shall be indicated into the act for concluding the matrimony and the
contract shall be registered

Effect of the matrimonial contract
The matrimonial contract shall come into effect from the moment of contracting the matrimony, and when it
was signed during the matrimony – from the day of signing the contract or from another date, indicated in it.
The contract may not refer to rights, acquired by third parties before its signing.
The matrimonial contract shall be terminated:
1. on mutual consent of the parties; in this case they may choose a legal regime, or conclude a new contract;
in failure to do so, the legal matrimonial property regime shall be applied;
2. in case of a request of one of the spouses, in case of considerable change in the circumstances,
if the contract seriously threatens the interests of the spouse or the minor children or of the family;
3. in case of termination of the matrimony, apart from the clauses, which provide for the consequences
of the termination and have been directed to be in force after it.

Prepared by “Valova and Angelova” law firm