* The article concerns the cases when the children are under 18-ages old

If the parents are in divorce procedure, factual separation (during the marriage) or after their divorce is announced, the judge could replace the consent of those parent who refuses to give a permit to his or her child to leave the country with the other parent.

In an ordinary situation the child could leave Bulgaria (for a vacation, to study abroad or even for living in another country) only in the presence/consent of both parents.

If the parents are separated or even if the child is leaving the country only with one of them, the other parent must present to the Border Police Office a notary verified declaration signed by the other parent consisting his or her consent the child to leave Bulgaria with the other parent.

If the parent is not in agreement the child to leave Bulgaria with the other parent and notify the Border police about his disagreement (through notary verified declaration again), the child is not allowed to leave the country.

The only option for those parent who wants to leave the country with the child remains seeking a permission from the competent Bulgarian court. This is the court where the child is currently living.

For that purpose the parents must initiate a travel case under art. 127a from the Bulgarian Family Code where the respective local judge shall decide whether or not to grant such permission. The leading criteria for the judge are the interests of the child. In this case it is necessary to be summoned also the local Social Agency which is obliged to prepare a report related with the interest of the child. Also, it is very possible the judge to question the child in person if he or she has reached age 10.

There are difficulties related with the situation where one of the parents is living in the other country and the other parent is not giving permission the child to visit him (her) even for a vacation. Although this is a question of parental rights and exercising of parental rights, unfortunately there is no simple procedure and the same procedure is followed for parents who want to practice their parental rights from abroad.

Prepared by” Valova an Angelova” law firm