1) The first issue rises with one archaic provision by the Supreme Court – implemented in Decree № 1 dated 12.XI.1974 on civil lawsuit № 3/74, The Supreme Court Plenum, while Bulgaria has been still under the communist social and legal order. This Decree points to the gender of the child when deciding on the parental rights, and namely states that in cases where the child is a female (girl), the mother should receive majority in exercising the most of the parental rights. Where the child is a male (boy), the mother and the father are equally qualified to exercise it so the rest of the circumstances should be examined.
2) The second issue in the above detailed Decree of the Supreme Court Plenum relates to the age of the child - where it proclaims that babies and small age children should live with their mother, not with their father.
I can’t agree with these two archaic provisions by the court, because:
- In the modern world, namely in 21st Century, there are countries where gay marriage has been allowed; so as these modern couples are still normal human beings, I don’t see how local courts could decide if such case rises.
- Secondly, there are many cases where the father simply can provide absolutely better place for living, daily care and education of the child. I had this lawsuit for deciding on the parental rights over 7-years old boy, where the father had permanent job, could also rely on the support of his own parents who lived the next door, had his own apartment with decorated and equipped individual room for the child, social and friendship connection of the child there were present in his place of residence too. On the other hand, the mother never had any serious job for the last 15 years, she lived with the child 450 miles away from the father in 1-bedroom flat, taken on rent, her own parents lived 50 miles away in another village so they could help her a lot, etc. And although these worrying facts within the presented report by the Social care workers, still two instance courts in Varna have decided that the boy should live with their mother. This was totally non-understandable for me.
In my personal opinion, such distanced separation between ex-spouses is extremely dangerous for the interests of the child. I believe there should be legal rule avoiding taking decision at all about the parental rights in cases where the distance between the two parents ‘place of residence would be more than 60 miles – in order to ensure that there will be conditions ensuring that the child will spend enough time with both parents, because every child needs their father just that much as they need their mother. At the end of the day the interests of the child should be considered as more important than the interests of only one of their parents to take the child far away.