In accordance with Article 42, paragraph 1, of the Hague Convention 1980, Bulgaria declared to only assume costs resulting from return proceedings, from the assignment of a legal counsel and from the returning of the child as far as they are covered by its system of free legal aid and free legal advice. Despite this reservation, in cases of child abductions to Bulgaria and access rights conflicts all foreign applicants are represented free of charge by legal advisors, which are employed at the Ministry of Justice. In the event that applicants are additionally appointing a private legal representative, they are liable for paying their attorney fees. The court proceedings are also free of charge, provided that the action for return is brought to trial via the Central Authority and not directly by the applicant. Bulgaria does not assume travel expenses for the return of the minor. Only extrajudicial mediation proceedings are possible on a voluntary basis and with costs.
The Sofia City Court is the initial Court for all proceedings in the framework of the Hague Convention 1980. The estimated duration of proceedings is 6–12 months. Legal remedy is possible to the Sofia Appeal Court, duration of proceedings approximately 3–6 months.
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