STA, 15 April 2019 - The new family law, which was reformed and adopted two years ago, became fully applicable as of Monday. The law aims to regulate partnerships and family relations in a more comprehensive manner, with the main difference being that district courts are now in charge of protecting children's interests.
Instead of social work centres, district courts now have jurisdiction over deciding to take children away from their parents as well as over making provisions about parental and foster care.
The courts are expected to take measures which will protect children foremost and strive to respect the rights of parents as much as possible at the same time. Children removal will thus be ordered only in extreme cases.
The new law also includes reformed provisions for adoptions, couples mediation and shared custody in case of divorce.
Future spouses will be able to enter into a legal form of partnership in various ways, including at the Registry Office without any witnesses, while a couple whose children are of age will be able to divorce and split their assets consensually at the public notary.
One of the novelties is jubilee weddings or wedding vow renewals, commemorating wedding anniversaries, which are now regulated.
The law also defines the child's right to a counsel and enables parents to express their will regarding their children's guardianship in case of their death or inability to take care of the child.
The family is now defined as a child's community regardless of their age and containing one or two parents or other adult person if they are taking care of the child and have certain responsibilities and rights in regards to the child.