According to the Law on State Register, in the Republic of Croatia, the personal status of citizens (birth, marriage and death) and other information related to those facts are recorded in the State Register. The registration of a birth of child into the Birth Register is made on the basis of the oral registration or written applications to the registrar in a place where the child was born. If a child is born in a health institution, it is required that a health institution reports a birth. If a child is born outside a health institution, the father of the child is required to report the child’s birth, or the person in whose place of residence the child was born or a mother when she is capable of it, or a midwife, or a doctor who participated in the childbirth.
When these persons are not present, or when they cannot report the birth, the person who finds out about the birth is obliged to report it. The birth of a child must be reported within 15 days of the birth.
Marriage is regulated by the Family Law. Preconditions for marriage are divided into those needed for the existence of marriage and preconditions for the validity of marriage. For the existence of marriage it is necessary for the spouses to be opposite sexes, to have given their consent to enter into marriage and for a civil marriage to be contracted before a registrar or a religious marriage to be contracted in accordance with the relevant provision of Family Law. If at the time of entering into marriage any of the preconditions referred to above has not been fulfilled, no legal effects of marriage shall ensue.
For the validity of marriage a marriage may not be entered into by a person under the age of eighteen.
As an exception, the court may allow a sixteen year old person to enter into marriage, provided that the court finds the person mentally and physically mature enough to marry, and that there is a justifiable reason for marriage. In addition, a person incapable of discernment may not enter into marriage. Marriage may not be contracted between persons of lineal consanguinity or collateral consanguinity between a sister and a brother, a stepsister and a stepbrother, the child and its sister or stepsister or brother or stepbrother, or between the children of sisters and brothers or stepsisters and stepbrothers. This shall also apply to relationships established by adoption. A marriage may not be entered into by a person who is already married or is in a same-sex life partnership registered under the relevant legislation. A marriage that is contracted contrary to the provisions above is not valid and the provisions for annulment shall apply.
Family Law regulates civil marriage and religious marriage with the effects of a civil marriage. Civil marriage is contracted before a registrar, while religious marriage is contracted before an official of a religious community that has a regulated legal relationship thereof with the Republic of Croatia. The spouses must give notice of their intention to enter into a civil marriage in person to the registrar competent for the place where they wish to enter into marriage. They must enclose relevant documents at the registrar’s request. Asylees and foreigners under subsidiary protection, when reporting their intention, have to provide the certificate that they have been granted asylum or subsidiary protection and adequate proof of non-existence of another marriage. Adequate proof is considered to be a statement made before a public notary or before a registrar where they announce their intention to marry.
The registrar shall verify, on the basis of the spouses’ consent and by using other means, whether the preconditions for entering into marriage have been met. If a court decision is needed for entering into marriage to take place, the registrar shall ask the spouses to obtain one. After having verified that the preconditions for entering into marriage have been met, the registrar shall take a statement from the spouses on the choice of the surname.
The spouses shall confirm by their signatures that they understand their personal rights and responsibilities in marriage, as well as the possibility of determining property relations.
The registrar shall determine the date of marriage upon the agreement with the spouses who want to enter into a civil marriage usually in the period between the thirtieth and forty-fifth day since the day of giving the notice of the intention to enter into marriage.
A marriage is contracted in the presence of the spouses, the registrar and two witnesses who have to be of full age and have legal capacity. The spouses who want to enter into a religious marriage shall obtain from the registrar competent for the place where they wish to enter into marriage a certificate of having fulfilled all marriage preconditions.
The official of the religious community before whom the religious marriage has been contracted shall submit the registrar the document signed by the spouses, the witnesses and the religious community official which confirms that the marriage has been contracted. This document must submitted to the registrar within five days of the date of the contraction of marriage. The registrar is obliged to record the religious marriage into a marriage register within three days of the day of receipt of the document. Immediately upon entering the records on the contracted marriage into a marriage register, the registrar shall submit the marriage certificate to the spouses. The registrar shall inform the spouses that the marriage certificate from a national marriage register is a proof that the religious marriage they entered into is equal in effect to a civil marriage.