Judge okays Facebook as venue for serving divorce summons

It seems you can do everything online these days and apparently serving a divorce summons is no longer an exception. A New York judge has given a Brooklyn-based woman permission to use Facebook to serve her estranged husband with notice of divorce. While this case is not typical, it might be a signal of things to come in the way people approach a divorce that has proven difficult to initiate.

An attorney for the woman says together they have tried for several years to get the divorce, but have been unable to locate her husband in order to serve him with the divorce notice. Finally, the attorney filed documents in New York requesting permission to find an alternate means of serving the divorce notice.

New York Justice Matthew Cooper gave his consent, stating that the "advent and ascendency of social media are the "next frontier" as forums through which a summons can be delivered." In this case, the social media is Facebook, enabling the woman to put her estranged husband on notice about the divorce.

Further, if the husband fails to respond to the summons or refuses the summons outright, the woman will be able to proceed with a divorce by default. The woman had to provide proof that the Facebook account in question belonged to her husband and that he logs in on a regular basis before the judge approved the request.

If the judge is on track about social media becoming the next frontier for serving a summons, it could make things a great deal easier for people seeking divorce from an absentee spouse. If this case sounds similar to your own divorce attempts, it could be beneficial to contact an attorney and find out if you can use alternate methods to initiate your own divorce.

Source: CNN, "Divorce by Facebook: New York woman gets OK to file papers online," Stephanie Gallman, April. 07, 2015

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