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Notice of Divorce Through Facebook

father's rights lawyersSupreme Court Justice Matthew Cooper, sitting in New York County, was faced with a dilemma concerning serving a man with notice of his divorce. The wife in this case brought a proceeding to serve her husband with divorce papers by giving him notice on Facebook. She claimed there was no other viable means to serve him. He did not have an address and he was unemployed.

Justice Cooper noted this was a case of first impression. His research indicated federal courts had, on several occasions, allowed service of process through the social media website, Facebook. However, the federal courts had also conditioned this upon service by an alternate method too.

Wife Unable to Serve Husband Through Other Means

Justice Cooper found the wife had submitted evidence she was unable to personally serve the husband after using due diligence. His whereabouts were unknown and it was impractical to serve the husband by any other method.

Breaking New Legal Ground

Justice Cooper stated this method of service of legal documents represented a “radical departure from the traditional notion of what constitutes service of process.” He found the wife had demonstrated the husband had regularly logged onto his Facebook account. He also found the wife had access to the husband by text messaging him. Justice Cooper granted the wife’s application to allow her attorney to serve the husband by notifying him on Facebook that he was effectuating legal service of process upon him. The attorney had to do this repeatedly for several weeks, or until acknowledged by the husband that it was received.

Conclusion

In the past, if you couldn’t be found, you couldn’t be sued for divorce. After this decision, even if you are hiding out and can’t be found, should you go on your Facebook account you can still be served in a divorce lawsuit.

father's rights advocate in New YorkElliot S. Schlissel is a father’s rights lawyer. He represents fathers in divorces, custody cases, child support proceedings and all other family related matters.

About Elliot S. Schlissel

Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. has spent more that 30 years representing individuals in matrimonial and family law cases.