Court allows woman to use Facebook to serve divorce papers

Texas residents who are seeking a divorce may wish to know about an unusual way to let a former spouse know that the marriage is ending. In certain extreme circumstances, parties may be able to use social media to alert their former spouse of a divorce.

A New York woman, who separated from her new husband shortly after their 2009 marriage, has convinced a court to allow her to use the social media site Facebook as a means to serve divorce papers. The judge allowed this method only after all other possibilities were exhausted. Reports indicate that the woman attempted to reach the man through phone calls, emails and even with a private detective. When none of these attempts were successful, she petitioned the court to let her try Facebook because she knew he checked in on it regularly.

While this is a novel way to serve legal papers, it may not be possible in many situations. It was only as a last resort that the normal service of process rules were skirted, and not every judge might allow service of court papers in this way. It also depends greatly on the specific state laws, which may be more flexible with regard to this issue. Most of the time, only the most extreme situations would allow this.

Understanding the process of serving divorce papers and other family law issues may be difficult without the assistance of an attorney. The attorney may be able to help draft the divorce filing and negotiate a settlement with the former spouse. The attorney might also be useful in drafting the settlement agreement that addresses issues such as child custody, spousal support and visitation plans.