The social media era has changed our society a lot, and it’s had a lasting effect on divorce. Social media is now used as evidence in an estimated 90 percent of divorce cases. Sometimes it’s used to prove infidelity, other times it can be used to prove hidden assets, but could social media be used for more than evidence in a divorce case?
Can You Serve Divorce Papers using Facebook Messages?
Court Justice Jeffrey Sunshine of the Brooklyn Supreme Court just ruled on an interesting divorce case. A woman lost track of her husband in 2011, which is when she believes he was deported. She was 6 months pregnant at the time, but neither she or her young son have heard from him since. She decided this year that it was finally time to file for divorce. However, there is a problem.
The woman must notify her husband of her intent to get a divorce before she can get one. She suspects that the man is in Saudi Arabia, but taking out an ad in the country’s newspapers could cost her up to $3,000. She couldn’t afford such a price, so she asked the court if she could serve the man online via his Facebook account.
The idea seemed like a good one. Lately, courts all over the country have been allowing plaintiffs to notify defendants of legal action using Facebook. In New York, at least two other judges allowed plaintiffs in divorce cases to send legal notices through Facebook, but not Judge Sunshine. He ruled that the woman could not send legal notice of her divorce to her husband through the social media site. Turns out the man’s account has been inactive since April of 2014.
Though the woman said she had talked with her husband and his friends through Facebook, she didn’t actually show evidence of such interactions. This led the judge to rule against her use of this social network to serve him, but if he had been active, would the judge have allowed it? Tell us what you think on our Twitter and Facebook pages. You can also get more info from our Houston high-assets divorce attorneys by following our blog.