Social media takes on new role in divorce

Social networking plays such a major role in so many people’s lives that it is known to make and break relationships. In fact, an increasing number of people across the state of New Jersey and the entire country are attributing marriage woes to the excessive amount of time that their partners spend on social media sites. Now, the ruling of one judge may result in social media outlets serving a real and practical purpose in divorce proceedings.

In 2009, a couple who are originally from Ghana married in a civil ceremony. The bride insisted on having a traditional Ghanaian ceremony for their family as well, but the husband refused. Consequently, the married couple never lived as husband and wife. Now, the wife is seeking divorce but cannot locate her husband to serve him with divorce papers. According to the wife’s attorney, a private detective was used to locate the husband. However, he does not currently have a forwarding address and has refused to meet in person. The wife can only reportedly reach her husband through phone calls and the social networking site, Facebook.

Given that attempts have been made by the plaintiff in the divorce suit to serve the defendant, the judge presiding over the case recently decided that the woman can serve divorce papers using Facebook. Her attorney was granted permission to use Facebook messaging to serve the defendant the divorce summons once weekly for three weeks unless the summons is acknowledged. There was no word on whether the ruling would set a precedent for other family law courts.

Source: New York Daily News, “EXCLUSIVE: Judge says Brooklyn woman can use Facebook to serve divorce papers,” Barbara Ross, Dareh Gregorian, April 6, 2015