Divorce & Technology: Are Courts Adapting to the New Frontier?

It seems that one court in New York is staying current with the trends of the 21st century. When a Brooklyn woman was unable to locate her husband to serve him with divorce papers, a Manhattan Supreme Court Justice granted her permission to serve him with divorce papers over Facebook.

A ruling of this kind has never been seen before, but it may be indicative of where things are headed in the future. According to the woman's lawyer, the wedding was never consummated and the marriage quickly broken down when the husband refused to have a traditional Ghanaian wedding. They never lived together and eventually went their separate ways shortly after the civil ceremony in 2009.

Since then, the woman has only kept in touch with her husband by phone and Facebook. She is unable to pinpoint a current address for him and is aware that he has no place of employment. Additionally, he hasn't made any efforts to actually receive divorce papers.

As a result, the judge is allowing the woman and her lawyer to serve the husband with divorce summons via a Facebook private message. The ruling states that the message will be sent once a week for three weeks, or until the husband acknowledges it.

What does this mean for divorcing couples in the future?

If the last several years have taught us anything, it's that social media isn't going away anytime soon. New networking sites are popping up almost daily and becoming the preferred method of contact for many individuals. It seems only natural that these social media avenues would have a direct impact on divorcing couples.

Based on this New York ruling, it may be wise for judges throughout the country to learn from the Manhattan Supreme Court Justice. Keeping up with the times has never been more important and right now, it appears that utilizing Facebook may just become the norm in divorce cases.

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