You know that if you want to seek a divorce, divorce papers must be served. In Massachusetts, it doesn’t matter who’s fault the divorce is, the paperwork still needs to be signed, and a partner could choose to refuse to do so for a period of time. Is that fair? What if you can’t find your ex to serve the paperwork? If this ruling holds, you may be able to use Facebook in the future.
This very question came up recently and hit national news when a judge decided that it was legal to serve legal documents through Facebook. In the woman’s case, she got married in 2009 and wanted to get a divorce from the man. The problem was that the woman couldn’t find her husband to serve him divorce papers.
What she did have was a Facebook page and phone number. Without knowing a full residence, she couldn’t make an effort to deliver the papers in person. She called him, but her husband refused to meet. A judge decided that as if the papers were served for three consecutive weeks over Facebook, he could issue a default judgment for her divorce.
The judge wouldn’t typically award this kind of permission, but when someone makes him or herself impossible to find and even goes as far as to say he or she doesn’t want to sign divorce papers or make him or herself available to do so, then the circumstances can call for drastic action. This woman’s case had no marital assets to speak of, meaning she just wanted a clean break and the ability to move on with her life.
Source: ABC News, “New York Woman Allowed to Serve Divorce Papers Via Facebook,” Susanna Kim, April. 06, 2015