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Divorce by Facebook? New York judge says OK

Divorce can be a complicated process, no matter what your exact situation is. Dividing assets, determining a child custody agreement and setting alimony terms are often contentious issues that are not easily resolved. The divorce process can be much more difficult, however, if you do not know where your spouse is.

As odd as it sounds, one woman in New York wants a divorce, but her husband is nowhere to be found.

The couple was married in 2009, but the relationship soured shortly after. The couple has never even lived together. Although the two have apparently used social media and phone calls to stay in touch, the 26-year-old woman has not been able to track her husband down to seek the divorce she has wanted for years.

After presenting her dilemma to a judge in New York City, the woman was instructed to use Facebook to serve her husband with divorce papers. The judge told her to send the divorce summons to her husband once a week through a private Facebook message. She can send the message for three weeks straight or until her husband acknowledges it. She has tried once so far to no avail.

This is an interesting ruling for the divorce process in New York. The judge recognized that using social media to deliver divorce summons is not traditional. He added, however, that just because a technique has not been used prevalently in the past does not mean it should not be considered when the circumstances are unusual.

It will be interesting to see if this approach is successful, and whether it will be used in similar cases in the future.

Source: Washington Post, "Judge rules New York City woman can serve divorce papers over Facebook," Lindsey Bever, April 8, 2015

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