Arizona residents may have been aware of an interesting divorce case that took place in Manhattan recently. A woman legally served her husband divorce “papers” through social media, triggering a spate of stories in the news. However, the specific circumstances made it possible, and the situation may not be easily replicable.
The case involves a couple who were married in 2009 but quickly fell into estrangement. Both spouses were natives of Ghana who had immigrated to New York, and one of the articles cited as a cause for divorce was the failure of the husband to provide a large traditional Ghanian wedding. The couple was separated, and the wife decided to obtain a divorce. However, the husband was not easy to find.
The man refused all ordinary forms of communication, making himself impossible for the wife to find and preventing her from serving him legal notice of their divorce. He would not reveal his address, his place of employment, his phone number or any other method that would allow her or the private detective she employed to locate him. However, he did check his Facebook page on a consistent basis. The court was well aware of her continuing difficulties in finding the man. After all other methods were exhausted, they allowed her to utilize Facebook to serve him with notice.
For the time being, those seeking to serve a spouse with official notice of divorce are better off using more traditional methods. An attorney may be able to help a spouse find a recalcitrant partner and give them legal notice, even if they attempt to conceal themselves and make it difficult to serve them.
Source: Mashable.com, “Divorce notice by Facebook? Doable, but it depends on where you live,” J.P. Mangalinden, April 7, 2015