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Can You Notify Your Spouse of Divorce Via Facebook?

A worried woman sits at her computer and wonders how to find a dedicated Chicago divorce attorney online.

Divorce can be tricky. Although in most cases of divorce, both parties are ready to end their marriage and move on, things don’t always go that way. Sometimes, one spouse can be very reluctant to accept divorce and in other cases, and sometimes, a spouse can’t even be found because they are hiding from the courts. This can make the legal process difficult because, technically, when one spouse files for divorce the other spouse must be served with the divorce complaint before the process can move forward. Some people do everything they can to avoid being served with the divorce papers in an effort to prevent the divorce or simply to make things more difficult on his or her spouse.

In other instances, neither the spouse nor the court,can locate the other spouse to serve the divorce papers. So what can be done in these kinds of situations? In some cases an investigator or a detective has to be brought in to track down the “missing” or hiding spouse. However, thanks to our changing times there is a now another possible way to find a missing or uncooperative spouse in order to serve him or her with divorce papers. Indeed, social media has become a common part of just about everyone’s life. It could soon even play a more common role in serving your spouse with divorce papers.

That’s because, recently, a judge in New York ruled that a woman could use Facebook to serve her estranged husband divorce papers. According to reports, the woman’s husband has not been cooperative and she has not been able to communicate with him. Because he has been available via social media in the past, a judge ruled that the woman could use Facebook to serve him the notice of divorce. The judge ruled that the woman could send her husband a divorce summons via private messaging one time each week for three weeks or until he acknowledged that he received the summons.

In the past, it was common for courts to order people in this situation to announce their summons in local newspapers (this is called service by “publication”). However, as social media becoming much more mainstream and less people are reading newspapers, it seems that using social media outlets, like Facebook could become a more common method to reach uncooperative or hiding spouses. In this particular case, the woman even tried to find her husband by using a detective, but to no avail, which is why the judge eventually allowed the Facebook approach.

It remains to be seen if this man will respond via Facebook, or if the judge will consider him to have been served simply by his wife getting a read receipt. Although rulings of this nature are still rare, it would appear that this kind of ruling could become much more common in the future. Meanwhile, if you need to serve your spouse with divorce papers, then please contact the Women’s Divorce & Family law Group in Chicago, at 312-445-8830. You can also reach us online by clicking here.

There are many factors to consider when contemplating divorce, and a pre-divorce planning session can help you begin to plan for a divorce. Please contact the professionals at the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group by calling (312) 585-6604 or clicking here to schedule a consultation.


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Downtown Chicago/Loop Office
Lake Forest Office
Lisle Office
Lake Forest Office

100 Saunders Rd.
Suite 150

Lake Forest, IL 60045

Lisle Office

3333 Warrenville Rd.
Suite 200

Lisle, IL 60532

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77 W. Wacker Drive
45th Floor

Chicago, IL 60601

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