Skip to content

Can Divorce Papers Be Served Through Social Media?

Here’s something you don’t see every day: a New York City judge has okayed a Brooklyn woman’s divorce filing to proceed through Facebook.

The woman’s husband vanished several years ago, and correspondence with him was only possible over the phone and through messaging on the social media platform. Because he was so difficult to get in touch with, the woman had issues serving him with divorce papers. Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Matthew Cooper ruled that Facebook was an acceptable venue to file the documents.

How Do I File for a Facebook Divorce?

This situation is a fairly unique one. Despite media headlines pointing to the new possibility of a Facebook divorce, you cannot serve divorce papers through social media except in certain extreme circumstances approved by a judge when all other options have been exhausted.

In most divorce processes, the spouse will enter a voluntary appearance after contact with the initiating spouse’s divorce attorney. If he or she does not enter a voluntary appearance, then the next step is to have the papers served personally by a sheriff or a process server.

In the event that the spouse cannot be found, as in the Brooklyn woman’s case, the court could potentially seek less common means of service, but to do so is exceedingly rare. It is much more common for the filing spouse to receive default judgment against the spouse evading service of process or who is completely out of contact. If a party cannot be served, the court will usually require a notice to be published in the local newspaper of where the evading party resides first before other extreme measures are taken.

In other words, the only reason this Facebook divorce was allowed through the system is because the only reliable method of communication with him was via Facebook.

If you are facing an evasive spouse, choosing a skilled divorce attorney could help you map out your options to get your divorce filed.

Divorce Matters ”“ Denver Family Law Attorneys