Spouse Tough to Nail? Service Through Facebook May Soon Be the Answer

New York Husband and Wife married back in 2009 and went their own separate ways very shortly thereafter. They reportedly never even consummated the marriage.

But they never legally divorced. Now Wife wants to get that over with … but Husband, not so much.

So Wife went ahead and filed divorce papers with the New York family court. But when it came time to serve Husband, Wife had no idea where he actually is:

  • Husband no longer lives in the same apartment – and claims not to have a set address.
  • The US Post Office has no forwarding address for Husband.
  • Husband apparently does not work for any third parties.
  • The Department of Motor Vehicles has no information on Husband.
  • And Husband uses a prepaid cell phone with no billing address on record.
  • Not even a private investigator could come up with an address for Husband to be served at.

But the way Wife is generally able to communicate with Husband is on Facebook. And so she asked the New York family court to allow her to serve Husband there.

And after reviewing the facts, the presiding family court judge did so, authorizing service by Wife’s attorney via Facebook private message sent from Wife’s account.

The Court spelled out a schedule of repetitions of the online service attempts, paralleling service by publication for truly missing spouses.

The Family Court judge based its ruling on the fact that for this particular defendant, service via Facebook was the one method most likely to give Husband actual notice that Wife is seeking to divorce him. And that is the whole purpose of personal service.


  1. this New York Daily News EXCLUSIVE: Judge says Brooklyn woman can use Facebook to serve divorce papers and
  2. this Yahoo Finance article: Divorce by Facebook .