Woman Serves Husband Divorce Papers Via Facebook Message

facebook messageIt's finally come to this: One frustrated woman has been allowed to serve her husband divorce papers via Facebook message thanks to a ruling by the New York Supreme Court. It turns out this was the only way she could get in touch with her elusive husband. 

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Brooklyn nurse Ellanora Baidoo had to get a judge's approval for the extreme measure. “Baidoo is granted permission serve defendant with the divorce summons using a private message through Facebook," Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Matthew Cooper wrote. "This transmittal shall be repeated by plaintiff’s attorney to defendant once a week for three consecutive weeks or until acknowledged.”

Baidoo married her husband, Victor Sena Blood-Dzraku, in a civil ceremony in 2009. They were supposed to follow up with a traditional Ghanaian wedding ceremony (both are from Ghana), but Blood-Dzraku backed out. The marriage was never consummated, and the couple never even lived together. And yet, the groom insisted on staying married ... and remaining Facebook friends. Meanwhile he claims he has no job or home, which has made serving him divorce papers nearly impossible otherwise.

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So this is nuts, right? I mean, is this where divorce is headed? Will more people start conducting their divorces via Facebook? Geez, maybe we need a relationship status option that reads "waiting for soon-to-be ex to sign papers."

"I worry that allowing service by Facebook starts us on a slippery slope," says divorce attorney and author of Divorce: Protect Yourself, Your Kids, and Your Future Randall Kessler. "What’s next? Tweeting that you want alimony?"But he admits that it may be the start of a successful trend.

Perhaps people are more likely to look at their Facebook messages than to open letters they receive in the mail? And if this helps ensure that defendants have a chance to respond to claims made against them, then I am for it. In this age of technology, this seems like a proper use of digital assets, to ensure that a respondent or defendant has an opportunity to be heard.

Meanwhile, Baidoo's lawyer has sent Blood-Dzraku his first of three possible notices. He hasn't responded, yet. If he fails to respond to the next two, perhaps Baidoo will see if the court will allow her to serve via text message. She does have his phone number, at least.

Do you think more people will start serving divorce papers via Facebook -- and is that a good way to start a divorce?

 

Image via dolphfyn/Shutterstock

 

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