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Judge allows unusual means of filing for divorce

The divorce process can vary from couple to couple. But, it mostly entails the same step of one partner first filing for divorce, and the other person being served with papers. It was only a matter of time before the old paper filing of divorce system was outdone by technology. Pennsylvania couples may want to be aware that a judge in a neighboring state has approved a new way to file for divorce, at least under the specific circumstances presented to the court.

The case involves a couple who wed back in 2009. Apparently, the wife has only been able to communicate her husband through social media, namely Facebook, and through phone calls. This fact led the judge to rule that the woman could file a divorce summons by sending a private message to her husband through Facebook.

The ruling requires the woman to send the divorce filing message once a week. She must do this each week for three continuous weeks or until the husband officially acknowledges the service. The marriage apparently began to deteriorate once the husband failed to go along with a traditional Ghanaian wedding ceremony despite a prior promise to do so.

There are times when one party finds it difficult to reach another in order to begin the divorce process according to law. There may also be extenuating circumstances that prevent one party from replying or acknowledging a divorce filing. Because of miscommunication or the inability to locate someone personally, this alternate means of filing for divorce may be the most expedient means of pursuing a divorce. While not yet commonplace by any means, the use of social media and technology to file for divorce in Pennsylvania may be only a matter of time if this case is any indication of the potential need for an alternative means of the service of divorce papers in specific circumstances.  

Source: abcnews.go.com, "NYC Woman Can Serve Divorce Papers Via Facebook", April 6, 2015

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