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Lawyers Say Filing Divorce Papers Over Social Media Messages Is On The Rise

Expert Family Lawyers Say Applications To Courts For Permission To Use Facebook Messaging Is Becoming More Common


Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

Specialist family and divorce lawyers at Irwin Mitchell say that filing divorce papers via social media is becoming more common in the UK as it emerged a New York judge has granted permission for a an American woman to file for divorce via a Facebook message to her husband.

Expert lawyers at Irwin Mitchell say that as well as affairs evidenced over social media commonly being named as one of the reason for divorce, serving divorce papers via social media is now also becoming more common in the UK in situations where there are no other means of contacting people – particularly in international divorces.

In the New York case the Manhattan Supreme Court justice Matthew Cooper has allowed a divorce summons to be submitted via a private Facebook message. It will be repeated once a week for three consecutive weeks or until acknowledged by the recipient.
David Lister, a specialist family and divorce lawyer at Irwin Mitchell said:

Expert Opinion
"If you can’t serve divorce papers by traditional methods because you don’t have an address or an email address then you can apply to court for permission to use another method. If you can show that Facebook is a way in which the person to be served can be notified and there are no other methods such as email that can be used then the court may allow you to use Facebook. It will be up to the individual judge and the circumstances of the case.

“I have served papers via Facebook before when my client married a Thai lady who later left him. She literally vanished and it was the only way of contacting her. We had to apply to the courts for permission to serve the divorce papers via social media and provide proof of other attempts that had been made to try to locate her.

“Relationships ending because of affairs conducted or evidenced over social media is something divorce lawyers will hear of on a regular basis. Now we are seeing the next steps in that Facebook is being used in situations whereby divorce papers cannot be served by another method.”
David Lister, Associate

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