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Divorce in the digital age

Ohio readers are well aware that technology, social media and constant connectivity has changed the fabric of society. As these changes have impacted every other aspect of life, it is only natural to assume that these advances will continue impact the divorce process. Just recently, a judge in another state allowed a woman to serve her husband divorce papers through the social media platform of Facebook. 

The wife secured permission from the judge because of the unique circumstances of her case. Her husband has no official address or steady employment, making it particularly difficult for the wife to serve him divorce papers. It is remarkable how a relatively young social media site has become so ingrained in society that it continues to impact legal proceedings. Nevertheless, this appears to be the first reported instance authorizing this type of legal service, and it is not determinative concerning what may be permissible in Ohio divorce proceedings. 

Some divorces are quite complicated, especially when one spouse does not want to end the marriage or is not available to accept service of important divorce documents. This can leave the other spouse in a complicated position as he or she must explore every available and potentially expensive manner by which to serve legal papers. In this particular case, a private Facebook message was the absolute last resort after the woman had tried several other methods of contacting her spouse. 

Divorce is a complex legal process, even when both parties are willing to amicably work through certain divorce issues together. It is particularly complicated when one spouse refuses to respond, runs away or cuts off communication with the other party. In these and other extenuating circumstances, a person is not out of legal options. When facing a seemingly hopeless situation, seeking legal advice and support can help in deciding how to proceed. 

Source:, "Getting Divorced In The Facebook Era", Lauren C. Williams, April 10, 2015

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