#YouveBeenServed: Courts Considering Requests To Serve Divorce Papers Via Social Media

The first official step of filing for divorce is to notify the opposing party by serving them with the divorce papers. This process is as simple as portrayed in the movies and on TV, although maybe not as dramatic.

An official rings a door bell and hands a spouse the necessary divorce papers, which include an official notice that legal proceedings have been initiated.

But what if this process could be done online?

RIGHT Lawyers Henderson, a Nevada-based law firm that specializes in divorce and custody proceedings, commented in a blog post that courts are opening up to the concept of serving divorce papers through social media platforms including Facebook Inc FB and Twitter Inc TWTR.

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According to the lawyers, when a defendant is hard to find, they can be serviced with the necessary documents through social media.

A statement is needed to explain how normal (i.e., at home or at work) service was attempted but failed. A court could then allow the documents to be served by being published in a newspaper once a week for four weeks. However, since newspapers aren't as popular as they once were, courts are considering requests to service divorce papers by Facebook, Twitter or email.

Serving documents over social media provides proof that it was received by the defendant. Messages on Facebook are checked off when read, and many email servers can also confirm when the recipient opened the letter.

"Currently, you have to attempt the at-home service, and in-person service before you can ask the court to allow Facebook," the blog concluded. "But, things may change quickly in this ever changing world."

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