From pregnancy announcements to pictures from vacation, communication and information sharing now takes place online more than ever. Facebook — an exceptionally popular social media website — is often used as a hub for users in Illinois to share updates about day-to-day life. However, an out-of-state woman recently found a unique way to incorporate Facebook into her divorce.

When one party files for divorce, his or her spouse must be served with divorce papers. While this is typically a simple task, one woman spent years trying to track down her husband. Having never actually lived together, she was unable to locate an employer or home address. During the times that she was able to reach him by phone, the man denied having any permanent address and said that he was not working. He also apparently refused to make himself available to be served. 

Frustrated, the New York woman filed a request with a judge to serve her husband the divorce papers in a highly unique way — Facebook. Once she proved that the Facebook profile in question did belong to her husband and that he used it frequently, the judge approved her request. The papers were served via a private message, starting a timer for him to reply. Should he ignore the papers, she will likely be able to proceed with the divorce without him.

Although most people in Illinois likely will not be serving divorce papers through Facebook as a first resort, it is interesting to observe how the evolution of technology can benefit people in continually new ways. Following the inability to locate an ex to serve divorce papers, many judges give people the option of placing an ad in a local newspaper for a certain period of time. Unfortunately, for some people, this is cost prohibitive and can be ineffective at actually notifying an ex. When this option is simply not viable, those seeking out a divorce can file a request with the judge to serve their soon-to-be ex in an alternate manner, the approval of which will typically be up to the judge’s discretion.

Source:, “Woman gets OK to give divorce notice via Facebook“, George Brown, April 8, 2015