This is unusual because under normal circumstances “personal service of process” is required. That is, the filed divorce papers are required to be handed to your spouse by a non-party, non-attorney for the parties. The rules do provide for service by publication when you do not know where the other party is, but you have to attest to having made a diligent search and inquiry into their whereabouts.
This case is unique in that the Wife does not know where the Husband is, but knows that he is an active user of FaceBook. The Court has determined that service through FaceBook may be proper.
This does not mean that sending your ex a FB message is valid service, however. Please consult your experienced family law attorney for rules on service and any additional questions.
FaceBook is mainly used for comparing yourself to your high school friends and stalking persons you just met. Perhaps it can also be useful for bragging on yourself, your child’s latest, cutest thing and driving up “hits” on your blog. However, it is NOT to air your DIVORCE DRAMA!
FaceBook (FB) based evidence has been linked to over 1/3 of divorces filed since 2011 and is increasing. The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers states that 81 % of its members have used or been faced with evidence plucked from Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites in divorce cases over the last five years.
What are some of the things NOT to post on FaceBook?
Don’t put that the other party was just a sperm/egg donor
Don’t put that the other party is CRAZY, SATAN or PSYCHO!
Don’t post pictures of yourself licking someone’s face at The Electric Cowboy.
Don’t put pictures of yourself holding an alcoholic drink with 16 empties on the table.
Don’t “check-in” at the Club, at 2:00 a.m., during your custody time with the children.
I have seen FB postings used in Court as circumstantial proof of fault. (Mushy messages to the old flame and hate-filled diatribes against that “dead beat.”) And, FB info has been used as proof with regards to moral fitness in custody battles. Parties in litigation have posted vulgar things about the other party and parties have put pictures of themselves behaving inappropriately on FB.
So you are thinking, “But my FB is set to private. Only my friends can see it and I blocked little Miss So and So.” Well the block may prevent them from gaining direct access, but guess what, you have a mutual friend that is forwarding the postings to your ex and/or that mutual friend is letting them log in under their name. Nothing is private.
I previously blogged on5 Family Law FaceBook Don’ts. This was a very popular blog topic and continues to generate a lot of traffic. This post lists 5 more things you should not be doing on FaceBook with regards to your family law case.
Posting inappropriate stuff on FB is not just an American thing. 1/5 of Australian divorces use FB postings to discredit some testimony that was offered by one party and FB activities are showing up in about 1/3 of United Kingdom divorce cases. Familyandthelaw.com.au
5 More Things not to Put on FaceBook:
Don’t post Pictures of the other party, whether they be flattering or not.
Don’t post Pictures of the children doing activities with captions that note the other parent’s absence.
Don’t post Pictures of your new squeeze in a “Parenting Role” that is intended to inflame the other side.
Don’t comment on your friend’s drama and “one-up” them with your own.
Don’t allow your FB friends to bash your Ex.
Stay tuned for more FaceBook don’ts, as I have enough material to make this one a series and unfortunately am learning of new things not to do on an almost daily basis.
Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney in Mississippi that strives to not put inappropriate things on FB and thinks you should too! #Trust the Bow Tie.