A judge in Brooklyn, NY allowed a woman to serve her divorce papers to her husband via Facebook. So, can you now divorce your spouse through Facebook, Twitter (How about #IDivorceyou!), or maybe just send an email? NO! That is not what happened here. But it does recognize the emergence of digital media and how it has changed all aspects of our lives, even the legal process. Not that long ago, attorneys had to hand deliver all legal documents to the Court for processing. Now, we email legal documents to the Court, and they email them back. So, there may be a time in the future when you could maybe “opt in” to have all legal process come to you via email or electronic delivery. We have that option now with various bills and bank statements. So, why not for your divorce?
All lawsuits in Nevada must be personally served on the other party. This includes a lawsuit for divorce. But how do you do it when you do not know where your spouse is? While most people do know where their spouse is, some people actually have no idea where their spouse is. There is a law that takes care of this. It’s called publication. If you can show that your spouse cannot be found, the Court may allow you to publish notice of the lawsuit since you cannot hand it to them. It is done by publishing the notice once a week for four to five weeks. Ever look in the back of a newspaper and wonder why all those notices of people suing other people are there? Now you know. You think anyone reads them? I don’t. Unless you know you are going to be sued, you are not looking, and people generally do not receive newspaper delivery at their homes anymore. The New York judge recognizes that. I actually did a divorce similar to this situation years ago before the internet. We had no address. We performed the court required search at the DMV, the utilities, and post office. But the law mandates that we mail it to the other spouse. Arguing that my client had a constitutional right to be divorced, I convinced the judge to allow us to mail notice to “General Delivery” to the post office of the zip code my client last knew where her husband lived. Do you think he ever had a chance to receive notice this way? I bet the Courts will allow future publications like the NY judge. But you still have to exhaust all other reasonable methods to find your spouse before a court will allow it. You still can’t divorce with a click…yet.
Las Vegas Divorce Attorney Ethan Kottler has been practicing family law for over twenty years and manages a broad range of family law issues, including child custody, divorce, property division, business valuations, modifications, adoption, and prenuptial agreements. Call 702-798-4955 today for a free consultation.