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Social media set to present new set of divorce issues

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Facebook and other social media platforms have become common in modern society. People in Texas and elsewhere in the nation use social media for everything from birth announcements to wedding planning. It seems logical, then, that divorce and divorce issues would someday become the province of the world wide web as well, and it appears that day is coming sooner than later. 

Recently, a Supreme Court judge in another state ruled that a woman could serve her estranged husband with divorce papers via Facebook, as the man was of no fixed address, and the woman was unable to contact him any other way. While this decision has yet to be repeated in other parts of the United States, it was certainly a landmark decision on a very important issue. Considering that some states do not even allow divorce papers to be faxed, this is a major step into the digital era. 

However, there are several roadblocks in the way of mainstream implementation of Facebook as an appropriate vessel for serving divorce papers. Questions abound regarding what would happen if a spouse deleted his or her account prior to receiving the papers, for example. Social media itself has often been criticized as exacerbating, and even causing divorce, thanks to how spouses represent themselves online. While it is an interesting ruling and one that may have implications in the future, widespread adoption of online divorce servings is not likely to happen any time soon.

Divorce issues will only continue to become more complicated for Texas residents as technology and communication play larger roles in their lives. This serves to illustrate the importance of understanding the divorce process. Seeking professional guidance in this sometimes-complicated process can be beneficial for both spouses.  

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

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