Earlier this month, a New York family court judge made a ruling which allowed a father to serve child support papers on the child's mother via Facebook. Though it is not the first time a court in the United States has allowed service of court documents through Facebook, it is not a very common for courts to allow it. In today's blog your Pittsburgh Family Lawyers explain the situation in this case which prompted the judge to allow service to be given on the social media site.
In this case, the father of the child was seeking to stop making child support payments because his son was already 21 years old. An issue arose, however, because he did not know the whereabouts of the mother. According to the New York family law judge, Facebook could be used in this situation as a form of "alternate service," which is permissible under state rules, because the petitioner had failed to locate his ex-wife.
Normally, according to the rules of procedure in all states, in order to give the other side notice about the start of a case, the paper work needs to be given to the other party in person. If the person can't be found then notice of the case can be published in a newspaper in the city where they were last known to have resided. In this case, the judge allowed the publication to be done by Facebook because of the fact that the mother could not located and it was clear that she was active on Facebook.
Though no Pennsylvania family court judges have made rulings which allow service by Facebook, judges in other parts of the United States, including Virginia have allowed notice to be done via the social media site. Judges in other countries, including Australia and the United Kingdom have in the past also granted an individual permission to serve the other party on Facebook.
If you are facing a Western Pennsylvania family law case, contact our attorneys at Lisa Marie Vari & Associates. Our team of lawyers is experienced in all aspects of family law and can provide you with the guidance you need throughout your case. Whether you find yourself looking to terminate child support or if you want to file for divorce in Pittsburgh, our attorneys are here to help you.