Want to divorce your husband or wife but can’t give them the papers in person? Just use Facebook.
No, apparently this isn’t a late April Fools’ joke. The New York Daily News reports Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Matthew Cooper has allowed 26-year-old Ellanora Baidoo to serve her husband Victor Sena Blood-Dzraku divorce papers via a Facebook message.
In fact, Baidoo won’t even be the one sending the message. Her lawyer has been granted permission to message Blood-Dzraku using her account. “This transmittal shall be repeated by plaintiff’s attorney to defendant once a week for three consecutive weeks or until acknowledged,” the ruling states.
A message went out last week, though it didn’t get an answer. Before you conclude this means everyone will soon start filing for divorce over Facebook, it’s important to underline that the judge’s decision appears to be a specific reaction to this case.
Baidoo and Blood-Dzraku, both from Ghana, had a civil ceremony back in 2009, but their relationship started to fall apart when Blood-Dzraku went back on his word to have a traditional Ghanaian wedding ceremony as well. As a result, the husband and wife never lived together.
Blood-Dzraku has allegedly refused to make himself available to be served with divorce papers and has only kept in touch with his wife over the phone and Facebook. Furthermore, the last address Baidoo has for him is an apartment that he vacated in 2011; he has told her over the phone that he has no fixed address and no place of employment.
While this is clearly not a typical divorce situation, this case could one day be used as a precedent. That said, we suspect requirements will include no established address, a lack of physical contact, and an ongoing communication on Facebook.
Still, the case reminds us just how ingrained Facebook, and the Internet in general, has become in our society. It’s easy to imagine how divorce papers could one day be served via other online platforms.