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New York judge allows serving child support papers via Facebook

Child support is often a complex issue. In a groundbreaking judgment in New York, a man obtained permission to serve a legal notice to his ex-wife through social media stating that he is unwilling to pay child support any further. In the court ruling, which came as a shock and surprise for social media users in New York and the rest of the United States, the man was given permission to serve his wife the legal notice via Facebook because, not knowing his ex-wife's address, he had no other way to serve them.

The official of a family court ruled that in the absence of any other traditional methods that could have been used by the man to deliver his ex-wife with the notice, and such previous methods having failed to work, he could use a popular social networking site to serve the notice.

In the ruling, a court has for the first time displayed acceptance towards a non-traditional approach to serving a person. The judgment shows that the judiciary can depart from archaic norms when required to move ahead with the times.

The man, who sought to cancel his child support payments worth $440 every month which had been previously ordered by court, argued that his son had turned 21 years of age and that he felt he was no longer required to pay the amount every month.

He stated that he had tried reaching his ex-wife at her residence, but he was told that she had moved out without having notified anyone about her new address. He also stated that internet searches or text messages to their children also turned out to be fruitless. The judgment is a welcome change in that, in at least one instance, it allowed service by other viable means when physical service is not possible.

Source: New York Post, "Judge OKs serving legal papers via Facebook" Sept. 18, 2014

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