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Can’t find your ex? Just divorce him over Facebook, a NYC judge rules

woman serves divorce papers on facebook messenger
Kārlis Dambrāns/Flickr
Getting a divorce is never easy, and it can be a real hassle to track down your ex and force them to sign the papers, especially when they refuse point blank to do so. Still, divorce is even more difficult when you can’t actually find your ex. Now, one lucky woman in New York City has won the right to serve her husband divorce papers through Facebook, since that’s the only place she can find him.

Ellanora Baidoo, a 26-year old nurse living in Brooklyn, was given approval to start dissolving her marriage through social networking because her absentee husband refused to receive the documents in person.

According to the New York Daily News, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Matthew Cooper said that Baidoo is “granted permission to serve defendant divorce summons using a private message through Facebook … This transmittal shall be repeated by plaintiff’s attorney to defendant once a week for three consecutive weeks or until acknowledged.”

Baidoo was married to Victor Sena Blood-Dzraku in a civil ceremony in 2009. She and her estranged partner are both from Ghana. Their union quickly dissolved after Blood-Dzraku refused to honor a promise of having a traditional Ghanian wedding in addition to the civil ceremony.

“She wanted their families there,” said lawyer Andrew Spinnell, who is representing Baidoo.

According to Spinnelli, the marriage was not consummated and the couple never lived together. Nonetheless, Blood-Dzraku refused to sign off on a divorce and has only kept in contact with his wife through Facebook and infrequent phone calls.

Blood-Dzraku has been hard to find. He told his wife that he has no permanent address and no place of employment. Even a private detective was unable to track him down, forcing Baidoo to explore the Facebook option. According to Judge Cooper’s ruling, Blood-Dzraku is so elusive that the “post office has no forwarding address for him, there is no billing address linked to his prepaid cell phone, and the Department of Motor Vehicles has no record of him.”

Spinnell says the first Facebook summons was already issued to Blood-Dzraku last week. He has yet to respond, though his response isn’t likely to be a click of the big blue “Like” button.

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