People’s financial and medical situations change. Some of these changes lead to the need to modify an alimony agreement. In July 2017 the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, heard a case on appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Camden County. It involved an ex-husband’s request for a reduction in alimony based on a change in circumstances due to the loss of his job. The Family Part judge had refused to grant the modification.
The case in question was Beden v. Beden. Mary Beden and Lance Beden had been married for about 30 years when they divorced in 2010. Their property settlement agreement stipulated that Lance would pay Mary $800 per week in permanent alimony. This alimony was to stop only upon the death of either party or the event of Mary’s remarriage.
Lance fell behind in his payments, and in October 2014 Mary went to family court to have his alimony obligation enforced. The judge ordered Lance to pay what he owed and to sell the marital home the couple had shared in order to meet his obligations. Lance did not appeal this decision but neither did he comply.