D.M.C. v. K.H.G.

In this complex divorce matter, the New Jersey Appellate Division reviewed the Chancery Court’s order denying the wife’s motion to vacate her final judgment of divorce, which incorporated a property settlement agreement (PSA). Two facts are notable. First, throughout the initial divorce proceedings, the wife was represented by a guardian ad litem. And eventually, her two adult children also participated as co-guardians of their mother. Second, the PSA contained a mutual alimony waiver that was non-modifiable, though, generally, alimony waivers are modifiable based upon changes in circumstances. Years after the divorce was finalized, the wife regained her faculties enough to be declared competent to proceed without a guardian. She then moved to modify the PSA. The lower court denied the motion, and the Appellate Division affirmed. It held that the children’s participation was not improper, and the “anti-Lepsis” provision prohibiting modification of alimony did not render the final judgment of divorce unconscionable.

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