can I get my settlement payment changed to a lower amount due to less work and a lot less money made?

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can I get my settlement payment changed to a lower amount due to less work and a lot less money made?

I have to pay my ex 24000 per year for five years. I am in
the cattle and cranberry business and both have taken a
beating this year and last. I have to dump a third of my crop,
and beef prices are a lot lower. If I am forced to sell my
ranch I will get nothing, and the she and the bank will get
the rest. Can I get my payment reduced because of this? It is
pay once a year.

Asked on November 9, 2017 under Family Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If it was ordered by the court, you *may* be able to get your payment reduced if you can convince the court that the reduction in your income was unavoidable, beyond your control, and not something you can quickly or readily adjust to or make up for. You will have to bring a legal action--i.e. file a motion--to ask the court to consider the circumstances and a reduction.
However, you used the term "settlement." If you voluntarily agreed to this payment (rather than having it be determined by a judge), you are unlikely to get a reduction. Courts hold people to their contracts and other voluntary agreements. You can try, but the odds of success are lower--unless you can get your ex to agree to a reduction, or at least deferment, of the payment; with her consent, you can get a decrease or delay.


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