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Lottery (8 Posts)
Started By:
02 November, 2009 04:11PM
YZF1000R - 02 November, 2009 04:11PM
Just had a thought, I do the lottery and I'm going through a divorce, wife left me in March.
If I won could she claim some of the money whilst we are getting divorced?
I know it' sa long shot but, you just never know, I may win, I stand a good a chance as the bloke next to me.

This thread is just a curious question rather than an actual event of me winning ( I wish) smileys with beer
Re: Lottery
davidterry - 02 November, 2009 04:43PM
There is a very easy answer to that. It is that your wife could make a claim on your lottery winnings. A court would not hesitate to give her a share if it was needed to provide for her needs and the needs of any children.

That is why if a marriage breaks down beyond repair it is usually sensible to get a divorce as soon as possible and to settle financial issues between you once for all within the context of the divorce. That is the only way you can draw a line under the marriage financiallly and start again. It is almost always a mistake to wait (unless you happen to be the spouse who benefitts from claiming a share of the lottery winnings).

In your case you are still married and the financial side has not been sorted out so there is very definitely no doubt that your wife would be a stakeholder in your winnings.
Re: Lottery
YZF1000R - 04 November, 2009 06:39AM
So is a divorce and financial settlement 2 seperate issues and not as one, IE if you get divorced thats, it no ties at all with ex
Re: Lottery
davidterry - 04 November, 2009 10:37AM
That’s not exactly correct, no. It is true that getting divorced and settling the financial issues arising from the marriage are two distinct parts of the divorce process. You can, for instance, get divorced, get decree absolute and do nothing about settling the financial issues arising from the marriage if you want.

But if you do that it does not mean that everything is over between you and your former spouse. If you do that either former spouse may make an application to the court at a later date to settle the financial issues arising from the marriage. That might be years after the decree absolute and the financial circumstances of either or both former spouses may have changed a great deal by then. One of them may, for example, have won the lottery and then you can be sure that a claim will be made. Because of this it is usually wise to settle financial issues once for all formally at the same time as the divorce or soon afterwards.

Even if neither of you has a penny and all you want to do is have a clean break so that all of your potential claims against the other are formally dismissed it is necessary to have a court order to that effect. You can do this by agreement but it does need a court order which is separate from the divorce itself. Only by doing this can you protect yourself against the lottery type of claim. If you do nothing and just leave all claims open then your lottery winnings are fully exposed.
Re: Lottery
Injustice101 - 07 November, 2009 07:00AM
So if your wife moves out and declares her intention to file but does not actually file until 6 months later, are the funds accrued in the 6 months still part of the matrimonial asset? What if you win the lottery and spend it in the 6 months? For that matter what if you just spend some of the matrimonial assets or just give some away on the pretext of a gift to friend or a family member, all to avoid her getting a share of this. How would the law adjudicate in such a cases?

Re: Lottery
davidterry - 07 November, 2009 08:47AM
If your wife moves out and you do not file for divorce in that six months then you are still married and your lottery winnings are assets available for distribution between the spouses just like any other. If, say, the total matrimonial assets are worth 500,000, you win 500,000 and you give away or spend that 500,000 you have won a court is likely to say, ‘The total matrimonial assets were 1,000,000. You have had your 500,000 and spent it. We are going to give the other 500,000 to your wife’. That is how a court is likely to deal with that particular type of scenario.
Re: Lottery
Injustice101 - 07 November, 2009 09:22AM
Thanks David. So to be spiteful (an emotion difficult to resist) and go on a spending spree so your wife's 50% is not as much as before is clearly ill-advised. How would the courts then decide what is a reasonable expenditure and over what period woud they look. My marriage took a nose dive a year ago and she moved out 6 months ago. Would they just look at the 6 months and see if there was any negligent spending to pervert the course of justice?
Re: Lottery
davidterry - 07 November, 2009 09:56AM
Bank statements etc are disclosed within the context of ancillary relief proceedings. If any abnormal pattern of expenditure occurs after it has become clear the marriage has broken down you can be sure that the spouse who has done that will be questioned about it. Sometimes there are good reasons for a different pattern of expenditure and sometimes not but you can be sure that any change in the pattern of expenditure will be noticed and questioned.
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