Not all luck in lotto de­ci­sions

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Streetwatch -

THOUGH the chance of win­ning lot­tery is re­mote, you should be aware how the Fam­ily Court might treat your win­nings if you win them af­ter sep­a­ra­tion from your spouse.

The first thing to re­mem­ber is that just be­cause you re­ceive a lot­tery win af­ter sep­a­ra­tion, it does not mean it will not be part of the prop­erty set­tle­ment and di­vided be­tween you.

In de­cid­ing whether your ex gets any of your lotto win­nings, the Court will look at a range of fac­tors. Th­ese fac­tors in­clude whether you pur­chased the win­ning ticket with joint funds or pur­chased the ticket while you were still to­gether and there was com­mon use of prop­erty.

The Court will also look at the fu­ture needs of the par­ties. In a re­cent case, the Court de­cided that a woman, who had won $6 mil­lion af­ter sep­a­ra­tion from her hus­band, must pay him an amount of $500,000.

Why? The hus­band got his $500,000 through the Court’s as­sess­ment of his fu­ture needs – an im­por­tant part of the Fam­ily Law Act.

The Court found that the hus­band’s fu­ture needs were quite sub­stan­tial; he was 62 years old and near­ing the end of his work­ing life, lacked any sig­nif­i­cant for­mal qual­i­fi­ca­tions and was op­er­at­ing a com­pany at a fi­nan­cial loss.

Th­ese fac­tors meant that he got around 8.3 per cent of the post-sep­a­ra­tion lotto win­nings.

If you are lucky enough to win the lotto fol­low­ing sep­a­ra­tion, it is en­tirely pos­si­ble their former spouse may be en­ti­tled to a por­tion of th­ese win­nings; you should see a fam­ily lawyer straight away if you find your­self in this po­si­tion.

With Simon Creek

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