Not all luck in lotto decisions
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.