After you and your spouse separate, do you think all lottery winnings should be yours alone? Striking it rich should be the happiest of times for just about any person. However, the idea of being forced to share that money with someone who you are no longer with, could be enough to ruin this for many people.
There is a chance that a large amount of your winnings could be awarded to your ex-partner. There are many cases where exactly this has occurred. One example is from October of 2014. In this situation, the Eufrosins were still married, but had been separated. The money that paid for the ticket in the first place was carefully considered in this case. The wife was the winner of the lottery, but the husband claimed that the ticket was actually purchased using funds that they shared. His logic was that he had contributed to buying the winning ticket, and felt that he deserved a share of the lottery money.
The outcomes of this trial have held that the relationship’s circumstances will play a large part in deciding whether the winnings should be shared. Although an agreement was in play where they were both withdrawing money from a shared asset, the court did not consider them together in any way. Each of the couple had been living ‘separate lives’ for six months, before the wife actually bought the ticket.
By ruling in favour of the wife, the court essentially made a precedent for similar future cases. They determined that it did not matter where the money came from to buy the ticket. Rather, they were interested in the nature of the relationship between the parties. Since they had been separated for some time, when the ticket was bought, the winnings were said to belong to the wife. If she had bought the ticket while still with her husband, it would have likely lead to a different outcome.
Even if you are separated from your partner, and you win some money, do not assume that you will be free from legal litigation. You might have to go through the court system, and this could cost you money. In some cases, it might not be worth arguing against sharing your winnings, if they are not very large. In addition, in the case of the Eufrosin’s, the court decided that the husband was in greater need of money. Since the wife had won the lottery, she was now better off financially. Despite the court ruling that the husband should not receive any of the wife’s winnings, he was still given $500,000 more from their shared joint assets.
You can see that even when your lottery winnings are not shared with a separated or divorced partner, the simple fact that you have more money could lead to them getting a bigger share of your joint assets. But what if there was no formal agreement in place, to decide how to distribute assets from the marriage? In that case, the husband would not have been able to secure more money through an increase in his joint asset share, because a court order agreement would not have existed. You can see how it often makes sense to put a formal agreement in place, even if you can see no reason to at the time of separation.