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At one point or another, everyone has thought about the possibility of winning the lottery. But what happens to the lottery winnings if you are currently in a marriage?
In the case of Elford & Elford, the court heard an appeal in relation to property settlement at the end of a relationship. In this case, Mr. Elford has won approximately $622,000 in the first 12 months of the couple’s marriage.
After placing the money into an interest-earning account, the amount totaled over $1,000,000.00 at the time of separation. The Wife argued that the money should be considered as ‘joint’, as the contribution was made during the course of the marriage.
The court dismissed the Wife’s appeal and held that Mr. Elford was solely responsible for the financial contribution.
<p”>The unique, and perhaps a predominant feature of this case, was that the couple throughout the course of the marriage had kept their financial assets separate.
The Husband’s accounts were used to pay expenses associated with property and utilities and the Wife’s accounts were used to pay for expenses relating to the three children (to a previous marriage) and groceries.
The couple did not have a joint bank account. Some additional factors the Court considered included:
Although this case featured very distinctive features that allowed the Court to view the winnings as the financial contribution of only one party, it does show how assets can be treated in property settlements.
You don’t have to decide directly what to do with your money; It’s not going anywhere. Until you make that decision, the advice we usually give to lottery winners is to keep it in all high-interest bank accounts.
If the marriage ends the other spouse is no longer entitled to a portion of that interest. But if you win the lottery at the time of marriage, you will have to share the money with another wife. In fact, a judge can reward the winning wife with all the wins.
If you do not take steps to sever the financial relationship with the ex after the divorce, they may be part of your lottery win in the future.
For example, if you want to win the lottery 30 years after your divorce, your ex may, theoretically, claim a share of your winnings.
If a winning ticket is purchased after the divorce has been finalized, it will not be considered marital property. However, it can be considered as income for the purpose of child support and privacy determination.
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