Share my lottery win? But we’ve separated
The court recently considered a property settlement dispute where the wife had received a lottery win of $6 Million, six months after separation.
- The parties had been married for 20 years. They had two children who were both adults at the time of the trial.
- Six months after separation, the wife purchased a lottery ticket and won $6 Million. The husband contended that the wife had purchased the ticket using money from a joint bank account, and therefore that he had contributed to the winnings.
- The trail judge found that the husband had made no contributions to the wife’s lottery winnings and therefore he should receive no share of it.
- It was ordered that he receive $1.2million of the other property.
- The husband appealed to the Full Court claiming that the trial judge erred in finding that he did not contribute to the winnings.
Appeal Court Found:
- At the time the wife purchased the ticket the parties were living separate lives and that included separate financial lives. Even if the argument was accepted that the funds were from the business run by the husband, it ignored the fact that the parties were regularly making withdrawals from a former joint asset to fund their own individual purposes.
The Court Held:
- The husband’s appeal was dismissed and he was ordered to pay the wife’s costs of the appeal.
Editor’s note: It is important to look at the individual circumstances of each case when assessing the likely entitlements.