If you win the lottery while married, and if you live in a shared property
state, then chances are that the courts will declare that you winnings
are both yours and your spouse's. In some cases, when a divorcing
spouse wins the lottery, his or her partner will be entitled to half of
the winnings. This depends on which state you live in. A New Hampshire
case regarding this issue was highlighted when a husband won the lottery
after him and his wife separated. The court claimed that the wife was
not entitled to any of the winnings in this case, and she appealed.
She was shocked to learn that the winnings were considered marital assets
but that she didn't have any right to them because her and her spouse
had already filed for a legal separation at the time that he won the money.
In this particular court case, the trial court cited the short duration
of the marriage, and the fact that the parties had no children together
as reasons why the wife wasn't entitled to the filings. Also, the
court determined that the circumstances surrounding how the individual
won the lottery made it fair that he have total possession of the lottery winnings.
If the couple had been legally married without a separation filing, the
circumstances may have been different. In Texas, the divorce courts operate
under the community property laws. This means that what one spouse earns
belongs to both partners. If you want more information contact the firm today! A
Plano divorce lawyer may be able to help you determine what property you are entitled to, and
to help you fight for property that you deserve but have been denied.
Talk to the firm today to learn more!