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Do You Need to Divide your Lottery Winnings During Divorce?

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!