A recent family law case has highlighted the difficulty in dividing assets where one party wins the lottery before the couple's property and financial settlement has been finalised.
In this case, the couple had separated six months before the wife purchased the winning ticket. The husband claimed that the ticket was bought with 'joint funds' from the marriage and that the winnings, which amounted to $6 million should therefore be included as part of their property and financial settlement.
The husband was not successful in his claim, with the Family Court finding that he had made no contribution to the purchase of the winning lottery ticket. The judge also took into account the fact that the wife purchased the winning ticket six months after the couple's separation.
However, the Court did award the husband $500,000 extra in the couple's final settlement, citing their now disproportionate financial circumstances and the husband's limited future working life.