Empowering Clients To Make Informed, Intelligent Decisions

Personalized Attention, Experienced Counsel

Lottery winnings can affect judgment of divorce

On Behalf of | Jun 27, 2019 | Divorce

While winning the Ohio lottery can be a source of extreme happiness to some, to others it can cause great frustration. Couples going through a divorce, for instance, may have a difficult time agreeing on a fair settlement when lottery winnings come into play. Those cases often end up in court, where a judge or panel decides who will get what. Two couples who each finalized their divorce last year took their respective cases to court for help in their settlements.

One woman’s case went to an appellate court as she argued she should have a portion of her ex-husband’s $80 million winnings, even though he bought the ticket after he had filed for divorce. However, the divorce was not final for another five years and she felt the money should have been included as part of their marital property. Furthermore, the husband did not use any of the money in the support of their three children. The appellate court agreed with her, ruling any losing tickets the ex had bought during their marriage were shared, so the winnings should also go to both. She was awarded $15 million.

Another woman was paying court-ordered spousal support to her ex-husband after their divorce, as she had earned more than he during their marriage of 15 years. Just five months after their divorce was finalized, he won over $162 million. All the ex-wife wants is to end her support payments now that he no longer needs the money. She claims she will not be pursuing any of her ex’s fortune.

Some studies claim money matters are the main reason couples divorce, lottery winnings or no. Although the split may be amicable, having an attorney on board will go a long ways toward ensuring there are no legal mistakes that could later become a problem and all filing paperwork is complete and in order. An Ohio attorney will take the worry and stress off a client who is navigating divorce proceedings.

Photo of Craig P. Treneff and Andrea L. Cozza
FindLaw Network