Divorce and Lottery Winnings: Which are the Chances?


Divorce and Lottery Winnings: Which are the Chances?

As people scramble to buy Powerball tickets for an opportunity (however small) in the 1.3 big jackpot, the biggest in U.S. history, I couldn’t help but consider the sensible factors that come up when confronted with divorce and lottery winnings, specifically for individuals who’re divorcing, or already divorced. Sure, it’s nice to fantasize about purchasing a second (or third, or 4th) home within the most exotic of locales, or giving 1000s of dollars to non profit organizations and each person you’ve ever met, but lottery winnings may also affect division of property inside a divorce, or perhaps a supporting your children and/or alimony obligation.

Can my former spouse claim any one of my lottery winnings?

This relies on which stage of divorce you’re in whenever you hit it big time. In case your divorce was finalized before you winning the lottery, meaning you joined right into a divorce agreement, or perhaps a Court issued the divorce judgment, it’s unlikely that the former spouse could be part of your winnings like a division of property. It is because, in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, assets comprising marriage estate are usually determined and valued by the date of divorce. Lottery winnings would definitely be looked at after acquired property, and wouldn’t be susceptible to division with a Court following a divorce continues to be finalized.

Would my supporting your children or alimony payment have winning the lottery?

For those who have an assistance obligation for your former spouse, or perhaps your child’s other parent, lottery winnings can be viewed as a part of your earnings for purpose of calculating supporting your children and/or alimony. The Massachusetts Supporting Your Children Guidelines of August 2013 particularly define earnings as “lottery or gambling winnings received in both a lump sum payment or by means of an award.”

Massachusetts General Laws and regulations Chapter 208 Section 53(c) defines earnings for purpose of alimony in the same manner because the supporting your children guidelines. As a result, in case your divorce, or supporting your children matter continues to be formerly finalized, and also you get a windfall, you could discover yourself facing an adjustment action seeking a rise in supporting your children and/or alimony.

If my divorce isn’t final, can my former spouse claim my lottery winnings?

Should you get a windfall throughout the pendency of the divorce, a Court would definitely think about the lottery winnings included in the marital estate and divide them as property. There might be a disagreement to make to deal with the winnings as earnings for purpose of support, in the event that argument is much more beneficial for your position.

It’s worth noting that, typically, assets which are divided during the time of divorce shouldn’t be also regarded as earnings for purpose of support. This is exactly what is generally known as “double dip.”

Should you get a windfall, get specialist help once you can!

Because of the complications that lottery winnings can throw right into a divorce, and existence generally, within the unlikely (though incredibly lucky) event you are getting hit the jackpot, you should see a knowledgeable attorney. My mother always stated the very first a couple she’d call if she won the lottery will be a reliable lawyer and accountant. She was certain to include that she’d make the telephone calls from the beach in Aruba.

Hope this gives just a little understanding of how lottery winnings are treated in divorce matters, and also to steal a line in the Hunger Games, may the chances be ever to your benefit!

Be mindful,



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