UK Lottery ruling – Make sure you buy your own ticket!

In the High Court this week Mr Justice Mostyn gave what is believed to be the first reported UK ruling upon a National Lottery windfall and how it should be divided upon divorce.

After a 25 year marriage during which the Wife won £500,000 about ten years ago, the case has now come to court with the Husband seeking to claim a half-share of the prize money.

The couple who cannot be named for legal reasons separated approximately three years after the windfall and been separated since that date. After the windfall the wife used part of the proceeds to buy a house for herself and the husband to live in and as a result of this action Mr Justice Mostyn awarded the Husband £85,000.

His ruling which raised the issue once again of “non-matrimonial assets”, ie assets brought into the relationship solely by one party, confirmed that had she not used part of the assets for her and her husband then the Hotel Porter husband would possibly have received nothing despite the length of their marriage.

The Judge mentioned that there are 5 reported cases involving lottery wins in Australia and no doubt he may have given consideration to the outcomes of those cases. But a clear message was given that couples within a marriage should buy their own tickets independently of the other using their own incomes if they want to successfully argue that the asset does not form part of the matrimonial assets to be divided on divorce.

For more information or advice please contact me

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