After deciding to dissolve a marriage, many individuals in California and elsewhere may continue to grow financially. Should a person receive a substantial sum of money during a period of separation, he or she may feel that this property will be deemed as separate, but this might always be the case. A man in another state was recently informed that he would have to split his recent lottery winnings with his estranged spouse during divorce after an arbitrator deemed his winnings as part of the marital estate.
According to reports, the man won nearly $80 million by playing the lottery back in 2013. Although he says that he and his wife were separated at the time, an arbitrator recently ruled that the sum he received after taxes was part of the marital estate. During divorce proceedings, he was informed that he would be required to award half of his winnings to his spouse.
The man reportedly argues that he should not have to split the winnings equally due to the fact that he and his wife had been separated for two years before he bought the winning ticket. However, no further details were provide as to whether the two were legally separated at the time. Following the news, the man states that he intends to appeal the decision in court. In California, assets accrued after a married couple separates are typically considered separate property.
The outcome of a divorce can have a substantial impact on the lives of those involved and the rules that govern the division of property can be complex in nature. Those who wish to better understand their rights and available options during the end of a marriage could choose to retain the services of an attorney early on for guidance. An attorney in California can address all a client's concerns and assist in forming a strategy to pursue the most favorable outcome achievable during legal proceedings.