An interesting case hit the media this week. Jones Mitchell Lawyers delved a little deeper to find there is more to the case.
After separating, but actually before finalising a property settlement, the wife won $6 million in the lottery. Lucky her!
But in the court proceedings between the husband and wife, the husband claimed a share of the wife’s winnings claiming it was joint funds that bought the ticket.
He was unsuccessful in doing so, both at first instance and on appeal.
He now faces having to pay his former wife part of the legal costs of his unsuccessful proceedings.
We have to say she’s lucky to get away with the win, because the case may have gone either way. A final legal ‘line in the sand’ had not been drawn with the property settlement at the time of the lottery win.
The ‘lesson’ is, if you are able to reach an agreement on financial matters with your former spouse, make sure that you formalise that settlement.
That way, if you later experience a change in circumstances for the better, there is no ‘second bite of the cherry’ by your former spouse.
For help to prepare property settlements that suit you and your family, please contact us.