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Old 08-05-2012, 11:34 PM
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Default Curious question

I am currently having a debate with a friend at work about lottery winnings. Let's say a couple is separated for 2 or 3 years and one wins the lottery, is he or she entitled to half of the winnings or any part of the interest while separated? Even if divorced? Leave out the details while one is in arrears. I know that one. Any input is appreciated. No I did not win the lottery!
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Old 08-05-2012, 11:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Baffled_Dad View Post
I am currently having a debate with a friend at work about lottery winnings. Let's say a couple is separated for 2 or 3 years and one wins the lottery, is he or she entitled to half of the winnings or any part of the interest while separated?
Very possibly yes. Not until the divorce is final and all matters are settled. The income from the lottery in my opinion would be considered as part of the equalization prior to the divorce.

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Even if divorced?
All depends. Are children involved?
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Old 08-06-2012, 12:28 AM
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Separation date is valuation date for assets. Any money that comes in after separation shouldn't be valued for equalization. The couple should be truly separated though; there may be an argument that they didn't mean it, it was a trial separation, etc.

Why would lottery winnings be any different than the paycheques you receive after separation? You get paid, you save some of your money, your investment account builds up, why isn't that money matrimonial property? Because you are separated.

The Family Law Act spells it out:
Quote:
“net family property” means the value of all the property, except property described in subsection (2), that a spouse owns on the valuation date, after deducting,
(a) the spouse’s debts and other liabilities, and
(b) the value of property, other than a matrimonial home, that the spouse owned on the date of the marriage, after deducting the spouse’s debts and other liabilities, other than debts or liabilities related directly to the acquisition or significant improvement of a matrimonial home, calculated as of the date of the marriage; (“biens familiaux nets”)
“property” means any interest, present or future, vested or contingent, in real or personal property and includes,
(a) property over which a spouse has, alone or in conjunction with another person, a power of appointment exercisable in favour of himself or herself,
(b) property disposed of by a spouse but over which the spouse has, alone or in conjunction with another person, a power to revoke the disposition or a power to consume or dispose of the property, and
(c) in the case of a spouse’s rights under a pension plan, the imputed value, for family law purposes, of the spouse’s interest in the plan, as determined in accordance with section 10.1, for the period beginning with the date of the marriage and ending on the valuation date; (“bien”)
“valuation date” means the earliest of the following dates:
1. The date the spouses separate and there is no reasonable prospect that they will resume cohabitation.
2. The date a divorce is granted.
3. The date the marriage is declared a nullity.
4. The date one of the spouses commences an application based on subsection 5 (3) (improvident depletion) that is subsequently granted.
5. The date before the date on which one of the spouses dies leaving the other spouse surviving. (“date d’évaluation”) R.S.O. 1990, c. F.3, s. 4 (1); 2006, c. 19, Sched. C, s. 1 (2); 2009, c. 11, s. 22 (1-4); 2009, c. 33, Sched. 2, s. 34 (1).
An issue that could come up, was the lottery ticket bought before separation? Or, did the couple have a longstanding agreement where they bought a ticket each week and played the same numbers? This kind of arrangement also comes up in disputes when a group of people buy tickets regulary, but perhaps one forgot to put in their dollar that week. So in separation agreements you would often see a release of any claim to lottery winnings, to avoid any later claims like that. It's not that the lottery winnings are family property, but there might be a contractual claim made.
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Old 08-06-2012, 12:29 AM
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This is what were discussing. See, how can u call it equalization especially if u have been separated for 2 or 3 years? Its after the fact. To me, it's no different than if it were an inheritance or a loved one handed a gift of money or property. If it were me, I'd be handing that ticket over to my mother in a card there's no way my greedy ex would be seeing anything that don't belong to her.
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Old 08-06-2012, 12:34 AM
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I'm not sure what you are arguing. Equalization is done on the valuation of net family property on separation date. If they are separated, then nothing after that is valued. Your example is that they are separated, so there is no issue.
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Old 08-06-2012, 12:45 AM
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If my ex won the lottery and is refusing to pay SS you bet his lotto winnings will come into play. Separation/divorce agreement is valid. Some divorces have "review" dates where everything (need, ability to pay) is reviewed. Yes it comes into play just depends upon the circumstances.
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Old 08-06-2012, 12:47 AM
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If you "cheaped out" and didn't get ILA (independent legal advice) and you win the lotto you could be in for a very big surprise.
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Old 08-06-2012, 12:49 AM
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Thanks for posting that section. I couldn't find it. It makes total (cents) to me but, as mentioned, I'm sure the opposing lawyer would try to find some loop holes to get around it.
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Old 08-06-2012, 12:52 AM
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If you've won a lotto recently and you like women around 55 ya wanna hook up? I don't have much baggage - just a potential for indefinite litigation from the ex LOL. I'll even do your laundry!LOL
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Old 08-06-2012, 01:12 AM
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Trust me! If I really won the lottery I wouldn't go and dig another grave and I like to do my own laundry. My dirty stuff is long gone.
Why would CS or SS have to change if it's being paid in good faith. As mentioned, she isn't entitled to investment earnings after separation and divorce from stocks or mutual funds once equalization has been determined.
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