Will My Ex be Entitled to a Share if I Win the Lottery?

27 February 2018

If you do not take steps to sever financial ties with your ex when you get divorced, then they could be entitled to a share of your lottery winnings in the future.

It’s a common misconception that once you are divorced, you will no longer have any financial obligations to your ex. However, once a Decree Absolute has been issued this will end the legal marriage between you (meaning that you can legally remarry) but it will not end the matrimonial financial commitments.

This means that if you don’t take additional steps to end financial ties, your ex might be able to claim financial provision from you in the future, even decades after you got divorced. For example, if you were to win the lottery 30 years after getting divorced, your ex could, in theory, claim entitlement to a share of your winnings.

Cut Financial Ties to Your Ex

It’s important, when getting divorced, to apply to the Court for a Clean Break Order or a Consent Order, as this will ensure that all financial ties between you and your ex will be severed; once the Court order is used.

When Would a Clean Break Order Apply?

It’s a good idea to obtain a Clean Break Order if you are going through a divorce or civil partnership dissolution and you don’t have any financial assets to divide between you.

A Clean Break Order is a Court Order which cuts all financial ties between the couple. It can be granted by the Court after a divorce, and will mean that neither person can make any financial claims to the other in the future.

Some couples who don’t have finances or assets to split might feel that it’s an unnecessary expense to obtain a Clean Break Order. However, it’s important to consider that your financial situation could change at some point in the future. So even if you don’t feel that you have a sufficient amount of money or assets at the moment to warrant safeguarding them, if you do come into money in the future then you will probably wish that you had.

Imagine how devastating it would be if your ex contacted you with a legitimate claim to your lottery winnings, decades after you went your separate ways? Obtaining a Clean Break Order when you get divorced would eliminate this risk.

When Would a Consent Order Apply?

A Consent Order can be used to resolve financial matters between a divorcing couple when there are assets or money to be divided, providing the couple are able to reach an amicable agreement. Both people will need to formally consent to the financial arrangement (hence the name ‘Consent Order’).

To have a Consent Order approved by the Court, each person will first need to fully disclose their financial situation in a Statement of Information. This will then be sent to the Court along with the Consent Order application form. The Court reviews these documents and makes a decision on whether the Consent Order will be endorsed, taking into consideration whether the agreement is fair and whether there’s enough money on both sides to honour it.

If both people obtained independent legal advice and provided evidence of full financial disclosure, the Court Order will most probably meet the required criteria and it is unlikely that the Court will refuse it.

Once approved, the Consent Order will prevent either person from being able to claim for any additional money in the future.

At Co-op Legal Services we offer fixed fees which we will agree with you upfront before any work starts. Once we have provided you with a written quote for the agreed work to be done, that price will not change.

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