Heymann & Fletcher

Man has to split lottery jackpot in divorce agreement

When people in New Jersey decide to divorce, they probably understand that certain assets may be divided by the court. However, it can be tricky to determine exactly what assets are affected, depending on several factors, including when the divorce is finalized. One man found this fact out the hard way when a judge ruled that he had to split his multi-million dollar lottery winnings with his ex-wife.

The man, who is from out of state, won $30 million in a Mega Millions drawing in 2013. He and his ex-wife were separated at the time and had been so for over two years. Though they were undergoing divorce proceedings, they did not finalize their divorce until very recently.

An arbitrator decided that the jackpot should be considered marital property. That means that it would be divided fairly between the two ex-spouses. There is no word on the exact amount the ex-wife was awarded.

It is cases like this one that highlight the need for solid legal advice during divorce proceedings. A pre or postnuptial agreement could have covered this type of condition as well. Anyone getting a divorce here in New Jersey would do well to add an experienced family law attorney to the team of professionals that can help a person get through a divorce. An attorney can work to ensure that all potential assets are addressed as part of a comprehensive divorce agreement. This way, each person can move forward with their lives, trusting that they have received what they deserve.

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