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Family law rules stipulate how lottery winnings should be split

It has been said that winning big money can change people. When one person in a couple wins a lottery or the couple themselves win and then separate or divorce later, family law rules in British Columbia will look at the individual situations. There are five cases, in particular, where the court decided lottery proceeds should be split equally.

In the first, the court decided that although separated, the husband and wife were still living as spouses and that the husband did not give his wife the winning ticket as she asserted, so she was ordered to give her husband half of the winnings. A man and woman had been living in a volatile common law partnership for three years when the woman found an old lottery ticket that was a $2.1 million winner. She left the house with her things and that winning ticket, but the court sided with the man who launched a suit to get half the prize money. 

A couple, who had been dating for a couple years got engaged, but were still keeping their own residences even though they were planning on getting married. The woman bought a winning lottery ticket a few years later and deposited the winnings into a joint account she shared with her fiance. They separated two years later and since they were already sharing the winnings, a family court judge decided that they should split the win, and the proceedings from it, equally. The other two cases had similar outcomes.

When people have questions regarding family law issues -- such as sharing the winnings of a financial windfall -- a family law lawyer in British Columbia may be able help. Although family laws are definitive in nature, they may apply differently in provinces and territories. Getting legal advice on issues that may seem unclear may be the best way to move forward.

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