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  • Writer's pictureSummers Family Law

Lucky Break or Legal Quagmire? Winning the Lottery During Divorce

Updated: Dec 15, 2023

Imagine this: you're in the middle of a divorce, and suddenly, you win the lottery. While this scenario may seem like a dream come true, it can quickly turn into a legal nightmare. In this blog post, I'll discuss how lottery winnings are treated during a divorce and what you can expect if you find yourself in this unique situation.

Under Massachusetts law, lottery winnings are considered a marital asset if you're married at the time of winning. This means that if you win the lottery while still married, the winnings become part of the marital estate to be divided in the divorce.

If you win the lottery after your divorce, your ex-spouse may file a Complaint for Modification to increase or decrease support payments, such as child support or alimony, based on the grounds that the lottery winnings substantially increase your income.

Massachusetts is an "equitable distribution" state, meaning that marital property is divided equitably between both spouses, although not necessarily equally. If you win the lottery during your marriage, the winnings will be subject to equitable distribution upon divorce.

To navigate this complex situation, it's crucial to have an experienced family law attorney on your side. They can help you understand your rights and obligations, as well as guide you through the legal process to ensure a fair outcome. Remember, honesty is always the best policy when it comes to disclosing assets during a divorce. Attempting to hide lottery winnings can lead to severe consequences.

In conclusion, winning the lottery while in the midst of a divorce in Massachusetts can create a complicated legal situation. It's essential to have a knowledgeable family law attorney to help you navigate the process and protect your interests.

Disclaimer: The content provided in this blog is for informational and educational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice and readers should not act upon any information provided without seeking professional legal counsel. The author does not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information provided. This blog is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship between the author and the reader.

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