Windfalls And Divorce: Why You Might Want To Wait To Buy That Lottery Ticket

In February of this year a judge ruled on the Questel v. Questel divorce lottery case. It seems the wife had won the Quick Pick and the husband wanted the money considered as part of the divorce settlement. Without delving into the specifics of the case, we’ll summarize by saying the judge ruled the winnings were not marital property since the drawing occurred after the divorce was filed, but it was a change in circumstance that could affect temporary New York State spousal support.

What if the drawing had happened before the divorce? What if the ticket had been bought before the divorce filing date but the drawing occurred after? Would it be considered marital property if the ticket had been part of a lottery pool at the school where the wife worked? Questions like these are what keep family law attorneys and judges employed.

Sudden windfalls can change circumstances and alter the outcome of a divorce settlement agreement. A change in circumstance requires modifications to the Statement of Net Worth New York family law courts use to determine divorce settlement and support amounts. Lottery winnings aren’t the only kinds of assets that can have this effect.

What if the husband’s Great Aunt Suzie died and left him a million dollars? Would the wife be entitled to a portion of it? Would it change the amount of support he is paying or receiving? Experienced family law attorneys can make educated guesses as to how courts will view these kinds of financial changes on the NY Statement of Net Worth but sometimes judges surprise us.

This is why attorneys use New York divorce lawyer software to consider all the possibilities. In a few minutes an attorney can kick out several support scenarios to reflect the potential judgments, possibly even finding a mutually beneficial deal that can be hammered out without having to involve the courts. If the spouses can come to an agreement then everyone is spared the stress of court, which is especially important if children are involved.

Law is complicated and your attorney practice management software isn’t able to handle the intricacies of New York family law statues then you are doing your client a disservice. Contact us to find out how EzSupport-NY helps you help your New York family law clients.

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