If a husband and wife are separated and one of them wins a lottery, is the other spouse still entitled to any of it?

Asked almost 3 years ago - Tampa, FL

I was wondering if that still entitled the other spouse to anything since they are not legally divorced, only separated. And if it does, then what percentage is the other spouse entitled to? I didn't think it did, but I just wanted to be sure, so hopefully one of you can answer my question.

Thank you in advance for your advice. And in a situation like that, should the spouse that actually won the money get a lawyer before they cash the check?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Melissa Dawn Sosa

    Contributor Level 14


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You should hire a good family lawyer IMMEDIATELY! Generally speaking, assets of a 'marriage' (there is no legal separation in Florida) are subject to equitable distribution. Good luck!

    This response does not create an attorney-client relationship. Unless you are already a client of the Sosa Law... more
  2. Peggy Ann Rowe-Linn

    Contributor Level 11


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . In Florida, assets and liabilities are identified as of the date of the filing of the petition for dissolution of marriage. There is a good argument that can be made that if the divorce is not yet filed, the lottery winnings should not be included because the other spouse did nothing to cause the good fortune of the spouse winning the lottery. Florida is an equitable distribution state and while there is a presumption that there should be an equal distribution, there are often reasons why the division is not equal.

    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The... more
  3. John Arthur Smitten

    Contributor Level 18


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . The other spouse gets zero.

  4. Mary Katherine Brown


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees


    Answered . The lottery winning spouse should certainly get an attorney because the non-winning spouse will do everything possible to obtain some of the lottery money, and "equitable distribution" guarantees nothing. Good luck!

    IMPORTANT LEGAL NOTICE: Ms. Brown’s response to the question above is not legal advice and it does not create an... more

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