Do You Have To Share Lottery Winnings With Your Spouse?

What To Do If You Win The Lottery In Texas

Any lottery winnings you gain during marriage are considered community property even if you funded the gambling with separate property. Community property is any property that both spouses acquire during their marriage, but there are some exceptions. Texas is a community property state, which means that spouses in Texas have to share everything they acquire during marriage including lottery winnings. People often ask whether their spouse is entitled to their winnings when they are thinking of filing for divorce or when they are in the process of getting a divorce. Contact a trusted family law attorney if you are in the process of a divorce and you are worried about how it will affect your winnings.

What About Interest Payments?

Do You Have To Share Lottery Winnings With Your SpouseA spouse who won big before marriage has to share the interests payments connected to that win during the course of their marriage. Once the marriage ends the other spouse is no longer entitled to a share of those interest payments. But if you won a lottery during the marriage, you still have to divide the money with the other spouse. If you win the lottery after divorce, then all the winnings are yours to keep because it is considered as separate property. The judge will decide how you will split your winnings with your ex-spouse but that doesn’t mean that the other spouse will take 50 percent of the winnings. In fact, a judge might award all the winnings to the spouse that bought the ticket. So get an experienced divorce lawyer to help you with your case if you won a lottery and your spouse wants a divorce.

What About Child Support Payments?

People who are behind on child support payments may have to pay from their winnings if their ex gets a court order requesting them to pay from their winnings. But once the amount owed has been deducted, you can keep the rest of winnings. The responsibility to pay child support rests on the non-custodial parent. The other parent provides the primary residence for the child.

What To Do After Winning A Lottery

The moment you realize you have all the numbers, go to the lottery’s website and check again that your ticket has the same numbers. Most of the time people get overcome with excitement only to realize later that they made a mistake. After you have made sure that you are truly the winner, sign the back of the lottery ticket and then write your name in small letters below the signature. Then photocopy the back and front of the ticket and hide the original ticket in a safe place.

After you have claimed your winnings, only tell the people closest to you about your new financial situation.  Make sure the people you tell can keep a secret. Hire an estate planning lawyer and ask the lawyer to suggest a financial planner and accountants that can work with the lawyer to ensure your money is safe. You should also think about leaving town on the day you claim your prize and only return after things have cooled down.

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