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Service Areas: Individual Services, Divorce/Civil Partnership and Separation, Family, Relationship Agreements, Children Matters

Divorced Lottery Winner Paid £2 million to Ex-wife

Emma Alfieri
A lottery winner who reportedly won £56 million on the Euro-millions ended up paying his ex-wife £2 million of his winnings in an out of court settlement.

Although the ex-wife reportedly left him 10 years previously and they subsequently divorced, unfortunately for the husband, they did not record their financial agreement in a legally binding court order or “clean break order”. This entitled the wife to make a claim for a share of the husband’s winnings.

Emma Alfieri from our family team comments: “This is an important lesson to all divorcing couples as, unless the terms of a financial agreement are recorded in an order and approved by the Court, it can be open to either party to make further claims against the others assets, income or pensions at any time in the future.

“It is not just lottery winners who are at risk of future claims from their ex-spouse. Anyone who accumulates wealth, for example by receiving an inheritance can find that ex-spouses are entitled to try and claim a share in their increased wealth. The only way to avoid this is to enter into a clean break and record it in a legally binding order.

“Many of our clients are surprised to learn that financial claims can be brought by the other party after divorce and wrongly assume that the pronouncement of a Decree Absolute dismisses all future claims.

“Even if there are no assets at the time of divorce, this case is a clear warning to anyone going through a divorce of the importance of entering into a “clean break”.

For any enquiries regarding divorce or family issues Emma Alfieri can be contacted on family@steeleslaw.co.uk or 01603 598000.

Published: 24 February 2011
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