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Woman Wins Lottery, Husband May Take Half of Winnings

There are many ways to deal with marital issues. In many cases, a couple will choose to get a divorce or separate. In Ohio, couples also have the option to move forward with dissolution of marriage. Once a couple decides to separate, they have to set terms for things like child support, child custody, and distribution of assets.

Distribution of assets can be frustrating as couples try to determine what property was acquired before the marriage and what was acquired during the marriage. State property division laws differ in terms of whether property acquired during the marriage is marital or separate. One woman is discovering just how frustrating property division can be.

Just last week, the woman won about $90 million from the Idaho Mega Millions lottery. Unfortunately, that good news was dampened after she discovered that she may have to split her winnings with her husband, who she separated from several years ago.

The two were married back in 2001. Their time together was marred with criminal convictions that included battery and drug charges. They separated a few years later but were not legally divorced. Though the article does not specify their current relationship, it seems that they are not in contact with one another.

According to Idaho property law, property acquired during a marriage is community property. That means that any property acquired by marriage is typically split equally between the two spouses when they part ways. Unfortunately for this woman, that also means her estranged husband could take $45 million dollars from her.

The whereabouts of the woman are currently unknown; she has also taken her two children with her.

Source: USA Today online, "Lottery winner may have to split it with estranged husband," Douglas Stanglin, 18 January 2011

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