Call us on
07 5444 4747

Case Round Up

Eufrosin [2014] Famcafc 191

$6 million lottery win by wife after six month separation raises the question as to whether husband is entitled to half?

Under Australian law, the starting point for a property settlement is not 50/50, unlike popular belief. Under s.79 of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) the Court has the power to make any order it deems appropriate provided that it achieves a just and equitable outcome. With this in mind, the case of Eufrosin [2014] FamCAFC 191 raised the question as to whether the husband was entitled to half of the wife’s lottery win of $6 million despite being separated for six months.

The Full Court (Thackray, Murphy & Aldridge JJ) heard the husband’s appeal in which he argued that the funds used to purchase the lottery ticket had been joint funds and therefore he was entitled to a half proportion of the subsequent win. The parties had been married for 20 years and owned a business which the husband argued had been managed primarily by him during that period. It was this business that the husband argued the funds for the lottery ticket had derived. However, the Court took a different approach and found the source of funds irrelevant in deciding whether the $6 million should be included in the property settlement.

The Court’s decision centred on the fact that the parties had been separated for six months at the time the ticket was purchased. In dismissing the appeal, the Court applied the reasoning of the High Court in Stanford (2012) 247 CLR 10 in finding that the joint endeavour of their marriage had dissolved and each party had proceeded to live their separate lives applying funds as they saw fit.

The Court deemed it inappropriate to include the $6 million windfall in the property settlement as the parties had made the choice to no longer make common use of their property evident by the six month separation. Even if the Court had applied a starting point of 50/50.

I would thoroughly recommend Mumfords Lawyers as a totally professional yet friendly and approachable company. Its never an easy time when you need to get the help of a lawyer, but keeping stress levels to a minimum together with a compassionate approach made our journey a little easier.

Esther Barnett

0ver the past 15 months, I have found Helena's thoughtfulness and professionalism just wonderful. I will certainly miss the contact with Helena, (due to my case closer to finality) as I have enjoyed her friendship. I can thoroughly recommend Mumfords Lawyers with great merit.

Celia Sheedy

Three things I value in anyone are authenticity, honesty and integrity. Helena Mumford and her team have all these qualities, I would highly recommend if you are looking for a Law firm that gets the job done then Mumford Lawyers are your firm why settle for anything less.

Phillip Bowden