There was a case reported from the English Courts a few years ago.
The couple had separated, divorced and then many years later one of the parties won a substantial sum of money on the Lottery. Millions and millions of pounds.
The party who had not been so lucky took the case to court looking for a pay out despite the amount of time that had elapsed.
At the time there was lots of commentary from experts in Scotland confirming that claim could never be successful in Scotland.
As is widely known the legals systems, particularly in relation to financial family issues, are substantially different.
In Scotland there is the principle of Matrimonial Property. All assets acquired from the date of the marriage to the date of separation fall into this category. The parties are each entitled to a ‘fair’ share of this property. What is regarded as fair depends on the circumstances in each case.
The only exception to this rule is relates to family home (and its contents)
If a flat or house is purchased prior to marriage with a view to it becoming a family home the property is included in the matrimonial pot.
It follows from this that any assets acquired by one of the parties after the date of separation are not regarded as matrimonial property in legal terms in Scotland.
So while in England it might be possible for one party to make a claim, years after the divorce in Scotland, if one of the parties was to say win the Lottery only a day after the separation, the monies won, no matter how substantial, would not be regarded as matrimonial property and therefore would not be split between the parties equally or otherwise.
A day could make a big difference.
If there is uncertainty over whether an asset is matrimonial property consult an experienced Family Lawyer.