Lottery win ends in divorce: a curse for married couples?
A 47-year-old lottery winner worth £22 million is currently in the middle of a divorce with his wife, who is set to receive at least 50% of his winnings. Karl Crompton, once dubbed Britain’s most eligible bachelor, won £11 million aged just 23 in 1996. Through a series of good business investments he is now considered to be worth around double that figure today.
Ten years later, Mr Crompton married his childhood sweetheart Nichole Roach and the couple went on to have two children together, now aged 16 and 12.
Despite the major win taking place before the couple entered into their relationship, the couple did not sign any prenuptial agreement prior to their marriage. As a result, the starting position with the Family Court will be for there to be an equal division of matrimonial property.
The couple had known each other since they were at school together in Blackpool and it is understood that Ms Roach had a boyfriend at the time of Mr Crompton’s lottery win, though they are said to have entered into a relationship around 12 months later in 1997.
This isn’t the first divorce to follow in the wake of a big lottery win, with some indicating that big winnings are a curse for couples:
- In 2005 Roger and Lara Griffiths won £1.8 million. The couple stayed together until divorcing in 2013, whereby they both blamed each other for having no winnings left.
- In 2012 Colin and Christine Weir won £161 million only to divorce some 8 years later after being married for 38 years.
- In 2012 Adrian and Gillian Bayford won £148 million, divorcing 15 months later after 9 years of marriage. Mr Bayford went on to separate from his next two partners while Mrs Bayford divorced her second husband in 2018.
In our previous blog we set out the legal position relating to prenuptial agreements in England and Wales. Whilst these agreements are not legally binding, they are treated as having “magnetic importance”. Ultimately, if it can be shown that the agreement was entered into voluntarily by both parties, who were both fully aware of the implications, received independent legal advice and disclosed their true financial situation to each other, and on the basis the agreement was not manifestly unfair, under the law of England and Wales such an agreement is likely to be upheld by the Court.
Prenuptial agreements are a complex area of law and it is vital that full legal advice is sought. If you are considering entering into a prenuptial agreement, at Maguire Family Law we are able to ensure that the agreement is drafted in accordance with the procedural guidelines outlined above and provide you with full advice on your legal options.