How can you protect intellectual property in a divorce?

On Behalf of | May 3, 2024 | Dividing Assets, Divorce |

Divorce has many challenges, especially when it comes to dividing assets. There are many things to consider regarding businesses, real estate and other holdings.

A divorce can potentially jeopardize your hard-earned intellectual property rights. Is there a way to protect this kind of asset?

What is intellectual property?

Intellectual property pertains to products of the mind. Examples can include inventions, art, literary works, images, symbols, names and designs used in commerce. Before entering divorce proceedings, make a list that consists of any inventions, written works, artistic creations, business logos or proprietary information.

How does a divorce threaten your intellectual property rights?

Generally, any intellectual property created between the date of marriage and the date of divorce is subject to division in New Hampshire. The law considers these creations as intangible property. The court can divide these interests in your settlement.

Valuing this type of asset can be complex and lead to disputes. Courts typically require you and your spouse to split any income these assets generate. Your spouse’s contributions to your ideas can give them a legal claim to the creation. A judge can give your partner rights to your intellectual property. In that case, your ex-spouse may have a say in future decisions related to it.

How can you protect your intellectual property?

Safeguarding this kind of property requires several components:

  • Valuation of asset
  • Proof of ownership
  • Documentation of contributions
  • Prenuptial or postnuptial agreements
  • Understanding of your business structure

To protect trade secrets, you may need to secure trademarks or patents, update ownership records or implement confidentiality agreements.

Intellectual property can be important to your business and economic growth. Protecting these key assets in a divorce can safeguard your financial future.