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How to divide intellectual property in your Florida divorce

by | Apr 18, 2019 | Firm News |

When getting a divorce, you must go through the process of dividing marital assets. Some types of property and sources of money are relatively easy to split. Deciding who gets a car or how to distribute money from a bank account are fairly simple decisions. Other some assets, like intellectual property, are far more complicated to untangle. 

Splitting up copyrights, trademarks or patents is no walk in the park. Figuring out how to fairly separate these kinds of assets requires careful consideration and proper guidance. Here is a general overview of your options when dividing intellectual property in your Florida divorce. 

When intellectual property is marital property

Of course, you only need to divide intellectual property when it falls under the category of marital assets. According to Florida law, here is when intellectual property is subject to property division:

  • The property is acquired during the marriage. 
  • The value of the non-marital property (acquired before marriage) enhances during the marriage.
  • One spouse provides partial ownership of the intellectual property as a gift to the other spouse. 

If any of these situations apply to your intellectual property, you must figure out how to divide it.

Consider getting an appraisal

One method for splitting rights to intellectual property is placing a monetary value on the property. This requires you to hire an appraiser. A professional appraiser will determine the value of the property, mostly depending on potential earnings in the future. 

Think about dividing future earnings

An alternative strategy is to provide the receiving spouse with a certain percentage of royalties or income on an ongoing basis. This gives the recipient a fixed amount of profits, even if the owner puts additional work into the intellectual property. Some people find that this option is not ideal, especially in contentious situations. 

Division of complex assets requires you to make measured and calculated decisions based on sound counsel.