Dividing Intellectual Property in a Divorce
Understanding Florida's Laws on Property Division
Intellectual property divisions can be one of the most complex aspects of a divorce proceeding. This is because for any copyrighted work, there are two distinct assets—there is the actual work itself, and there are also rights associated with the copyright. Generally speaking, the work itself won't be divided; instead, the related rights, including royalties, will be split by the court. In most divorce proceedings, intellectual property is divided in accordance with one of the options discussed below.
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Options for Splitting Intellectual Property Rights
Option 1: Appraise the Value
The first option is to hire an appraiser who can assign a monetary value to the intellectual property in question, largely based on the potential for future earnings. Although this process can be expensive and speculative, it will allow you to make a final division of the property and you can own it outright moving forward. This will prevent future encounters with your soon to be ex-spouse, and you will reap all the future benefits your property may provide.
Option 2: Determine Division of Future Income or Royalties
The alternative option would be to decide what percentage of any future income or royalties from the intellectual property will be paid to the ex-spouse. The advantage of this option is that it prevents a large payout now.
The downside, however, is that this will give your spouse a fixed percentage of the future profits, no matter how much additional work you may put into the project post-divorce. You will also most likely have more future encounters with your ex-spouse, which is definitely a factor in many contentious divorces.
Call Charles E. Willmott, P.A. Today
At Charles E. Willmott, P.A., our family law attorney has more than nearly 25 years of experience guiding his clients through complex divorce proceedings. When you retain our firm, Attorney Willmott will become a tireless advocate for your best interests, and can help you divide your intellectual property in a manner that best suits your unique situation.
Are you concerned about getting a fair division of your assets? Call our today at (904) 849-5183.