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Valuing and dividing an IP asset in your divorce

On Behalf of | Jun 17, 2022 | High Net-Worth Divorce

When it comes to dividing property in your divorce, you might have a lot on the line. New York churns out plenty of authors, artists and other creative types and even though you might be the creative genius behind a project—it might still classify as a marital asset.

Intellectual property may imply abstract business concepts like trademarks and trade secrets but just as often includes novels, art and other intangible property like the computer code for the app you are working on as a side gig.

Conditions to value IP assets

Much like other marital assets, there has to be some way of selling or other commercial arrangements for there to be divisible value. As the World Intellectual Property Organization stipulates, some of the qualifying conditions for this include:

  • Tangible evidence of its existence like a manuscript or license
  • An identifiable point in time you created it
  • A clear (or estimated) income stream separate from other marital assets

Division of IP assets

There is no need to go cataloging every doodle you ever did during your marriage. That sort of overanalyzing gets expensive. Once you value the important IPs in your marital assets, you and your ex-spouse have the opportunity to decide how best to split them. That might mean dividing the rights to an IP between you two or establishing a divisible value for now as you retain the rights to your creation in exchange for other marital assets. This does not include the possibility of IPs growing in value or royalties.

When dealing with high-value marital assets, it is important to know your options and how best to navigate these complicated matters to make sure you divide things up fairly.

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