As you undergo a divorce in the state of New Jersey, you and your former spouse will have to divide up your shared assets. With this division, you may be worried about whether your ownership over your intellectual property will be threatened. Continue reading to learn how to protect your intellectual property in a divorce and how an experienced Essex County, New Jersey intellectual property lawyer at The Ingber Law Firm can help you do so.
Is my intellectual property considered a separate, marital, or commingled property?
Whether the New Jersey family court will consider your intellectual property as separate, marital, or commingled property is dependent on how its creation came about in relation to your marriage.
For one, your intellectual property may be considered separate property if you were gifted it; if you inherited it; or if you created it before your marriage. And if you created your intellectual property during your marriage, but did so by yourself, then you may still retain sole ownership over it. However, you may be ordered to split the money that you made off this intellectual property with your former spouse.
Secondly, your intellectual property may be viewed as marital property if you and your former spouse created it together during your marriage. This means that the court will divide it in a way that is fair and just. Importantly, “fair and just” does not mean a 50/50 split. So if your former spouse does not manage or work for your intellectual property at all, then you may be ordered to keep it for yourself.
On the other hand, if your former spouse claims that they significantly contributed to the intellectual property, then they may fight for joint ownership. That is, they may argue that it is commingled property because they offered financial support, ideas, or otherwise.
How can I protect my intellectual property in a divorce?
Essentially, to protect your ownership over your intellectual property in a divorce, you must prove that you solely or majorly contributed to it. To do so, you may make any one of the following arguments to the New Jersey family court:
- You may argue that the value of your intellectual property is attributable to the work you did before your marriage.
- You may argue that you were the only one to manage the intellectual property since its creation.
- You may argue that you reverted your former spouse’s initial ideas.
- You may argue that you returned your former spouse’s initial investment.
With all that being said, you must not hesitate and reach out to a skilled Essex County, New Jersey intellectual property lawyer as soon as you possibly can. Our team at The Ingber Law Firm will be awaiting your phone call.