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Do you have intellectual property to split in your divorce?

On Behalf of | Jul 2, 2024 | Asset & Property Division

When going through a Michigan divorce, at some point, you and your spouse will have to divide the marital property. Depending on what you have acquired during the marriage, this can become a complex task.

One element that could inadvertently get overlooked is intellectual property (IP). This category covers things like patents and trademarks and the products and services from any companies founded during the marriage.

Intellectual property covers other assets, too

While the above-mentioned IP might have a high dollar value, those are not the only examples of IP of which couples can dispute ownership. Sometimes, the items may have little monetary value but have great sentimental value.

Consider things like your firstborn child’s birth video. While the mother is doing all the hard work, the father is busy filming the main event. As such, he is the creator of the video and could claim ownership of the video in a divorce.

The same is true for any collection of scrapbooks, online travel diaries and other documentary-type videos of you and your spouse and children.

How do IP fights get resolved?

Mediation is a good way to work out these issues between divorcing couples. It’s much cheaper than litigation and is designed to iron out issues and problems between spouses who cannot agree on how to split property, IP and otherwise.

Often the easiest and best way to end arguments over IP ownership of sentimental items is to agree to allow the other spouse to retain a copy of the original. With items of actual monetary value, trading one asset for another can offset the hit you take by allowing them to keep the IP.