People going through divorce usually worry about how assets such as a house, car, or retirement accounts will be divided when the divorce is final. With information and technology becoming increasingly intertwined in evolving societal norms, however, intellectual property is equally becoming an important category of assets owned by a married couple. Intellectual property includes things such as copyrights, trademarks, and patents.
Illinois law defines marital property as property, including assets and debts, the divorcing couple acquired after getting married. There are a few exceptions, but this law is broad enough to include in it nearly all property that a couple acquires after marriage. Conversely, all property acquired prior to marriage is not considered marital property, except in certain special circumstances.
Whether intellectual property is marital property depends first, on whether it was acquired before or after marriage. If the intellectual property was acquired after marriage, then there is a presumption it is marital property. However, like all presumptions, a spouse who believes it the intellectual property is not marital property can present evidence to overcome the presumption.
If a determination is made that intellectual property is marital property, then the next issue to be determined is how to divide it between the couple. Ideally, as in all other cases, it would be better for the divorcing couple to reach an agreement as to how this and all other properties should be divided. However, it is also often the case a couple does not reach an agreement therefore the courts have to decide this for them.
Illinois is an “equitable distribution” state, which means who gets what part of the intellectual property will be determined by a judge based on what he or she deem to be fair. In doing so, however, a judge does not arbitrarily decide what is fair and equitable; rather, he or she must follow factors provided under Illinois law. These factors include the following:
At Mevorah Law Offices, LLC, we provide trusted guidance and top-quality representation to clients facing a wide range of divorce and family law attorneys. With more than 200 years of combined legal experience, our skilled Lombard family lawyers are equipped to help you protect your intellectual property during your divorce. Call 630-932-9100 for a free consultation today.
Whether you are going through a divorce, injured in an accident, need to file a workers' compensation claim, charged with a crime, immigrating to the United States, or need to file for bankruptcy, Mevorah Law Offices LLC can help. Our trial lawyers have over 40 years of experience helping clients throughout Northern Illinois from four offices in Lombard, Bloomindale, Naperville, St. Charles, and Chicago.
Steven Mevorah has assembled experienced attorneys under one roof so that his clients need not search for a new attorney each time they need help. Mr. Mevorah has also established a wide network of additional attorneys so that his clients merely need to stop by Mevorah Law Offices LLC to find the attorney they need.
Our practice is focused on meeting your needs with flexible hours and locations to serve you: