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.
Is Intellectual Property Marital Property?
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....