How is Intellectual Property Divided in a Divorce?

By MatadorAdminDivorce attorney

We often talk about businesses, financial accounts and properties in our blog when we discuss the division of marital assets during a divorce case. Photo of divorce petition

However, it should be noted that other items could be thought of as assets and be potentially divided. This includes the rights to intellectual property like music catalogues, published work and/or other forms of art and entertainment. All of these items could result in future royalties, therefore claims over interest in ownership can be complex. Remember, the division of marital assets is one of the most difficult issues in any divorce case.

In New York and New Jersey, all assets are subject to equitable distribution. If you have a vast financial portfolio or own the rights to certain intellectual properties, they may be evaluated for value during a divorce case. When this occurs, a spouse can negotiate how to divide royalties and the rights to ownership following a divorce.

Keep in mind, if you are the owner of a patent, copyright or trademark, it may be in your best interest to seek experienced counsel for your divorce case. As we mentioned above, each party in a divorce has the option to bring in specialists to review property ownership materials and financial documents. Working with an experienced lawyer can help you circumvent arguments that may arise over the value of certain properties during this period.

Country Singer Loses 50 Percent of Music Rights in Divorce

We bring up intellectual property and divorce because recently it was reported that country singer Josh Gracin divided the rights to his song catalogue with his ex-wife Ann.

According to multiple news outlets, Gracin divided the rights to the 24 songs he wrote and recorded during his marriage to Ann at a 50 percent stake in his divorce case. It should be noted that Gracin’s music catalogue included a gold record and an album that featured five Top 40 singles. Because of this, Ann should be able to continue to collect royalties from the music that was produced during the marriage, as she will retain some interest in ownership.

Speaking to an Attorney About Assets During a Divorce

As this case shows, divorce and asset distribution can be a complex process that requires top-notch legal representation. Issues involving future value can become incredibly taxing if you do not receive proper guidance and you own intellectual property.

Make sure that you receive expert legal advice, as the failure to do so could prove incredibly costly. Continue to follow the family law section of our blog for more information about divorce issues.

Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. – Divorce Attorneys


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