I’m contemplating divorce after 25 years of abuse. My husband owns the family business and the intellectual property (which he invented) is owned by the business; however, it was developed during the marriage, as well as the business. All assets were derived during the marriage, which are considerable. Should I have concerns in regards to my settlement rights? 4 of our 5 children are adults, but are currently in college. I currently work part time only to supplement spending money for the household, and out of boredom. We both are college educated. He’s a very vindictive man, and the only reason I’ve stayed this long is to be certain our children have all their needs met, including their college tuition. Is the patent, and it’s rewards, a topic for settlement even though it is owned by the business? Thank you
The business and its intellectual property would be marital assets, and you are entitled to your share in a divorce, typically half. If you file for divorce, you can ask for temporary spousal support and child support for the minor child. Use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain a local family law attorney to review all the facts, answer your questions, and advise you of your options.
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The business should be valued, inclusive of the intellectual property, before negotiating any settlement. This is a marital asset and you’re entitled to an equitable division of marital assets.
You need a Divorce attorney IMMEDIATELY, and you need one who is experienced with valuation of complex assets. A family business and intellectual property aren't your run-of-the-mill assets, and what you end up with from the divorce is 100% dependent upon how they are valued and how that is presented to the Court.
I have changed the subject matter so you can get some further input from intellectual property lawyers. It is without question that's taking the facts as given by you as true, that you would be entitled to the value of the marital division of the business. Equity in divorce law is on your side given the circumstances you related. You will need an expert to evaluate all property involved in the marriage that was acquired or that which appreciated after your marriage. Best of luck to you.
This is an informational. There is nothing like real advice from a lawyer--this...
Have your divorce lawyer be sure to calculate the life remaining in the patent before it expires.
This answer is written to explain situations which may come up involving intellectual property law issues. It does not give specific legal advice about specific fact situations. If you have a specific fact situation in mind you should ask for professional legal advice about the relevant facts. Seemingly minor changes in facts may change a legal opinion dramatically. Space here does not permit an explanation of all the variables in complex legal areas. Dave Brezina is an Illinois lawyer and his profession is regulated under the authority of the Supreme Court of Illinois. Although he represents clients nationally and internationally, his law practice is performed in Illinois and is not subject to regulation by other states. Dave Brezina is also a Registered Patent Attorney and a patent practice is regulated by the US Patent and Trademark Office a Federal agency and is not subject to regulation by the states. The firm, Ladas & Parry, LLP, has attorneys admitted and offices in at least Illinois, New York and California. Finally, do not post confidential information. There is no an attorney client relationship created simply by correspondence or communication with the author of this site.
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