Prenups for Intellectual Property?

The number of 18- to 35-year-olds seeking prenuptial agreements is on the rise across the nation, but many millennials are more interested in protecting intellectual property than cash as they head to the altar. Millennials are increasingly focusing on the value of their talents rather than the value of personal property, real estate, and current salaries, which makes sense in an age in which intellectual property is so highly valued. But how do you value an idea? When it comes to divorce, intellectual property could be difficult to divide.

A New York Times article on this subject points out the familiar pattern of inequality that exists in many divorce cases involving intellectual property and human capital, especially as it pertains to women. Women, the article points out, have historically been short-changed in divorces. Take, for example, the wife who supports her husband while he works his way through law school or medical school, limiting her own opportunity in the knowledge that she is investing in their collective future. When the marriage ends, it is most often the husband who walks away with all of the human capital.

The opportunity for this inequality still exists in the age of ideas. Now, it is common for one spouse to support the other by working a low-risk, low-reward job while the other works on their start-up. While the couple shares the risk during this time, if the marriage ends and a prenup is in place addressing intellectual property, one spouse will walk away with all of the human capital while the other, who contributed to the creation of that capital with their support, could be left with a lifetime of unrewarding work and limited upward mobility.

It is a good idea for couples to consider a prenuptial agreement before they tie the knot. A well-conceived agreement could make a huge difference when it comes to dividing property during a divorce and could have lasting implications for the future. A prenup can ensure that your best interests are protected.

To schedule a consultation with a New York divorce attorney at Eiges & Orgel, PLLC, please call our office at (347) 848-1850.

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