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Protecting your ideas in a prenuptial agreement

Today, it's not uncommon for millennials, raised in a generation where divorce was not unusual, to draw up prenuptial agreements before marrying. However, many are including an asset rarely addressed in prenups of the past -– their ideas, or, more specifically, intellectual property.

Assets are no longer tied just to property, salary or businesses. People like Mark Zuckerberg became billionaires based on ideas they developed.

Including intellectual property in a prenup can benefit both partners. Tech geniuses may not want their spouses to share in the fruits of ideas that they came up with. However, people who work to put their spouses through graduate school or support them while they tinker away on their computers developing an app may feel that they deserve part of the money derived as a result.

Of course, intellectual property doesn't just involve technological innovations. Writers, artists and musicians also include clauses in their prenups to help protect the rewards of their intellectual property.

Again, both spouses can benefit from such a clause. A wife who works at a salaried job while her husband writes the great American novel may feel that she deserves a share of the royalties if it turns out to be a best seller. A husband who works to put his wife through Julliard may feel he deserves a share of her money if she becomes a world-renowned composer.

Even if one of you doesn't become the next Bill Gates or Lin-Manuel Miranda, if you make your money, or intend to, based on your ideas, it may be worthwhile to consider factoring that into your prenuptial agreement. Florida family law attorneys experienced in dealing with intellectual property can provide guidance.

Source: New York Times, "Should Couples Get Prenups for Their Ideas?," Alton L. Abramowitz and Orly Lobel, Dec. 21, 2016

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