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Are copyrights and assignments of royalties subject to property division in a divorce?

On Behalf of | Sep 30, 2022 | Divorce, Family Law

A big part of any divorce is property division. Property in California refers to anything you can buy, sell or that has value. 

Obviously, tangible assets like your home or furniture are “property.” However, it also includes things like stocks, your 401k and bank account. However, things get a bit more confusing when you begin discussing things like copyrights and royalties. Are these divided based on the same property division rules for your other assets? Learn more here. 

If it’s community property, it’s subject to division

If you have a copyright that was established during your marriage, it is community property. If you have something that started earning royalties during your marriage, it will also be divided as community property. That’s because it is something that belongs to you and your spouse equally. 

Officially, community property in California is considered:

  • Anything you earned during your marriage
  • Anything you purchased with money you earned while you were married
  • Debt you acquired during your marriage

Protecting your intellectual property

Since copyrights are a type of intellectual property, it is possible to keep them from the property division process with a prenuptial agreement. The same is true for royalties. However, since California is a community property state, if you don’t have this, and it is determined that they are community or commingled property, it will be subject to property division. 

Your rights in a California divorce

It’s important to understand the law in California when it comes to property division. When you do, you will have a better idea of what is and is not subject to property division. If you have questions, it’s best to work with a legal professional who can help.