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Can you get a prenup to protect ideas?

The new hot commodity in the evolving “information economy” are ideas. It seems all you need to make it big is have a great idea for an app and develop it. While the idea economy coalesces around this concept, divorce and family law is also embracing it. Many divorce couples now fight about in-development ideas and over who gets a share of the proceeds or businesses that spring from that idea. To address these concerns, some couples are now getting prenuptial agreements for their ideas. So the short answer is yes, you can get a “prenup” to protect an idea during divorce.

For many years divorced couples argued that their ideas (only ones that were in development before the marriage) should be their separate premarital property. But, while that argument is smart, you still lose because you will spend many thousands of dollars arguing the finer points of the law rather than quickly moving past your divorce and onto the next phase of your life.

A prenup streamlines the divorce process, enabling you to minimize the costs of the divorce. Valid Prenuptial agreements are signed by the both parties before marriage and explicitly lay out the rules. The prenup does not need to address every single possible dispute or property; you can use them to narrowly address a handful of issues and leave the courts to decide the rest.

If you are getting married, you may want to speak to a lawyer that practices family law to go over the basics of a prenuptial agreement. No one intends to anticipate a divorce while they are in the early stages of planning their wedding but the cost of failing to consider the risks, as you can see above, are quite high. An attorney can help mitigate the risk. A prenuptial agreement does not mean that you affirmatively believe your relationship has a time-limit on it, it only means that you have a set of rules in place should it end.

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