First let me say that I know this isn't a place for expert legal help; I just want to get some initial feedback.
Second let me say that I know I screwed up. I am just looking for possible ways to mitigate this situation.
I have contacted a freelancer to make my site for me. My problem is that I did not get him to sign a contract stating that I own all the code he writes. So far, I have only paid him 10% of his invoice so far ($50,000). I am also just an individual (no llc or corp.) He is now turning around and using the software to start his own business (almost exactly the same).
I don't have a physical copy of the code yet since I have not finished paying him. Do I have a legit license to the code? Do I need to pay him in full before I get access to the code? Is it possible I have to claim (license) to the code at all?
I really appreciate any resources you can link to, or any anecdotal stories you may have.
Please be nice I know I screwed up big