How To Divide Possessions after a Breakup

Breaking up is hard to do, but it can be a lot more painful if you have to fight about possessions. Make it simple, quick, and fair.


Up next in How to Survive a Breakup (21 videos)

Romantic relationship ending? Make your breakup a little easier with the advice in this Howcast video series. Advice includes how to break up with someone; how to get over a girl or a guy; how to resist the urge to call an ex; how to get closure; how to handle running into your ex; how to know you're about to get dumped; how to heal a broken heart; and much more.

You Will Need

  • A sense of fair play
  • A CD burner
  • Identical lists of contested items
  • An agreed-upon scoring system
  • A separation agreement (optional)


  1. Step 1

    Be fair, and share music

    Be fair. Agree to make duplicate copies of CDs to avoid debates. Divide furniture, utensils, and dishes equitably or by deciding who needs each item more when they move.

  2. Step 2

    Make identical lists

    Make two identical lists of property to be split. Don’t include pets, children, automobiles, or anything that requires a saw cut or a county court.

  3. Sometimes a separation agreement, with details regarding property, money, and child care spelled out, can make things easier.

  4. Step 3

    Use point system

    Assign points to items each of you wants. The total points accumulated on each list cannot exceed one hundred.

  5. Step 4

    Divide things

    Compare your lists. Allow the person with the most points assigned to an item to claim it.

  6. Step 5

    Break tie scores

    Total the points of items won. The person with the fewest points is awarded tie-score items to even things out or until everything is gone.

  7. Being greedy is likely to prolong the parting and mire you in the very relationship misery you’re trying to escape.

  8. Step 6

    Sell the rest and divide money

    Liquidate the remaining property either by forfeiting a claim or by selling it and splitting the proceeds.

  9. Did you know? As of 2005, the national divorce rate had dropped to 3.6 per 1,000 people, the lowest since 1970.