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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.


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • TIP: Sometimes a separation agreement, with details regarding property, money, and child care spelled out, can make things easier.
  • Step 3: Use point system Assign points to items each of you wants. The total points accumulated on each list cannot exceed one hundred.
  • Step 4: Divide things Compare your lists. Allow the person with the most points assigned to an item to claim it.
  • 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.
  • TIP: Being greedy is likely to prolong the parting and mire you in the very relationship misery you’re trying to escape.
  • 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.
  • FACT: Did you know? As of 2005, the national divorce rate had dropped to 3.6 per 1,000 people, the lowest since 1970.

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)

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