Here's How People Usually Split Possessions After a Breakup

Here's How People Usually Split Possessions After a Breakup

Who gets the flat screen?

By Marianne Garvey

The fun part of coupledom is moving in. Moving out, not so much.

Deciding who gets what after a split can be a nightmare, and breaking up with a live-in partner is said to be one of the most stressful experiences a person can face. Knowing what to do, when to do it, and who gets what is an emotional and logistical burden, not to mention sad and exhausting. 

Want to know what you should expect if you (or they) decide to pull the plug on a relationship after you’ve moved in? A new survey asked couples living together how they would split their stuff — everything from their house to shared bank accounts and pets. Dividing up the goods (even mentally) wasn’t easy.

“What’s yours is mine, and what’s mine is yours” got sticky when it came to the bills, the bed, and pets, mostly. When asked about splitting some of their most important personal possessions, a majority of people believed they were entitled to keep those things for themselves. Nearly half said they would keep their computer (over 49 percent) and dog (nearly 46 percent), and nearly as many planned to hold on to the engagement ring and cat, too.

Deciding who gets to stay in the home got complicated, with over 34 percent of people planning to keep the house after separating. Nearly 43 percent said they’d let their partner keep the home in the case of an apartment rental.

Things couples were more likely to share or split rather than keep for themselves? Their shared bank account, friends, and restaurants. You might not be in love anymore, but let’s not make our friends pick sides. Good food was split too…Nearly 65 percent of couples said they would share favorite restaurants. They would also share children. (Umm, isn’t that what’s supposed to happen?)

Many couples also chose to split their assets and walk away with half rather than fight for more. Over 66 percent split their shared bank account, and many said they would get a third party involved if there’s mutual debt. More than 38 percent were willing to split the furniture or a car.

The rules on splitting things were pretty straightforward.

Nearly 47 percent of people determined that the person who owned a particular item before the relationship (or purchased it during) got to keep it in the end.

Who wants it more?

When it comes to dividing up assets, men and women had very different ideas about what they really wanted to keep. Men were more interested in getting to keep their tech toys than women. More than anything else, over half of men wanted to keep the computer, and nearly 45 percent wanted the TV. While roughly 45 percent of women wanted the computer after a breakup, only one in four fought for the TV. Passwords for streaming services were also discussed, with nearly 33 percent of men and just over 30 percent of women wanting to keep the logins for Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon.

For women, the engagement ring, plants, cats, and dogs were more worthy of fighting for.

Who moves out?

Deciding who should leave or stay isn’t always easy. In most cases, people believed men should be the ones to leave after a breakup. In fact, more than 47 percent of men said they would move out rather than ask their ex to do it. But one partner leaving and one partner staying isn’t the only option. Over 17 percent of men and nearly 16 percent of women said they would both move out, while another seven percent of men and almost six percent of women would live together as roommates instead.

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