They say love don’t cost a thing, but breakups are a whole other beast. When you and your beloved decide to call it quits, getting over the heartbreak can be tough, but deciding who gets to keep the couch can feel impossible. Of course, all ex-couples deal with the division of “stuff” in their own way, but this is how the experts advise getting through the challenge.
Engagement rings - If you called off the nuptials, breakup coach Donna Barnes says you always need to return the rock. She says if the other person cheated, you can keep the ring, but sell it for cash. And she says if you cheated, you “most definitely” have to give the engagement ring back.
Real Estate - Relationship expert April Masini says it’s best to sell and divide the proceeds evenly, adding that if someone put in the down payment on the property, they should get that back if the marriage ended within a year. If you rent and can’t decide who should move out, she suggests four options: asking the landlord if you can get out of the lease early so both can move out, or trying to legally sublet if you can’t break the lease, or one person trying to buy the other out of the rest of the lease, or the least popular option is both staying there as cohabitants.
Material possessions - Each of you takes what you brought to the relationship and stuff you bought together should be divided up. As etiquette expert Elaine Swann simply puts it, “Whatever you came with is what you leave with.”
Restaurants, bars and favorite haunts - Think you’ll run into your ex there? Then “you need to avoid it,” Barnes says. If it’s “your” place, keep going and having fun there, but steer clear if you don’t want to risk any unexpected run-ins with your former flame. Of course, you shouldn’t let a breakup stop you from going to a place you really enjoy, but you can’t prevent your ex from going there either. So deal.
Pets - When you both love the pet and can’t agree on who gets it, Masini advises that you work out a custody agreement that’s as close to 50/50 as possible and agree on who pays for future medical expenses. And get it in writing.