Splitting Goods

Dear Butch,

Why do reasonable adults become territorial toddlers during a break-up that involves a shared household?  Suddenly the whisk that no one has touched in six years becomes a great battleground.  Or a broken printer that was on its way to a local charity has now become a war zone.

When a major material item is bought as a couple, the last thing on the mind at the time of purchase is how that item may be divided if or when that couple splits.  But, being the cynic I am, I think it should be the first.  I am all for written agreements prior to major purchases when in a relationship under on roof.

And no, I do not work in the field of law.

I have seen the kindest of break-ups turn into a hot ugly mess when there are linens and sex toys to be split between the two partners.  And the items that cause the most heat are usually small and stupid.  Spatula.  Hammer.  Shower curtain.  Rug.  Alarm clock.  I prefer to live by the safety net of prevention verses in the lurking shadows of reaction.  Hence, the written contract.  There are no attornies needed, just a reality check and a notebook (paper or computer).  Make sure both parties are in agreement and that there are signatures.  Keep a copy of the receipt with the contract.  Make sure the notebook is kept someplace where both parties have access.  Really, it is all very logical.

I know it isn’t very romantic to figure out who gets what in case of the demise of your sweet love, but I find it to help the splitting process go smoother.  We all know that it isn’t the toaster or nipple clamps that are the reasons for these epic blowouts, but a reaction from the stress and heartbreak.  So, do a little prep before the pain and make custodial decisions before the dust flies.

Think of it as lube for anal, it isn’t necessary but it sure makes the process slicker.




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