THE BLOG

Divorce and the Complicated Division of Assets

23/12/2013 10:39 GMT | Updated 19/02/2014 10:59 GMT

At the end of most serious relationships, there is usually the question of who goes? And where? It's easier if one of you owns the house, as it becomes a pretty simple answer: you can stay, and your partner can move back in with his parents (ha!) his Evangelical, tee-total parents (double ha!)

That's not the end of it all though. Oh no. You now have the tedious, yet ultimately quite cleansing job of packing up your ex's worldly belongings.

"Look, I'm going to give you the coffee machine. Really, you used it more than I did, it really is only fair." (Punch air jubilantly, having rid self of crap coffee machine that took up too much space).

Not wanting to be spiteful, I found myself laundering and folding clothes into clearly marked and organised boxes. (Shirts. Trousers. Miscellaneous Artefacts). Well, at first. By the end it was a more slap dash affair, throwing stuff randomly into hastily constructed and surprisingly expensive boxes. And let me tell you this: along with the divorce itself and an unholy amount of ex-accrued debts, I paid for the damn boxes.

So, he comes, he collects the boxes. We sigh a collective sigh of relief and I get back to a life which has come to fit better in a couple of weeks, than the previous one did over several years.

Anyway, all his stuff's out of my house, and then...oh, wait, ok, so I packed up, but I'm only human. I missed a few bits.

Start packing a new box. In goes:

The cute little paddles from the miniature pizza oven.

A baseball cap covered in weird badges. (Building God's House! Royal Fleet Auxiliary Service. Strathclyde Young Alcoholics?)

The porn DVD starring curiously young looking 'actresses.' (Just to qualify, young a bit eurghh, as opposed to young, sexual offender's register).

The boots which...wait! Hang on! The porn DVD?

This raises a dilemma which is at the very least of minor ethical significance.

Does one pack aforementioned porn DVD, even though the technology's becoming obsolete? Is that weird? Should Pink Velvet Part 2: The Loss of Innocence go in the box with the other stuff? Maybe I should just throw it out. I mean, he never mentioned that I hadn't originally packed it.

But it's not mine. Is it really a nice thing to do, to throw away someone else's belongings?

Would it be an act of malice to give it back? Or one of charity? It's probably the closest the guy's going to get to actually getting laid, but is including it a tacit admission of that very fact and therefore:

a) Intrusive, as his sex life is no longer my business

b) Bitchy, as I'm making assumptions/implications about his attractiveness/sexual prowess?

Alternatively is it, "I'm so cool, that I'm even going to give you your porn back.

Because we're adults."

(Unlike Sammy-Jo. The very subject of the eponymous "loss of innocence.")

I'm getting sucked into a quagmire that didn't exist five minutes ago.

Ultimately, is it just a possession is 9/10s of the law thing? Cause I don't want the freaking porn. I didn't buy it: I don't want to watch it. Sammy-Jo's allegedly un-soiled orifices can stay that way as far as I'm concerned. IF (and that's a big if) she is indeed the paragon of virtue the description on the back of the DVD box claims.

Maybe the right thing to do is simply to return it to its rightful owner (i.e. the person who purchased said item, with intent to retain said item). It's the meaning we superimpose onto everything that makes it so complicated. You cannot commit to a course of action because of the projected re-action. You can only commit to an action with motivations that are your own, which have a certain clarity and integrity of intent behind them.

Having said that, I've decided it's definitely going in.

It'll be hilarious if his mum finds it.