Fair and Square

Welcome to the Fair and Square asset division process

Enter Names


Enter Assets


Select whether asset is divisable or not and enter a description


    What does the fair and square process aim to do?

    The fair and square asset division system allows a separating couple to divide up their personal effects. This process is fair, transparent and quick by both participants in order to reduce acrimony and speed up these negotiations.

    How do you decide who should get each item?

    The amount that a person gets is the maximum amount that they could possibly get given each persons combined preferences. This acts like a tide that raises the level of all boats. Any other way of allocating will mean that someone is worse off than the worst off person in current the allocation. Deciding allocations in this way comes from John Rawls’ Theory of Justice which says inequalities should be arranged so that “they are to be of the greatest benefit to the least-advantaged members of society” In the two-person case both people tend to end up with the same level of satisfaction. In the tools calculation the worst off person gets items until they meet the satisfaction level of the best off person.

    What do you mean by fair

    With two people a proportionate share is 50% of the items being divided. The fair and square process aims to get more than 50% of what each party wants. On average each person gets 65% when using the fair and square process.

    Why do you use points rather than monetary values?

    Some things are really valuable but have little monetary value. We measure how much a person wants something but we do not ask whether it is for monetary, sentiment or for some other reasons.

    Do I have to do what the process says?

    No, the suggested allocation can be thought of as an initial start point for the negotiation. By using an independent algorithm at the start of a negotiation everyone can see their opinion being taken into account, that the process was impartial and they at least have a base level of satisfaction any future agreement should reach.

    But she got more than me

    The tool tends to result in everyone having very similar levels of satisfaction. However there are cases where one person will end up with a higher allocation than the other. If this happens and everyone has at least a fair share you could decide the division is still acceptable. If someone has much less than his or their fair share it will generally be because one item is of very high value.

    Why cant everyone be equal?

    Our tool produces divisions that leaves each person on average within 2% of each others aims. Solutions where everyone is exactly equal have, on average, everyone getting about one third less satisfaction with their allocation.

    What is a divisible good?

    A divisible good is something like cash, cutlery or shares that can be divided up into many different parts. An indivisible good is something like a table, chair or television that must be kept in one piece. Divisions with divisible goods tend to have higher satisfaction ratings and are more equal. Because of this it is worth carefully considering if an item can be considered divisible. If something is in a set of many similar items this can be classed as a divisible item. This could be a box of wine or set of chairs. There will be a trade off here between the difficulty of splitting up a set and the increased equality dividing the set allows.

    How many items can be entered?

    As many items as you want. But for a large number the system will become time consuming. The first ten most important things are probably the ones people care about most.

    What if one item is really valuable?

    Sometimes one item is worth the majority of the value to each person. It is possible no one can get a fair share because of this. For example, if a house and some clothes had to be divided the house would take up the highest amount of peoples values. Using our process we can find out this impasse quickly. One solution is for the item to be sold and the cash proceeds become a divisible item. Another solution is for a time-share arrangement to take place.

    Thank you for using the Fair and Square asset division process. Please feel free to contact us with any feedback or suggestions