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What is a partition action in real estate?

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2024 | Real Estate

Do you own property with another person (or several other people)? Are you finding it increasingly difficult or outright impossible to agree on what to do with the real estate? You’re not alone. That’s why partition actions are needed.

A partition action is a legal procedure used to divide or sell a property that is co-owned by two or more parties who cannot agree on what to do with what they have. The court can either physically divide the property (partition in kind) or order its sale and distribute the proceeds among the co-owners (partition by sale). There are numerous reasons that partition actions might be taken, but here are some of the most common:

1. Inherited property shared with your kin

When multiple heirs inherit a property, disagreements can quickly arise. For example, suppose three siblings inherit a family home. One sibling wants to live in the house, another wants to rent it out, and the third prefers to sell it. If they cannot reach an agreement, a partition action can help resolve the dispute. The court might order the sale of the property and divide the proceeds among the siblings, ensuring each receives their fair share.

2. Investment property disputes among co-owners

Co-owning an investment property can be profitable but also challenging if the owners have differing views on management and usage. Imagine two business partners who jointly own a rental property. One partner wants to sell the property to reinvest in another venture, while the other wants to continue renting it out. When negotiations fail, a partition action can provide a solution. The court might determine that selling the property and dividing the profits is the best course of action, allowing both partners to pursue their individual goals.

3. Divorce settlement disagreements

In a divorce, dividing marital assets, including real estate, can be contentious. Suppose a divorcing couple jointly owns a vacation home. One spouse wants to keep the property, while the other prefers to sell it and split the proceeds. If they cannot agree, a partition action can be initiated. The court could order the sale of the vacation home, ensuring a fair division of the assets and allowing both parties to move forward independently.

If you’re in a complicated situation over a piece of real estate with a co-owner, seeking legal assistance may be the best move to make.

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