Whether co-owners of real estate are business partners or family members, co-ownership of real estate, whether it is a vacant lot or has a building on it, can be challenging to navigate.  If those co-owners cannot agree what to do with that real estate, a partition action will be necessary to divide this property and ensure that each owner receives their fair share.

What is a partition action?

Partition actions do exactly what the name implies: they create a clear division in the ownership of a piece of property.  Generally, partition actions come in two forms:

  • Actual partition—A piece of property will be divided among the individual owners, with each individual owner maintaining sole ownership of one part of the property
  • Partition by sale—Instead of dividing the property itself, the owners sell the property and divide the proceeds

If a fair resolution cannot be reached by negotiation or if one party does not want to divide the property, a partition action can be a path to a fair solution.

Why might you need a partition action?

Partition actions can be useful in a variety of situations where the parties cannot agree on what to do with the property.  If business partners own a piece of property together, for example, and the relationship sours, a partition action may allow them to go their separate ways without co-ownership limiting their future opportunities.  When multiple family members inherit a piece of property and cannot agree upon a plan of division, they can ask a court to enter a partition order to establish individual parcels of land.

Determining whether a partition action is right for your situation and choosing a form of partition can be a time-consuming process. As Forbes notes, partition actions often require a great deal of paperwork, and filing can be a costly process.  Your attorney can help you explore your legal options and determine which option will protect your interests and your finances.