What’s a partition action?

On Behalf of | Aug 14, 2023 | Real Estate Law

Breaking up can be hard to do – especially when you’re talking about property that you own with someone else. 

It can be very uncomfortable to find that you hold the title to a piece of property with someone you don’t particularly like or want to associate with anymore, but it happens all the time. You can find yourself in that situation after a divorce, when a parent dies and you inherit with a sibling or after a business venture falls apart.

If you can’t agree on what should happen to the property and negotiations seem to have ground to a halt, a partition action may be the answer.

What can a partition action do?

Essentially, a partition action is brought by one owner against the other and it asks the court to step in and make some decisions so that the issue can be resolved. Typically, this means any of the following solutions:

  • One owner will have to buy out the other owner’s share of the property
  • The property might be physically divided 
  • The property might be sold and the proceeds divided among the owners

Exactly how to proceed with a partition action depends a lot on the circumstances. If undeveloped land is inherited by siblings in equal shares, for example, dividing it up may be the only viable solution. That way, everybody can do as they please with their portion. A house, naturally, cannot easily be divided in the same way.

It can be frustrating to feel like you can’t make any headway when you’re trying to settle an issue over a piece of shared real estate. That’s when experienced legal guidance can often help find the easiest solutions.