What is a Partition Action?
It is common for more than one person to join together and purchase real estate property. However, issues can arise when one or more owners wish to sell the real estate and others do not or when not all owners contribute to the expenses or maintenance for the real estate property. If there is a disagreement, a partition action can be used to settle the issue.
How Does a Partition Action Work?
A partition action requests the court for help in deciding the best way to dispose of jointly owned property. Partition actions are common when a couple splits up or when children inherit a piece of property as joint owners. An action for partition may be filed by any co-owner of real estate and must be done in the county where the property is located.
Once a partition action is filed, there are typically two options for the co-owners. First, the court may divide the property into individual portions for each owner to use as they wish. One common example of this option pertains to co-owners of farmland. The court can easily partition parcels of farmland to each owner that are relatively equal to either use or sell the parcel as they see fit. The other option is to sell the real estate, which is usually utilized when the real estate cannot be easily broken into equal shares, such as the sale of a single house.
Options During a Partition Sale
If the court decides that the real estate should be sold, the first option is to sell the property and divide the proceeds between the co-owners of the real estate after all obligations such as mortgages and liens are paid off. Another option is for the owner or co-owners who wish to keep the real estate to pay off the other owner or owners who wish to sell. Once the land is appraised and shares apportioned, the owners who wish to sell can be bought out and the remaining owners can retain the property.
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