Partition Action… What is it?

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Sometimes when there are multiple owners, their interest in the property changes over time and it may be best for each owner to hold title to their own individual portion of the property.  When this occurs, one or all of the parties can file an action to partition.  The Merriam-Webster Law Dictionary defines partition as: the severance voluntarily or by legal proceedings of common or undivided interests in property: division into severalty of property held jointly or in common or the sale of such property by a court with division of the proceeds.

There are two types of partition action; the partition in kind (partition by division) or a partition by sale.  These options can be made either voluntarily or involuntarily.  A partition in kind creates a physical division of the property, resulting in each party as the sole owner holding title of their own portion of the property.  A partition by sale occurs when the property is not easily devisable.  Either the parties involved cannot agree as to how to divide the property or the land is not easily divided down the middle or has improvements that cannot be physically divided.  In this case the co-owners will sell the land and divide the resulting proceeds.  

When all the parties involved are in agreement with the division or sale of the property, the partition action can be made voluntarily.   However, if not everyone is in agreement or have met a stalemate with how the physical division is to be made or how the funds from the sale are divided, one owner may file a lawsuit in which a judge can court order a partition.  The result of this option can be very costly and also can be a lengthy process.  

Whether you have a voluntary or involuntary partition action, you should consult a knowledgeable partition action attorney, mediator or consultant.  A partition action can be a complicated process and it is important to make sure that all parties involved have their individual rights protected.  Having the right counsel for assistance can make all the difference for a more peaceful, fair and equitable resolution.

Hertz Appraisal Services can assist with land division proposals.  We can also provide valuation services to serve as the basis for cash buyout scenarios.  For legal and tax matters please consult a knowledgeable attorney and or accountant.  


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