It isn’t unusual for several people to own a property together — and it also isn’t unusual for people to have disagreements. That kind of situation often ends up with one person who wants to sell their jointly owned property and one who doesn’t.
When two or more people have very different ideas about what should be done with a piece of property, a partition action may be needed. That’s a lawsuit that’s designed to allow each party to move forward — separately.
How are partition actions usually resolved?
Generally speaking, partition actions can be resolved in multiple possible ways. For example:
- The court could award ownership of a property to one party alone (and require that party to buy out the other parties’ interests).
- The court could award each party an undivided interest in their own piece of the property. For example, if siblings inherit a large family farm together, the court could divide the property between them.
- The court can order the property to be sold and the proceeds can be divided between the former owners.
These kinds of situations frequently comes up after multiple people inherit a property they don’t all want, when couples divorce and when business partnerships sour. Partition actions can be friendly procedures, if the parties get along, or they can be hostile. The ultimate goal is to allow the parties to walk away from each other.
It’s generally better for all parties involved if they can avoid the time cost and financial expense of litigation and can resolve their real estate issues and differences through negotiations. Make sure that you have someone on your side looking out for your interests.