Chenoweth Law Group

Partition Actions

How To Get Out Of Joint Ownership Of Property With Someone You Don't Get Along With Anymore

When a business or personal relationship goes south for parties who own property together, typically the last thing they want to do is to continue to be tied together by real estate. The best option is for one the parties to negotiate a buyout of the other party or to jointly agree to sell the property outright. But the issues that ended the relationship can cause one or both parties to be unreasonable and refuse to agree to a buyout or sale. When it gets to that point, a partition action can force a sale.

What is a partition action?

A partition action can either physically divide the property or, more often, force a buyout or sale.

How is a partition action initiated?

The individual wishing to initiate a partition action - the petitioner - works with an attorney to begin the process. Most partition cases resolve before trial through settlement or on a summary judgment motion.

In a partition action, a judge may decide to allow one party to buy out the other, order that the property be divided between the owners, or order that the property be sold at a public auction. Because properties sold at public auction often sell for less than fair market value, if it comes to that, the party resisting the sale often agrees to list the property with a broker in lieu of a public auction to get the highest value.

How are sale proceeds divided?

The proceeds from a sale are divided by court order or by agreement and often track the percentage ownership in the property. The judge also considers who paid for necessary property maintenance, property taxes, and improvements that increased the property value when deciding who gets what proceeds from the sale.

Partition actions can be an effective way to get parties to be reasonable, but they require a skilled attorney to navigate the factual and legal issues involved.

Talk to an attorney today: If you are involved in a dispute over the division of jointly owned property, talk to a real estate attorney from Chenoweth Law Group PC, 503-446-6261. We represent individuals looking to initiate or defend a partition action.

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