JUDICIAL PARTITION OF PROPERTY

When A Court Orders A Legal Partition of Land or Buildings

When two co-owners of a piece of property no longer wish to reside together or to own the property together, they are able to seek a compulsory partition, a legal division of the property either by delineating physical boundaries in the land or by sale of the property and splitting of the proceeds between the co-owners. However, in some instances, one of the owners does not wish to partition the property, and the other co-owner has to force a judicial partition by bringing an action against the other party.

In many cases, two people purchase a home or commercial building together. For whatever reason, their relationship deteriorates and they no longer wish to live together or work together. In these scenarios, there is often a lot of emotion and personal conflicts between the two parties. Often times, one party will remain on the premises and continue to live there or conduct business there, while refusing to negotiate with the party that was ousted. In this situation, the ousted party has an absolute right to file a motion for a legal partition of the property. A court partition will force the party who is being unresponsive to wither negotiate with the co-owner, or face litigation that often ends in a court-ordered property sale.

Although the ultimate goal of litigation is usually to divide the property or sell the property in a forced partition sale, one of the secondary goals of this litigation is to get the parties to try to negotiate or mediate their dispute. One party is often mistaken as to their rights to the property, and do not understand that under the law, the other party has an absolute right to partition the property. Filing a suit for a judicial partition will often force the parties to come to the table so that they can attempt to work out an agreement on their own without spending the time and money litigating, which will inevitably end in partition by sale proceeds with court intervention.

 

If the parties can come to an agreement, then they can either divide the property, have one of the parties buy out the other’s interest, or they can agree to have the property sold and divide the proceeds. However, if the parties are unable to agree, the court will often order a legal partition, which will force the sale of the property at auction to the highest bidder. The parties will then share any additional proceeds from the home, land, or building. These proceeds will be the remainder of funds, after both parties have paid off any outstanding mortgages or liens on the property.

If you are in a situation where a co-owner is unresponsive to your demands for a partition of a property, you should seek a court partition to compensate for your interest in the building or land. It is unfair for one party to occupy the premises by themselves and refuse to cooperate with the other parties.