LOUISIANA PARTITION LAW

Getting a Partition Under Louisiana Law – How to Protect Your Property Interest

When two people own a piece of property jointly, they have a right to partition that land if they decide that they no longer wish to live together or co-own the land or home. A partition can happen in two ways. A voluntary partition occurs when the parties agree to divide the land, and they enter into a private contractual agreement that covers the methods for division. If they cannot agree, then the parties can litigate the issues, which will lead to a judicial partition in Louisiana law.

Regardless of whether the partition was voluntary or judicial, there are two methods for dividing co-owned property. The parties can either seek a partition in kind or a partition by sale. A partition in kind physically divides the land between the two parties, and it is usually only used in cases where the land is a large parcel or vacant land. When the land has a building, or is a residential piece of property, then it is usually partitioned by sale. In a partition by sale, the land is sold at auction and the parties are allowed to split the proceeds.

The breakdown of division of property depends on the type of tenancy held. If the owners are joint tenants, the property must be divided in equal shares. If the co-owners are tenants in common, than the property must be divided according to their contractual share of the percentage that they contributed to the acquisition of the property. Louisiana is a lien theory state, which means that mortgagors and lenders automatically have a lien on the property for the amount outstanding on the loan. When a partition is sought, any liens must be satisfied by the property owners before the land can be divided or sold.