Partition Actions in Michigan – How to Divide Property

A partition in Michigan real estate law provides that any party that co-owns a piece of property with one or more other party has a right to divide, or partition, the property when they no longer wish to own it. A partition can either be voluntary or court-ordered, depending on whether or not the parties get along well enough to negotiate their own partition with the aid of their attorneys. An example of a Michigan partition action can occur when two people inherit a piece of land and they do not wish to own it jointly. It can also occur when a couple purchases a home together and then their relationship deteriorates so that one party moves out.

In Michigan, land can either be divided physically, or it can be sold at auction and the proceeds can be divided. In most cases, it would not be possible or practical to divide a residential home or business in half and give each party half of a building. Therefore, most partitions are subject to sale. The division of land or of proceeds depends on the nature of the tenancy that the parties had when they owned the property. If they were joint tenants, then the property will be divided in equal shares. If they were tenants in common, then the property can be divided according to their contributions to its acquisition.

Michigan is a title theory state, which means that the lender or mortgage holder has a title to the property through a deed of trust. This makes them a necessary party to any partition litigation. However, it does not mean that they can force a partition. A bank’s remedy is a foreclosure action and not a partition lawsuit.