Missouri Partition Law
How To File A Missouri Real Estate Partition Action To Split Up A Property
When two or more people own property jointly, they are considered co-owners or cotenants. When they no longer wish to own the property together, any of the owners has an absolute right to partition, or divide, the property. This can be done voluntary if the parties can sit down and negotiate a contractual agreement to divide the land. It can also be done by court order, where the parties file a petition for a judicial partition.
Once a partition is sought, it can be done in two ways. It can be partitioned in kind or by sale. A partition in kind physically divides the property to carve out separate pieces for each owner. A partition by sale forces a sale of the house or land at auction and splits the proceeds between the owners. The means of dividing the proceeds or the land depend on the type of tenancy the owners had under Missouri law. Missouri has three main types of tenancies: tenants in common, joint tenants, and tenants by the entirety. Joint tenants must divide the property in equal shares. Tenants in common can divide it based on their percentage of interest. A tenancy by the entirety is limited to only married couples, so partitions for them usually happen in conjunction with a divorce action.
Missouri is a title theory state, which means a bank with a mortgage owns title to the home through a deed of trust. This makes the bank a necessary party to the Missouri real estate partition action. If you are the owner of a piece of property in Missouri, and you wish to sell your ownership or divide the property, you should contact an experienced Missouri real estate attorney as soon as possible.