South Dakota Partition Law
Filing A South Dakota Partition Action To Divide Your Interest In Land
When one or more persons jointly own a piece of property, each co-owner has a right to sever the relationship by exercising their right to partition, or divide, the land. A partition can be voluntary if the parties get along well enough to negotiate a contractual agreement distributing the property with the aid of their partition attorneys. However, many parties cannot even get to the bargaining table, never mind agree to the partition, so in many cases a South Dakota partition action must be filed.
In a partition action, there are two main ways to split the property. It can either be divided in a partition in kind or a partition by sale. A partition in kind physically divides the property by carving out a portion for each owner. A partition by sale is more common, because it is easier to sell a home and divide the proceeds than it is to physically split up a home. The division of proceeds or land differs depending on the type of tenancy that the parties had as owners of the property. If they were joint tenants, then the property needs to be divided equally in partition. If they were tenants in common, then the property can be divided according to their percentage of ownership interests.
South Dakota is a lien theory state, which means that any bank or lender who holds a mortgage on the property has a lien on the land for the outstanding loan amount. Any lien held must be satisfied in full before the property can be petitioned in kind or before the proceeds from a partition sale can be disbursed. If you own property in South Dakota, you have a right to partition the land and be compensated for your interest.