When is a partition action used?

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When is a partition action used?

My ex-wife and I own 2 properties that were not included in the divorce settlement. We own title equally. I want to sell and she does not. Can I use a partition action to force her to sell?

Asked on July 21, 2011 California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Actually an action for partition would be the appropriate action here. This is a legal remedy available to co-owners of property when they cannot agree as to ownership matters (such as in your case).  Partition allows for the division of property among co-owners; any co-owner can file for such an action. Accordingly, if a property can be physically divided the court will instruct that it be done.  However, if division would be impracticable (e.g. in the instance of a single family house) a court would order a sale in lieu of partition and an equitable division of the proceeds among the co-owners.  Before doing so however, the court would permit one co-owner to purchase the interest of the remaining co-owner at fair market value.

 You do not indicate much about property is in question. Depending on what they are, there may or may not be a sale. At this point you should consult with a real estate attorney in your area.


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