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Partition Lawyer
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What is a Partition Attorney?

Partition lawsuits occur when co-owners can’t decide what to do with a property. You can work with a partition attorney to win the case or to fight the partition action. 

What is a Partition Attorney?

Partition lawsuits occur when co-owners can’t decide what to do with a property. You can work with a partition attorney to win the case or to fight the partition action. 

Irreconcilable differences  

In most cases, people partition property when they cannot reach an agreement with another person with an interest in it. This could be a loved one or someone who has a financial interest. 

Disputes may arise when these interests are divergent, such as when there is a disagreement concerning how the property should be used. People who want to develop a piece of land may have difficulty figuring out how to proceed with it when another wishes to sell it.  

One co-owner may wish to keep the property, while others may want to sell, or maybe their relationship has broken down, or they need to walk away from a joint asset–these circumstances that provide fodder for a partition action. 

A partition attorney is sometimes the best resource to work through these instances. An Estate Litigation attorney is a legal expert with courtroom experience who can help you prepare and file for partition if you are the Plaintiff or fight the petition if you are a defendant.  

Partition lawsuits can be a crucial strategy in either situation and may provide you with the ability to continue living independently. Here we discuss what a partition lawsuit is, the process, and how it may help you separate joint rights to the property. 

The partition lawsuit process

These cases are most commonly contested during estate divisions, divorces, or breakups of business partnerships. In partition law, the court is required to distribute real property equally among the various property owners. Accordingly, the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 872.210 applies in such cases. Each proprietor who owns a share in the real estate may request its partitioning. It’s wise to turn to experienced partition attorneys, such as the ones at Hess Verdon, to help you through such an arduous and emotionally-charged process. 

How does a partition action in California work? 

Parties that own property may submit their lawsuit in a superior court in the county where the property is located. Depending on who owns the property, either a corporation or an individual may do so. In the lawsuit, parties impacted by the outcome should be included, including the property owners and anyone else who may have a right to the property. 

The complaint, which does not need the Plaintiff’s sworn testimony, may even seek other types of damages, in addition to the partition request. Generally, a complaint must state the property sought for partition, details of the person seeking partition, how much is being asked for, and any other parties interested in the property. It is essential to detail how much each owner holds in the property and any other details that may be needed in determining the interests of the litigants. 

Owners who die during litigation must be represented in the lawsuit by their heirs. A plaintiff may publish notice of the case in a local newspaper if the defendant cannot be located by anyone who can serve the complaint. If a dispute arises over the property ownership while the partition case is pending, it can be litigated at that time. 

Issuing an interlocutory judgment

The superior court will issue an interlocutory judgment after it has confirmed that the Plaintiff is entitled to partition the property. This judgment determines each party’s interest in the property and orders that it be partitioned. 

Appointing a partition referee

A judgment will be signed, and the court will designate a partition referee; if the parties have consented, the court will oversee the partition of the property. Getting a referee can help speed up the division process under tense situations involving partitions. Just remember that co-owners will have to pay for the referee’s legal fees because they are billed hourly like attorney’s fees. 

Three outcomes are possible in a partition case:

Partition by sale: If the property has a home or development, it will be sold to divide the proceeds justly between the owners. 

Partition in kind: If the property is undeveloped, another option would be to divide it between the various owners. 

Partition by allotment: In rare cases, the court awards ownership to one person, thereby ordering them to buy out their former owners. This is usually the case when there is a large land plot that can be divided easily. 

Let’s talk about your case in more detail. 

Property division is never straightforward, so most people prefer to agree on a private agreement with a third party or reach a settlement through mediation. With partition lawsuits, you can reach a resolution no matter how difficult it is to come to an agreement. This is a dependable option if you can’t seem to agree on what you need to do.

Hess Verdon is an elite team of partition lawyers with more than three decades of experience. Call us for a case analysis.


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