When real estate property is left to multiple beneficiaries in a will, the parties often do not agree on whether to utilize or sell the property. The law provides a solution in these cases called a partition action.  Under the California Code of Civil Procedure under C.C.P. 872.210, petitioning to partition is a legal right under the law.

What is a Partition Action?

There are two types of partition actions available in the State of California: “partition in kind” and “partition by sale”.

  • A partition in kind action terminates each individual property owners’ interest in the real estate as joint owners and creates separate and divided portions of the property.
  • A partition by sale action (also known as “succession”) sells the property and then divides the proceeds appropriately among the owners.

Pros and Cons of Partition Actions

There are both pros and cons to partition actions. Understanding these can help you determine if a partition action is the right legal course of action regarding your shared real estate property.

Benefits of a Partition Action

A partition action is especially beneficial when the co-owners of a property cannot agree on whether the property should be used, or if the property should be sold. If co-owners cannot even agree on those points, the petition to partition action can force a mediation process to occur, to attempt to have the co-owners resolve their differences. The cost of mediation is typically less expensive than taking the matter to court.

An additional benefit of a partition action may be attractive to an owner who conducted any major renovations on the property. A partition action will allow the possibility for that owner to recover some of their unreimbursed costs of that renovation from the other owner(s).

Challenges of a Partition Action

Sometimes a partition action can be expensive. If parties are not able to agree, even in mediation, the case will be then decided by a judge, which can become financially burdensome. Additionally, the process of a partition action can be time-consuming. If all parties could agree, there would be no need for this process, however, if a petition to partition occurs, it could take months to resolve.

Finally, the property itself may be lost if there is a partition action. The property may be sold, and the proceeds of that sale will be split among all of the owners.

Contact Thaler Law

Partition actions are complicated, and there are many benefits and challenges to this legal process. Your situation is unique, and regardless of the outcome, you deserve the right to either the enjoyment of the property or compensation for your part of the ownership in the property. Contact an experienced real estate attorney from Thaler Law who can help you understand your legal rights regarding your partition action, and what your next best steps should be. Contact us at 866-271-5290 or online today for your free consultation.