What is a Partition Action?
A partition is the division of ownership or interest in land or real property. When more than one property owner can’t agree on the management of said property, they may choose a partition action to allow each owner to have individual rights.
A typical example of multiple owners on a property would be if it were left to beneficiaries upon death or if multiple business owners were involved in a piece of property.
Types of Co-Ownership in Florida
There are three main ways in which multiple parties can own property in the state of Florida.
Tenancy by the entirety is when spouses share an undivided interest in the property with full inheritance rights.
Tenants in common occur when each party maintains a percentage of ownership interests, and the portions may not be equal among the owners.
Joint tenants with rights of survivorship occur when both parties have an undivided interest in the property and inherit each other’s interests upon death.
Common examples of more than one owner may be if business partners jointly purchase property for business purposes, family members inherit property as a group, and spouses who buy property and then divorce.
Types of Partition Actions
One of the most typical partition actions is partition by physical division. In this option, the courts can divide rural land, typically undeveloped, into separate parcels. In an example of siblings being coowners of property left to them by their parents, one of the children would then have ownership over one parcel and the other to their sibling.
Partition by sale is another option and one that business settings see often. The court can order that the property be sold and the proceeds be divided up between the co-owners based on their percentage of ownership. In this example, if multiple people owned real estate and one of the owners wanted to sell out their share, this may be a way to achieve that.
Partition by appraisal is another option that is appealing as well. In this option, an appraisal is utilized to determine what value each interested party has in the property and, therefore, can choose to opt-out at that price. This option is typically completed during a partition action process underway to accomplish all party’s wishes and shorten the length and costs associated with partition legal proceedings.
How to Avoid Partition Actions
Is there any other option than to pursue a partition action? If you cannot agree as a group regarding what to do with the property, you can seek mediation. Mediation is not just for divorces or other family issues. All interested parties can seek a neutral third party to assist them in working through the problems.
A mediator is skilled in negotiations and can help all parties articulate their concerns and work together to attempt an agreement. An appealing benefit to mediation is it is typically less time-consuming and less costly than proceeding with partition actions. Another aspect that several people like about the mediation process vs. courtroom proceedings is sensitive topics can be kept within a mediator’s office or another private setting rather than the public setting of a courtroom.
Should I File a Partition Action Lawsuit?
Some may say that filing a partition action lawsuit should really be your last resort. The legal process can be time-consuming, and costs can add up quickly. However, if it is the route that works best for you after exhausting other options or choosing not to, it provides a realistic solution, and more than worth the time and costs.
For example, if you have a business partner that you know isn’t going to budge, or a family member that you’d rather not try to reach an agreement with, and let the courts decide, it is an appealing option. In both of the previous examples, you may find that pursuing litigation is less stressful and less emotional-based, and therefore, the best option for you.
How Can an Attorney Help Me?
One of the best reasons our clients find appealing to work with an experienced attorney is they don’t have to worry about the stress and emotions that can be present with a touchy subject such as partition actions can bring. You can rely on a strong advocate who is knowledgable and compassionate, and has your best interest at heart at every turn.
Maybe you want to discuss your options and determine the best strategy. Maybe you want to work with a skilled attorney who can shorten the process through their experience and knowledge and take a stressful issue off of your plate for you.
It isn’t every day that most people need to skillfully handle negotiations. There may be other options that you haven’t realized that could give all parties involved a reasonable solution. Let us help you to find that and work towards formulating a strategy that works. You can then put this behind you and move on to the next chapter of your life knowing you have done everything possible to stand up for what you deserve.
Our team has several years of experience advocating for our clients. We are dedicated and compassionate, and most of all, determined to get you the results you are hoping for. Call our office today at (407) 426-7222 to learn more about how we can best assist you.