When to Consider Partition Actions

A Partition Action is a civil lawsuit to force the sale of Florida real estate. Florida law allows property to be owned jointly by several persons or entities. Often times, joint owners of a property cannot agree on the management or sale of a property or even one joint owner does not want to sell. So, a Partition Lawsuit is a request by one owner to the court to force the sale of the property.

There are many reasons why Florida property owners may decide that a partition of property is needed. The three (3) most common reasons are when children inherit property and become joint owners, when an unmarried couple owns property jointly and then split up, or when a business partnership dissolves and cannot agree on the division of its assets.

A partition action can be filed by a joint owner of a property except if the property is owned by a husband and wife as tenants by the entireties. The Defendants to the lawsuit are all of the other owners of the property. The lawsuit must be filed in the County in which the property is located.

Once a lawsuit for a partition is filed, the court must decide whether the property should be sold and how the proceeds of the sale should be divided amount the owners. Some owner may be entitled to receive a higher share to the sale proceeds for improvement or contributions that they made to the property such as mortgage payments or property taxes. If there are mortgages or liens on the property, the mortgages and liens must be satisfied from the sale proceeds before the remainder is divided amount the owners. Each owner is responsible for a share of the attorney fees and court costs, which are incurred for the action.

Know Your Rights Before You Act

Real estate law involves state statutes and laws, which can often be complicated and intimidating. If you or someone you know is having trouble with division of property, often we can mediate and negotiate a settlement without having to file a lawsuit.  Call us at 561-838-9595 or email to info@jamesnbrownpa for a free phone consult.