How to File a Partition Lawsuit

Filing a Partition Action Suit in California

A partition action in California is the only court-ordered process to bring an end to co-ownership disputes by dividing real estate equitably among co-owners. California law allows for three manners of partition: partition in kind, partition by appraisal, and partition by sale. California partition statutes allow for all three methods, but partition by sale is by far the most common manner of partition. A partition by sale allows the court to force a sale of a jointly owned property and then distribute the proceeds of sale equitably among the co-owners.

Partition Action Lawsuit Process in California

While partition actions can involve other issues that may add complexity, the basic outline of a partition action is as follows:

  1. File a partition complaint in the county courthouse where the property is located. While we provide a partition complaint online, we recommend that you consult with an experienced partition attorney before filing as mistakes can cause delays and may even damage your case since pleadings can be considered as evidence, even if you seek to amend your complaint.
  2. If your co-owner doesn’t respond, file a request for entry of default and ask the court to set a hearing on a default judgment prove-up to enter the interlocutory judgment of partition by sale.
  3. If your co-owner responds, they usually file an answer. Many of these answers set forth the required elements for partition. Often times, it is best to consult a partition referee to ask how to seek to their appointment to sell the property.
  4. Upon motion, a partition referee can be appointed by the court to market and sell the property.[1]California Code of Civil Procedure 872.820 The referee is in charge of ensuring that the sale of the property is carried out with the best interests of all parties.
  5. If needed, conduct discovery on the issue of partition offsets, which are claims by each of the co-owners to being owed more than their fractional share of the proceeds of sale. For example, one co-owner may claim to have paid the mortgage or made improvements at the property.
  6. After the property is sold by the referee, the court will set a trial on the distribution of proceeds of sale. At this trial, each party will be able to present evidence of payments made in excess of their fractional interest in the property, for example. Note that most partition actions settle before this final hearing. Also, a skilled attorney may be able to resolve the partition without this second phase of an accounting trial through a judgment approving the sale of the property that orders payments of offsets.

How to find the right partition attorney?

It is important to find the right attorney to represent you in a partition action. Indeed, co-owners in a partition action almost universally want the same thing: The best result in the least amount of time with the lowest attorney’s fees. To achieve these goals, look for the following signals that you’ve found the right partition attorney:

  • Experience in partition actions will save you money and headaches by solving the dispute faster. Our dedicated partition attorneys have nearly two decades of experience in partition actions, allowing us to resolve your dispute quickly.
  • Experience in real estate litigation will ensure that your attorney can solve all of the real estate related issues that arise in a partition sale including quiet title issues, escrow problems, subpoenas to banks, real estate accounting for damage calculations, and more.
  • Reasonable fees are critical to your success. There are attorneys whose cases drag on for years and generate fees that benefit only the attorney. Our reviews make clear that we know how to resolve these disputes promptly.
  • Success in settlement and negotiation. Many attorneys boast of their trial experience, even though about 98% of partitions are settled before a trial. This saves clients considerable amounts in attorney’s fees and ensures a resolution that is agreeable to them. Look for an attorney who can calculate the probable financial outcomes of the case to aid in a reasonable settlement.
  • A winning strategy to end the dispute and win your partition action. During your consultation, be sure to ask the attorney how they plan to litigate the case. If their strategy is to file the complaint and just see what happens, run- don’t walk! Our attorneys implement an appropriate plan to solve the disputes in the case and determine the appropriate values for any offsets. This is why most of our partitions are over in a matter of a few months, not years.
  • Satisfied client reviews reflecting a track record of success. With dozens upon dozens of satisfied client reviews on Google and elsewhere, all related to partition actions, our client-focused firm will hope to add you to our lengthy list of clients who found the right attorney.

As to whether you need an attorney in a partition action, the law does not require an attorney so long as you own the property individually. However, if your interest in the property is held by an LLC or corporation, you must use an attorney as these are entities are legally differently from you. Accordingly, if you filed the action on behalf of an LLC or corporation, you would be practicing law, which of course required a license.

What Our Partition Clients Are Saying

Talkov Law has nearly 100 active partition actions currently underway throughout California. This is because co-owners continue to put their trust in Talkov Law’s experienced and effective partition attorneys. Our dedicated partition attorneys are available to assist you by phone or online to end your co-ownership dispute for good.

Hire an experienced partition attorney at Talkov Law in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Francisco, Riverside, San Diego, San Jose, Sacramento, Fresno, and Surrounding Areas in California

Attorney Scott Talkov
Partition Attorney and Talkov Law President Scott Talkov
Would you willingly hire your co-owner to manage your property? Would you voluntarily choose to own a property with this person? Every day that your unhealthy co-ownership relationship continues, you’re choosing your co-owner as a real estate partner. Letting your co-owner remain a partial owner of your shared property allows that co-owner to manage your property indefinitely. Ending this unhealthy relationship for good by filing a partition action allows you to finally to receive the full benefit of your California real estate.

Inaction becomes a problem and will not solve your co-ownership dispute. Filing a partition action will allow you to put co-ownership drama behind you once and for all. The sooner you start the partition process, the sooner it will be over. Don’t take a chance trying to handle this on your own. Here at Talkov Law, our knowledgeable partition real estate attorneys are veterans in partition action matters, having had handled countless cases in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Francisco, Riverside, San Diego, San Jose, Sacramento, Fresno, and Surrounding Areas in California. Our partition action attorneys regularly represent co-owners in partition actions to ensure their rights and interests are protected.

If you are looking to end your co-ownership real estate relationship, speak to an experienced and creative real estate partition action lawyer. Call Talkov Law today at (844) 4-TALKOV (825568) or contact us online for a free analysis of your situation!

Talkov Law's Partition Attorneys Can Help

If you want to end your co-ownership relationship, but your co-owner won’t agree, a partition action is your only option. With seven, full time partition lawyers, Talkov Law is the #1 partition law firm in California and has handled over 300 partition actions throughout California. Every case has resulted in a sale to either a third party or one of the co-owners. Not a single court has denied our clients the right to partition or declared our client to be a non-owner. Plus, for qualified cases, there is no fee until we settle or win your case!

If you're looking to end your co-ownership dispute, contact California's premier partition action law firm by calling Talkov Law at (844) 4-TALKOV (825568) or sending us a message today.

About Scott Talkov

Scott Talkov is a partition lawyer in California. He founded Talkov Law Corp. after more than one decade of experience at a California real estate litigation firm, where he served as one of the firm's partners. He has been featured on ABC 7, CNN, KCBS, and KCAL-9, and in the Los Angeles Times, the Orange County Register, the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Press-Enterprise, and in Los Angeles Lawyer Magazine. Scott has been named a Super Lawyers Rising Star for 9 consecutive years. He can be reached about new matters at or (844) 4-TALKOV (825568). He can also be contacted directly at

Talkov Law is Rated 5 out of 5 stars based on 38 customer reviews.

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