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My Co-owner Filed a Partition Action Against Me – What Now?

Facing a partition action from a co-owner can be stressful and confusing. It usually means there’s a disagreement on how to handle or sell a property you both own. Partition actions spring from a myriad of situations, reflecting the diverse and complex relationships property co-owners can have. Whether it’s a disagreement among heirs, a dispute arising from a dissolved romantic relationship, or a fallout between friends who invested together, these legal challenges are more common than you might think. What’s important is keeping your attention on the essentials and having a plan. Navigating a partition action demands thoughtful strategies and a solid grasp of your legal choices.

Immediate Steps to Take When Sued for Partition

The moment you become aware of a partition action filed against you, it’s crucial to act swiftly. Seek immediate assistance from a specialized partition attorney to safeguard your interests because any delay could diminish the likelihood of resolving the partition through negotiation. Retaining a reliable attorney well-versed in partition statutes can help minimize expenses and ensure you achieve the most favorable outcome in a timely manner, given the specific circumstances.

A seasoned partition lawyer will explain to you the lay of the land so that you better understand how a partition action forces the sale or division of jointly owned real property. The court’s role is to determine how to execute an equitable division of the property among the co-owners. It is best to create a plan and decide whether you aim to buy out the property in the partition or sell the property. Assess your financial readiness for a buyout, including available cash, loan eligibility, or the support of a family member or friend for loan co-signing.

A partition lawyer can assist you in determining if there are any affirmative defenses to partition, including waiver of partition. They can also help maximize your partition offsets, which allow for the recovery of unequal contributions to the property for down payments, mortgage payments, or otherwise made by one of the co-owners.

Remain Organized and Informed When Sued for Partition

Stay informed of all court dates because missing a crucial hearing or deadline can have severe consequences for your position in the partition action. Attempting to alter the course or outcome of the lawsuit becomes significantly challenging and expensive once you have failed to respond to the partition action. Once your default is declared, an interlocutory judgment of partition may be issued, a partition referee may be appointed, and getting yourself back on track to purchase the co-owner’s portion or offer your co-owner a buyout price becomes much more difficult.

Partition of Real Property Act

If your co-owner requested partition by sale, you possess a unilateral right to ask for an appraised buyout of the property. It is critical to understand the options you have. Under the Partition of Real Property Act, effective January 1, 2023, your rights are as follows:

If any cotenant requested partition by sale, the court shall, after the determination of value under Section 874.316, send notice to the parties that any cotenant except a cotenant that requested partition by sale may buy all the interests of the cotenants that requested partition by sale. California Code of Civil Procedure 874.317(a)

Manner of Partition – Potential Outcomes

Section 874.318 allows for a partition in kind or partition by sale. A majority of partition actions result in the sale of the property rather than a partition in kind, where property is physically divided because most partition actions occur with a single-family home that cannot be equitably reallocated to the co-owners. Typically, the value of the land that includes the home exceeds that of any portion that could be separated without the home. Therefore, single-family homes are almost always mandated to be sold through a partition by sale.

How can a Defendant Win a Partition Action?

A skilled partition attorney will be able to guide you through the proven strategies to ensure that you win the partition action. For some co-owners, winning means keeping the home. For others, it means maximizing the amount of money they receive from the sale proceeds. Our article on affirmative defenses to partition actions provides numerous proven strategies for partition defendants.

Talkov Law’s Partition Attorneys Can Help

Being on the receiving end of a partition action is undoubtedly stressful, but it’s not an insurmountable challenge. With the right legal advice and a proactive approach, you can navigate through this complex legal process. Remember, the key is to act quickly, stay informed, and commit to a strategic plan that aligns with your interests and goals. Whether through negotiation, buyout, or court proceedings, there are avenues available to reach a resolution that works for you.

At Talkov Law, we specialize in partition actions and are dedicated to helping you find the best possible outcome for your situation. If you find yourself facing a partition action, don’t navigate these turbulent waters alone—reach out to us for expert guidance and support. For a free consultation, call us at (844) 4-TALKOV (825568) or contact us online today.

Talkov law unlocks access to justice for co-owners by funding your case. For qualified cases, you pay no fees until we successfully partition your property by obtaining a sale on the market or to your co-owner!
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The partition attorneys at Talkov Law end co-ownership disputes by representing co-owners in real estate partition actions throughout the State of California.

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