How Does Partition in Kind Work in California Law?
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 by sale, partition by appraisal, and partition in kind. A partition in kind is a court ordered physical division of real property such that each co-owner receives a portion of land, “quality and quantity relatively considered, according to their interests in the property.” 48 Cal. Jur. 3d Partition § 76
The law explained that: “The referee appointed by the court to make a division of the property shall divide the property and allot the several portions to the parties, quality and quantity relatively considered, according to their interests in the property as determined in the interlocutory judgment.” California Code of Civil Procedure 873.210
When a Physical Partition is Appropriate
“Partition in kind is favored in law and in the absence of proof to the contrary the presumption in favor of in kind division will prevail.” Butte Creek Island Ranch v. Crim, 136 Cal. App. 3d 360, 365, 186 Cal. Rptr. 252, 254 (Cal. App. 1982). In other words, a partition in kind is the default manner of partition.
However, just because a partition in kind is the preferred method of partition in California doesn’t mean that it is the most common manner of partition. In fact, a partition in kind is extremely rare. Physical division of property is usually only used with vacant and/or undeveloped land because a home is not able to be physically divided by a partition in kind. Even if there is not a home on the property, factors including structures on the property, easements, fertile land, and oil reserves affect the equitable division of the property. Most partition actions will usually be resolved by a partition by sale in California.
Partition-in-kind can be among the most complex manner of partition. Accordingly, it is important to hire an attorney with extensive experience in partition actions to understand the nature of the remedy and to advocate for an appropriate physical division of the property.
Contact an Experienced Partition Attorney in California
If you want to end your co-ownership relationship, but your co-owner won’t agree, a partition action is your only option. Our experienced partition lawyers have years of experience ending co-ownership disputes and can help you unlock the equity in your property. For a free, 15-minute consultation with an experienced partition attorney at Talkov Law, call (844) 4-TALKOV (825568) or fill out a contact form online.