Partition Action Terms – The Ultimate Glossary

A partition action is the only court-ordered process to separate joint owners’ respective interests in California real estate. This process can be long, tedious, and difficult, but the attorneys at Talkov Law are here to help. They have provided this glossary of important partition terms to help you better understand the complicated legal vocabulary surrounding partition actions.

Accounting of Offsets

Accounting of offsets includes the formal process of evaluating the rights of the parties in a shared asset.

Adverse Possession

Adverse possession is a method of acquiring title of a property through specified acts carried out throughout the statutorily required amount of time.

Allotment of Improvements

Allotments of improvements are portions of the proceeds of a property awarded to the party that made the improvements


An answer is the defendant’s principal pleading in response to a plaintiff’s complaint


Apportionment is the equitable division according to parties’ respective interests


Possession of a single property by several co-owners in which each co-owner has an undivided interest in the property


See: Co-ownership

Community Property

Community property is a type of co-ownership in which both assets and debts that are acquired during the course of a marriage belong to both spouses equally as community property.

Compensatory Adjustment

Compensatory adjustment is the monetary reimbursement for improvements made to a shared property by one co-owner


A complaint is an initial pleading in which a plaintiff lays out the facts on which the claim for relief is based.

Concurrent Interests

Concurrent interests is the ownership of land by multiple people at the same time

Cross Complaint

A cross complaint is a separate, independent action arising out of the original plaintiff’s claim against the defendant

Decrees and Orders

Decrees and orders are similar to judgments in that they have they same effect and may enforced in a similar manner following a court’s assessment of the rights of the parties.


A deed is a written instrument conveying or transferring title to real property.


Disbursement is the payment of money from a fund

Distribution of Proceeds of Sale

The distribution of proceeds of sale in a partition action is the division and administration of profits from a property sale


Improvements are additions or changes to a property that increase the its value or utility

Inherited Property

Inherited property is property that individuals bequeath to their heirs upon their passing


An injunction is a judicial remedy requiring a party to refrain from doing or continuing to do a certain act or activity

Interlocutory Judgment

An interlocutory judgment is a temporary, preliminary judgment that is not final or definitive

Joint Mortgage

A joint mortgage is a mortgage agreement that is shared between 2 or more people

Joint Tenancy

A joint tenancy is a type of co-ownership in which an interest is “owned by two or more persons in equal shares.”[1]California Civil Code 683

Jointly Owned Property

See: Co-ownership


Jurisdiction is the official power to hear and determine a case and make legal decisions and judgments

Lis Pendens

A lis pendens, or a notice of pendency of action, is a document recorded with the county recorder that provides constructive notice of a lawsuit affecting title to, or possession of, real property.

Manner of Partition

The manner of partition is the type of partition (partition by sale, partition in kind, or partition by appraisal) that will occur to the property


A mortgage is a loan in which a lender (usually a bank) lends money in exchange for taking title of a property. Upon repayment of the debt, the conveyance of the title becomes void


Offsets are claims for reimbursements arising before the lawsuit was filed for improvements, repairs, or other expenses relating to the jointly owned property

Ordinary Improvements

Improvements made to a shared property so that it remains safe and livable


An ouster is defined as “the wrongful dispossession or exclusion by one tenant of his cotenant or cotenants from the common property of which they are entitled to possession.” [2]Zaslow v. Kroenert (1946) 29 Cal. 2d 541, 548; accord Hacienda Ranch Homes, Inc. v. Superior Ct. (2011) 198 Cal.App. 4th 1122, 1128, as modified on denial of reh’g (Sept. 28, … Continue reading

Partition Action

A partition action is a court ordered process to equitably distribute jointly owned property in one of three manners

Partition by Appraisal

A partition by appraisal allows the court to appraise a property when all parties agree [3]California Code of Civil Procedure 873.910

Partition in Kind

A partition in kind is a judgment forcing the physical division of a property and equitably distributing each portion among co-owners[4]California Code of Civil Procedure 873.210

Partition Referee

A partition referee is a court-appointed individual in charge of equitably partitioning a property[5]California Code of Civil Procedure 873.010, et seq.

Partition by Sale

A partition by sale is a court-ordered judgment forcing the sale of jointly owned property, thereby allowing co-owners to receive their equitable portion of the property. [6]California Code of Civil Procedure 873.510

Personal Property

Personal property is property that is moveable, as opposed to real property; chattels.

Quiet Title

A quiet title action is a lawsuit filed to obtain a final determination of title to real property between adverse parties.

Quitclaim Deed

A quitclaim deed is a deed which conveys only the interest the grantor has, thereby bypassing the requirement of clear title to sell a property

Real Property

Real property is land and such property permanently fixed to it, such as a building.

Tenancy in Common

A tenancy in common is a form of co-ownership in which an interest is “owned by several persons, not in joint ownership or partnership.”[7]California Civil Code 685


A title to real property is the legal right to use and possess the property.

Trust Deed

A trust deed, or a deed of trust, is a legal instrument between a borrower, lender, and trustee in which a lender gives a borrower money in exchange for promissory notes and then transfers title to an impartial trustee who holds it as collateral.


A waiver is the intentional and voluntary relinquishment of a certain right.

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.


1 California Civil Code 683
2 Zaslow v. Kroenert (1946) 29 Cal. 2d 541, 548; accord Hacienda Ranch Homes, Inc. v. Superior Ct. (2011) 198 Cal.App. 4th 1122, 1128, as modified on denial of reh’g (Sept. 28, 2011) (quoting Estate of Hughes (1992) 5 Cal.App. 4th 1607)
3 California Code of Civil Procedure 873.910
4 California Code of Civil Procedure 873.210
5 California Code of Civil Procedure 873.010, et seq.
6 California Code of Civil Procedure 873.510
7 California Civil Code 685
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