PARTITION ACTIONS IN FLORIDA
Holding title to a property with another person who does not share the same intentions or ideas for the property can lead to divergent interests and quarrels. Often, as a result of either inheritance (the death of a family member that leaves a property to several children or heirs), or holding title to property jointly as either siblings, friends or unmarried couples, title holder interests in the property may not be the same. Title holders may have different ideas about what to do with the property; in particular, how to use, improve, or dispose of it.
A Partition action, which can be brought to divide the property into individual shares among the owners, allowing you to move forward with your share independently.
A partition, or division, of property can be arranged on a voluntary basis if all owners agree to it. However, if they don’t agree, a judge can order a partition of the property based on one owner’s request. If done gracefully and with agreement, it can result in a more efficient splitting of the property where all of the former owners are happier owning their own portion. Partition is a remedy that’s usually favored by courts, for the sake of maintaining peace between the parties.
Voluntary Partition vs. Judicial Partition
As Co-owners, you may work out an agreement between eachother and one can buy the other out. This is called a Voluntary Partition. That would require getting an appraisal and finding out the value of the property. And thereafter, the one party that wishes to maintain the property would get a loan or pay the other for their 50% share, via quit claim deed. An attorney can assist with the preparation of the deed, valuation of the property and negotiation.
If all owners don’t agree to the partition, one owner may file a lawsuit asking the courts to compel a partition. This is called a Judicial Partition.
Unlike a voluntary partition, a court-ordered partition usually results in the court ordering the sale of the property and the joint owners to divide the proceeds. If you are the one bringing the partition suit, you need to advise the court why you cant agree. If you are defending the partition suit, as the defendant, certain defenses such as the statutes of limitations and undue delay can be raised to forbid or stop the Partition. Similarly, the court will decide the case based on various factors like rights, titles, and the interests of the parties to the suit.
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