The Power of Partition

There comes a day in many of our lives when you are talking with friends, family-members or roommates and you all decide it would be an amazing idea to all split the cost of something expensive.  That thing could be buying a house, a new car, a boat, a really nice television set for an apartment, or some other rather expensive item.

Sometimes this arrangement works out well and everyone is happy.

Most times issues will pop up. If issues come up then there needs to be a way to solve the problem. When the issue is due to a house or piece of land the answer is fairly well known, you can seek a partition from the court. A partition being a force sale of the land. Any co-owner of the land can seek a partition even if the other owners do not want to sell. This remedy shows up fairly often with marital homes in divorces or after family multiple members inherit land from a deceased family member.

But – what about the car, television set, or other personal property? That answer appears murkier, but is fundamentally the the same process as with a home or a piece of land. Any co-owner can ask the court to partition the personal property and force a sale. This obviously would not be a go to action for a less expensive item, but for items that have sentimental value or are high worth like a car, fine art, antiques, high-end television, or a high-end computer which could all be ten thousand dollars or more a partition may be the way to solve the disagreement.

If you find yourself in a situation where you have a sentimental item that you feel is worth the cost or a high value item, a partition action would result in the court ordering that the personal property be sold and the proceeds divided out. In such a case, even if it is five people that all went in to buy a boat together, and they are all listed as co-owners, and only one of those owners wished to sell the boat, that one person’s desire to sell is enough to ask the court to grant a partition.

If you have a disagreement with co-owners over real or personal property and you have not been able to solve the dispute, consulting with an attorney to discuss how to go forward with partitioning the real or personal property is your next step.

If you are a co-owner of property and you wish to have that property sold please contact us as or call us at (804) 423-1382 to set up an initial consultation so we can help with the next steps of the process.