Partition actions are when one party to jointly-owned property or a business wants to sell their ownership rights. Business litigation and partnership disputes happen all the time and the remedy is a partition action that occurs in a court of law. Parties owning property usually sell the property. This process makes it easier for each party to get its equitable fractioned interest. Estates can also go through a partition action. Inherited assets are complex because they can have many individuals with all of them having an interest in the estate. Therefore a partition is a request to a court to help determine the best manner of dividing jointly-owned property.
Many people wonder what they can do to protect their interests during or before a partition lawsuit occurs. Best practices are a key factor in a positive outcome and winning your partition action in California or anywhere else
Key To Winning A Partition
The key to winning a partition action is to get as organized as possible. Maintain all relevant documentation. Having all your ducks in a row can more likely help win a partition action.
- Stay Organized: Stay organized keeping all documents that pertain to the ownership of land or business. Keep a filing system and label all sections accordingly.
- Be active and Take Minutes: Business owners should go to all company meetings and take regular meeting minutes. Keeping all records about what was talked about and agreed upon helps prove any discrepancy.
- Practice Clear Communication: Clear communication with co-owners makes sure everyone understands what is expected of them. A common mission statement to keep in mind.
- Cover Your Bases: Business and property owners should cover their end of any agreements and responsibilities formed with co-owners.
- Speak to an Attorney: Make an appointment to meet with an attorney who has worked with business, real estate, estate law. The legal experts will help you decide on the best strategy to achieve your goals.
Can A Partition Be Stopped?
Typically, a partition action cannot be stopped once a lawsuit is filed because anyone who wants to dissolve ownership that is jointly owned with another person has a legal right to sell his/her interest if desired. If you happen to be one of the parties who does not want to break up the property there are some defenses available to prevent or slow down a forced sale:
- Buying out the other parties’ interests, if possible.
- Checking the contract for waiver of the right to partition.
- Make sure the plaintiff has the right to partition the property.
- Check deeds to make sure all parties have a title/ownership interest.
- Ensure no breach of contract occurred between interested parties.
Having a strong defense is the best way to win a partition action. Hiring a skilled attorney saves money, time, and stress.
Best Question to ask before and during a Partition Action
1) What do the courts look for in a partition lawsuit? The courts will look at two things:
- The parties interest in a business and/or land.
How to partition the business or property. It can be cashout (sell) or divide (interest differently) amongst the parties.
2) How much can a partition action cost?
- Attorney fees are determined by the attorney and vary based on the complexity of the case.
- Shop for an attorney who offers initial free consultations.
3) Are property owners making the best decision for the property? Are all owners being responsible?
Do I Need an Attorney for a Partition Action?
Get to know the attorney and see if he/she is the lawyer you want to advocate for you. Come with a list of questions. It is best to speak to an experienced partition attorney, business attorney, real estate attorney, or estate planning lawyer that is familiar with the laws in your area. At Stone and Sallus, we are ready to help you with your California Partition Action.