Partition Actions for Real Estate in Alabama

December 20, 2022

partition action in Huntsville Alabama

Sole property ownership involves complex rights and responsibilities.  Co-owning property with family or business partners adds a whole new layer of rules and complexity.  Often these rules come into play when the owners have different ideas about what to do with the property. There are a variety of ways to resolve these issues.  One very effective option is a partition or sale for division action.

If you’re struggling to resolve a real estate legal concern, it may be time to talk to an attorney and figure out exactly what your options are. Call Hodges Trial Lawyers at 256-826-4129 to schedule a consultation right away.

Real Estate Disputes Between Joint Owners

Co-owning properties can be great when everyone agrees, but as soon as there are differences of opinion, you need to know your rights.

The most common dispute is that of jointly owned property between family members.  It is very common for a parent, through the estate planning process, to transfer ownership to children.  Consider, for example, a family of two siblings who inherit a vacation home after their parents pass away.

One child wishes to move into the house.  The other child wants to sell the home and distribute the money.  Not only is there a dispute about what to do with the home, if the first child wishes to buy the second’s interest you can bet there will be a dispute as to the value.  This can result in terrible arguments and destruction of relationships.  If a breakdown in communication happens or if they cannot agree on a division of interest, both parties may have legal options.

Co-Owner Situations

There are numerous situations in which people end up owning property together. These situations include:

  • Divorced couples
  • Business partners
  • Inherited property
  • Gifted Property
  • Friends investing in real estate
  • Failed engagements

Other Types of Real Estate Disputes

While it’s common for one party to want to sell and other parties to want to maintain ownership, that isn’t the only type of dispute that may arise. Others include:

  • One party not being able to meet the financial obligations associated with ownership
  • One owner misusing, mismanaging, or causing damage to the property
  • Disagreements over how to use the property (personal use, rent it out, or use it as a business space, as examples)
  • Parties disagreeing over how to maintain the property and who should be responsible for different tasks and expenses
  • One party not being permitted to use or access the property as they are legally permitted to

Solutions to Disputes

There are multiple options that may be available to resolve co-owned property disputes.  But to have a productive conversation, it is essential that both parties understand their rights.

The party interested in maintaining ownership of the property may choose to buy out the other person’s share of the home. In this case, the parties may agree on a value, and complete the necessary deeds to transfer the ownership.  

When a disagreement prevents a settlement or agreement most likely the parties need to seek a legal partition or sale for division.

When a Partition Action is Appropriate

A partition action is a lawsuit that asks the court to determine the ownership shares of the property and the value of the property. The court may order the property sold and for the proceeds to be split between the co-owners. A party may also seek to take advantage of their statutory rights to purchase the other party’s interest at market value.

A partition action is generally the best choice when all informal negotiations have failed. It may also be the best option when there is no desire to maintain the relationship.

For example, consider a scenario similar to the one described above. The dispute is that one party has been completely shut out of the property and denied access and is essentially forced to foot the bill for the other enjoys the property. In this scenario, pursuing a partition action would allow formal resolution of the dispute or sale of the property.

Get Help with Your Real Estate Case—Call Hodges Trial Lawyers

Real estate disputes can get very messy and very expensive. It’s wise to contact an attorney as soon as a problem arises. To set up a consultation with the team at Hodges Trial Lawyers, call us at 256-826-4129 or get in touch online now.