Partition & Division of Property Forms for Joint Tenants
How to Divide Property Through Partition
People can own property individually, as tenants in common, or as joint tenants. Although there are benefits to co-ownership, issues arise when there are disagreements between co-owners, often resulting in stagnation of matters relating to improvement or disposition of property. In these situations, it is better to resort to the solution of partition. A lot that is jointly owned can be divided into portions distinguishing each owner's proportionate share. Thus, the act of partition allows joint owners to sever their rights and take away their individual proportionate share.
Property partition can be carried out with or without the help of court. When co-owners are unable to agree on a specific division plan, a court can determine the division. Sometimes, property cannot be divided physically. In such cases, a partition sale can be performed. The proceeds from sale can be divided proportionately among the co-owners.
There are three types of partition:
- Partition in kind: In this method, division of property physically provides each owner with a proportionate share.
- Partition by allotment: A single owner or a group of owners is awarded ownership of the entire property, and in turn pays those divested of ownership an amount proportionate to their respective shares. However, this kind of partition is not allowed in all jurisdictions.
- Partition by sale: Property is sold and the proceeds are divided among the co-owners.
Before heading for partition, it will help to create a plat map of the area so that the co-owners are made aware of all the features of the property. This will ensure that there are fewer disputes after partition regarding who received a better share. Sometimes, it might be better to file quiet title action to prove priority of ownership before proceeding with partition.