Partition: What Is It?

Most people have never heard of a “partition action” – until, of course, they find themselves in the middle of one.


So what is a partition? It’s actually quite common in the world of real estate law and frequently occurs when family members can’t agree on what to do with a piece of property that was inherited and is now co-owned among the family.


Partition cases also crop up in situations where two or more investors disagree on how they should hold their property.


Partition may also be necessary where an unmarried but cohabitating couple purchases property together and then later decides to part ways.


When the parties in this situations can’t agree on how to divide their interests, they must turn to the courts for a resolution.

Partition Lawsuits Explained

Partitions are addressed in California Code of Civil Procedure Section 872.310, which states that “the primary purpose of a partition suit is, as the terminology implies, to partition the property, that is, to sever the unity of possession.”


In most cases, a co-owner can force a partition action, even if another co-owner objects. In other words, with limited exceptions, you can’t be trapped into co-owning a piece of property with someone else.


If zoning laws and the nature of the land permit, the court may be able to simply divide the property among the parties. Because most properties in partition cases include a dwelling, however, the court usually can’t divide the property into equal shares. Instead, the majority of partition actions involve either the sale or purchase of one party’s interest or the sale of the whole property and division of the proceeds.


The court must follow specific procedures in a partition action. In all cases, the court will look at all options to determine which one results in the fairest, most equitable result for all parties.

California Eviction and Real Estate Law

Attorney Kirkman J. Hoffman has more than 20 years’ experience representing commercial and residential landlords, owners, and property managers in Silicon Valley and the surrounding regions. Contact the team at Hoffman Law Group today at (408) 241-9620 to discuss your real estate or eviction matter.


This website has been prepared by Hoffman Law Group, APC for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.