Florida Partition of Property: What to Know

Joint property ownership can be convenient, but it can also lead to disputes. When co-owners can no longer agree on how to manage a property, Florida partition law offers a solution. If you’re facing disagreements over shared assets in Florida, here’s what you should know.

What Is a Partition Action?

A partition action is a legal process initiated in a Florida circuit court to divide or sell property co-owned by individuals. This mechanism covers a wide array of assets such as residential homes, condominiums, commercial spaces, and undeveloped land. 

The principle behind a partition action is to enable co-owners to equitably distribute the property’s value when they cannot agree on its disposition. Florida statutes are particularly supportive of partition rights, ensuring that such requests are seldom refused by the courts. Essentially, this legal avenue provides a structured solution for resolving disputes over jointly owned property, promoting fair outcomes for all involved parties. 

Through partition actions, co-owners have a reliable method to either physically divide the property or sell it and share the proceeds. This process underscores the legal system’s commitment to upholding property rights and facilitating the amicable resolution of ownership issues.

Who Can File a Partition Action?

In Florida, the right to file a partition action is granted to any co-owner of a property, offering a legal pathway to resolve disputes over jointly owned real estate. This action becomes particularly useful in a variety of common scenarios:

Divorcing Couples with Joint Real Estate Ownership

When a marriage ends, dividing assets can be complicated, especially when it comes to real estate owned jointly by the couple. A partition action can facilitate the fair division or sale of the property, ensuring that both parties receive their equitable share.

Business Partners Seeking to Dissolve Their Partnership and Distribute Assets

In business, partners may decide to go their separate ways for numerous reasons. If the partnership owns property together, a partition action provides a mechanism to equitably divide this asset or sell it and split the proceeds, thereby dissolving the partnership smoothly.

Siblings Inheriting Property Together but Disagreeing on Its Usage

It’s not uncommon for siblings to inherit property from a deceased relative. Conflicts may arise if they have different visions for the property’s use, sale, or management. A partition action can offer a resolution, either through a division of the property, if feasible, or by selling it and dividing the proceeds among the heirs.

Types of Partitions

In Florida, courts may order two primary types of partitions for resolving disputes over jointly owned property:

Partition in Kind (Physical Division)

This method entails physically dividing the property into distinct portions, each allocated to a co-owner. It’s typically applied to undeveloped land where such a division is feasible without diminishing the property’s value.

Partition by Sale

More frequently employed for homes or developed properties, this approach involves selling the property under court order. The sale proceeds are then distributed among the co-owners, reflecting their respective ownership shares. This method is favored when a physical division is impractical or would adversely affect the property’s overall value.

The Partition Process

The partition process requires understanding its structured steps, from seeking legal advice to the final court determination. Here’s a breakdown of these critical stages:

Step 1: Contacting Contract Attorneys in Florida

Before taking any legal action, it’s crucial to consult with a qualified attorney. A knowledgeable real estate attorney can provide invaluable advice on your rights and the best strategy for your situation.

Step 2: Filing a Complaint 

The formal process starts with filing a complaint in the appropriate circuit court. This document should detail the ownership interests and the basis for requesting a partition, effectively initiating the legal proceedings.

Step 3: Defenses 

After the complaint is filed, other co-owners have the chance to present defenses against the partition, like an agreement that limits partition rights. Nonetheless, it’s rare for these defenses to halt the partition process.

Step 4: Court Determination 

The court reviews the complaint and any defenses to decide if the partition action is warranted. If approved, it then determines the most suitable method for partitioning the property, considering either physical division or sale.

Step 5: Appointment of a Special Magistrate

If a sale is chosen as the best method for partition, the court may appoint a special magistrate to manage the sale process. This step ensures the property is sold at a fair market value and that proceeds are distributed equitably among co-owners according to their shares.

Need Legal Help with Property Disputes? Contact the Ferrer Law Group

Property ownership disputes can be stressful and overwhelming.  If you are a co-owner of property in Florida and are facing disagreements that seem impossible to resolve. Understanding Florida’s partition of property laws is an important first step toward finding a resolution and restoring your peace of mind.

At the Ferrer Law Group, our breach of contract attorneys guide clients through complex property disputes, including partition actions. We have extensive experience in Florida real estate law, including condominium law, landlord-tenant disputes, and contract law. If you need representation regarding your property rights –  we are here to help. Contact us to schedule a consultation.

Legal Disclaimer: The materials within this website are for informational purposes only. They are not legal advice and should not be used as such. Transmission of the information in this website is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Internet users and readers should not act upon this information and should seek professional legal counsel.