In Florida, owning property with another party is relatively common. The co-ownership may be through a business venture, or a situation such as a divorce, or an inheritance. When property owners don’t agree on what to do with a parcel of land, Florida law allows them to go before a court and ask that it be divided through a partition action. Here is what to expect during your Florida partition action:
Filing a Florida Partition Action
- Florida law requires that a property owner who wants to divide co-owned land, file a partition action in the county where the property is located or is partially located.
- One or more of the owners or joint tenants, tenants in common or coparceners can file an action against each other or any other party who may have an interest in their ownership.
- The Complaint, or document the party files, must describe the property, and identify the owners, their addresses, joint tenants, tenants in common, coparceners, or other persons interested in the lands. If the filing party does not have this information, he or she must include a statement to that effect.
- The filing party must also include everyone’s quantity of ownership interest to the best of his or her knowledge, and any other information the court needs to have in order to decide the rights and interests of the parties.
Evidence and Judgment
The court will consider the evidence provided by the parties and issue a decision as to their respective rights and interests. When the land does not have improvements such as a dwelling or income-producing asset, the judge may decide to divide it equally amongst the parties. When the property is more challenging to allocate equitably, the court could order that it be sold and that each party be awarded his or her proportionate share of the proceeds.
Because of the uncertainty of what a court may do, partition actions are usually a last resort. When property owners disagree, it is far preferable that they work their differences out on their own, rather than leaving things to chance. If you are considering filing a partition action or anticipate that a co-owner may do so, you should discuss the matter with an experienced Florida real estate attorney. Your counsel can help you assess the situation and consider your options.
At Rabideau Klein, Guy Rabideau, Esq. and David E. Klein, Esq. are Florida Board-Certified Real Estate Attorneys with extensive experience handling Florida partition issues. If you have questions regarding your Florida property interest, Contact Rabideau Klein today.