4.8/5 based on 35 reviews.

Sudden Wealth Blog

What Is A Partition Action and How Does It Work?

Two people with saw getting ready to cut play house in half. A partition action can be like this.

When multiple individuals own a piece of property together, disagreements can arise over how to use or divide it. In these cases, a partition action may be necessary to legally divide the property among the co-owners. This process can be complex, so it’s important to understand how it works and when it may be appropriate.

What is a partition action?

A partition action is a legal process used to divide property among co-owners. This can include real estate, personal property, or any other type of shared asset. The goal of a partition action is to provide a fair and equitable division of the property, taking into account the interests and contributions of each co-owner. This process can be initiated by any co-owner who wants to divide the property, and it typically involves the assistance of an attorney and a court order.

When is a partition action necessary?

A partition action may be necessary when co-owners of a property cannot agree on how to divide it. This can occur in situations such as inheritance, divorce, or business dissolution. In some cases, one co-owner may want to sell the property while another wants to keep it. A partition action can also be necessary when one co-owner is preventing others from accessing or using the property. In any of these situations, a partition action can provide a legal solution for dividing the property fairly and efficiently.

Types of partition actions.

There are two main types of partition actions: partition in kind and partition by sale. Partition in kind involves physically dividing the property among the co-owners, with each receiving a portion of the property. This is typically done when the property can be easily divided, such as a piece of land or a building with multiple units. Partition by sale involves selling the property and dividing the proceeds among the co-owners. This is typically done when the property cannot be easily divided or when the co-owners cannot agree on a fair division of the property.

How does a partition action work?

A partition action is initiated by one or more co-owners who want to divide the property. They will file a lawsuit in court, and the court will then determine whether a partition is necessary and which type of partition is appropriate. If the court orders a partition, the property will be divided either in kind or by sale, depending on the circumstances. The co-owners will then receive their respective shares of the property or the proceeds from the sale. It is important to note that a partition action can be a complex and lengthy legal process, and it is recommended to seek the advice of an experienced attorney.

Can beneficiaries of a trust owning real property file a partition action?

Partition is available to anyone holding “an interest” in real property.  “The owner or claimant of real property or any interest therein may compel a partition of the property between him and other owners or claimants by filing a complaint in the superior court of the county in which the property, or a portion thereof, is situated.” A.R.S. s12-1211. A trustee of a trust holds legal title, but the beneficiaries hold beneficial or equitable title. Therefore, the beneficiaries theoretically hold “interests” for purposes of the partition statue. Whether a beneficiary of a trust can bring a partition action is going to be fact specific and will probably require an interpretation of the particular trust terms and assets. The question is going to be whether the person or entity seeking partition has sufficient current interest in the particular property. A trust beneficiary with a vested interest in trust property does not necessarily have a vested interest in a particular trust property.

The role of an attorney in a partition action.

An attorney can play a crucial role in a partition action, as the process can be complex and involve various legal issues. An attorney can help co-owners understand their rights and obligations, assess the value of the property, negotiate with other co-owners, and represent them in court. Additionally, an attorney can help co-owners explore alternative options to a partition, such as a buyout or a sale of the property outside of court. It is important to choose an attorney with experience in partition actions and real estate law to ensure the best possible outcome. (We regularly handle partition actions.)

We can help you solve your partition problem.

Don’t let property disputes hold you back any longer. Take control of your assets and regain your peace of mind with the help of our experienced legal team. Contact Sudden Wealth Protection law today to learn more about partition actions and how they can provide the solution you need. Our dedicated attorneys are ready to assist you every step of the way towards a fair and equitable resolution. Don’t wait. Call us today at 602-443-4888 and pave the path to a brighter property future.



Founding attorney Paul Deloughery has been an attorney since 1998, became a Certified Family Wealth Advisor. He is also the founder of Sudden Wealth Protection Law.