Filing a Lawsuit for Partition in Florida

Partition in Florida

Two or more people often own property, a scenario that might lead to considering a Partition in Florida. This co-ownership can be by choice, such as when a couple decides to buy a house together or a group of friends who have known each other for years invest in a property in a high-priced real estate market. Alternatively, co-ownership can result from other factors, like siblings inheriting a parent’s house or land.

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If multiple people jointly own property, they must decide about the property as a group. It can be hard to get everyone on the same page. Partition is the legal action that one or more owners must take when they cannot resolve an issue themselves. In Florida, partition can be obtained by filing a civil suit, in which the court decides how best to handle jointly owned properties.

FILING FOR A PARTITION

Filing for a partition is a legal process involving property division among owners and can be quite complex, especially without proper legal guidance. Suppose you’re considering filing for a partition in Florida. In that case, engaging a real estate attorney who is well-versed in local laws is highly advisable to ensure that all legal requirements are meticulously followed.

The partition action must be initiated by an owner of the property and filed in the county where the property is wholly or partially located. The complaint, a crucial document in this process, must include several key pieces of information to be considered valid:

  1. Description of the Property: This should be a detailed description of the land in question, providing clear boundaries and any relevant details that identify the property uniquely.
  2. Names of All Owners: The complaint must list every owner of the property, including individuals, corporations, or any other entities that hold ownership.
  3. Addresses of Each Owner: The current addresses of all listed owners must be included, ensuring that all parties receive proper legal notices regarding the partition action.
  4. Proportion of Ownership: The complaint should clearly state the percentage of the property owned by each party. This is essential for determining how the property will be divided.

In instances where any of the above information is unknown, the filing party or plaintiff must state this explicitly in the complaint. Missing information must be acknowledged and detailed as unknown, ensuring the complaint is processed without unnecessary delays.

PARTITIONING DIVISIBLE LAND

If the plaintiff proves that they have a right to the land, the court can appoint commissioners to oversee the proper partitioning. The parties can agree on these commissioners, or the judge may select them.

They have several responsibilities and power to divide the land properly. If necessary, they can hire a land surveyor to do so. The commissioners, for example, will decide how to divide a parcel of land owned by two individuals. After determining the outcome, the commissioners will file a court report.

The plaintiff or defendant has 10 days to object to the report’s contents. If no reasonable objections are made, the court will grant each party a quiet title to their land.

PARTITION OF NON-DIVIDABLE LAND

Some properties can’t be divided. When three siblings have equal interests in the parent’s home, dividing that house into three separate properties is impossible. In this case, a partition action can be used to force the sale of the house, and the proceeds are then divided between the co-owners.

In this case, the commissioners are assigned to determine if the land is non-divisible, as claimed by the plaintiffs. If the commissioner informs the court that this is true, the court can order the commissioners to sell the land at auction.

The sale proceeds are split among the owners, depending on who paid the down payment, who paid the mortgage, who paid the property tax, and who made improvements. The co-owners will not be paid until all mortgages and liens are satisfied.

Call a Florida real estate lawyer for help.

 

If you need assistance with a real estate partition in Florida—perhaps involving property shared with family, friends, former romantic partners, or business partners—consider contacting Bonardi & Uzdavinis LLP. Our Tampa-based legal team is ready to provide expert guidance and help you navigate the complexities of forcing a property decision. Call us at (813) 540-2019 for immediate assistance. Whether it’s understanding your legal rights or initiating a partition action, our experienced attorneys are here to support you every step of the way. Contact us today to discuss your situation and explore your legal options.

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