Understanding Co-Ownership in Sutter County
Shared ownership of property in California is becoming more popular every day, especially in Sutter County. With record breaking demand for real estate in Sutter County, California and statewide, many buyers find that owning a home with another (or several other) co-owners among the population of 96,971 in Sutter County is the most affordable way to invest in real estate. Whether these co-owners are romantic partners, family members, friends, or other investors, it is possible for these relationships to sour over time, making owning shared real estate together unbearable. California allows for what is known as a partition action to force the sale of property among co-owners, even if one or more co-owners doesn’t want to sell.
What is a Partition Action in California?
A partition action is a court ordered process to separate joint owners’ respective interests in real estate.California Code of Civil Procedure 872.240 It is the only court ordered remedy for co-owners who disagree on what to do with a property. A partition action will ensure sale or division of a property equitably among its co-owners. A partition is achievable no matter the size of your interest in the property, as well as whether your co-owner is belligerent, uncommunicative, or just doesn’t want to sell the property. In fact, California courts have unequivocally stated that the “right to partition is absolute.”Bacon v. Wahrhaftig (1950) 97 Cal.App. 2d 599, 603.
How Does a Partition Action Work?
A partition action may be a last resort for many co-owners in Sutter County who have tried reasoning with their uncooperative co-owner(s). Once all options to reason with this person have been exhausted, a partition action is the only way to ensure an equitable division of jointly owned real estate. It is highly advisable to consult with a partition lawyer to ensure that all documents are properly filed with the court. A partition attorney in California can help you organize important documents to proceed with the partition, including, but not limited to: the grant deed, trust deed, will, and any other documents the attorney may need to evaluate your situation.
How Long Does a Partition Action Take in Sutter County?
The length of time it takes to resolve a partition action varies greatly depending on the complexity of each case. Best case scenario, it is possible to reach a settlement agreement in as short as a few months. However, in a worst case scenario where the partition is hotly contested by other parties, it may take a year or two (rarely longer) for the partition action to be completed. An efficient and experienced partition attorney serving Sutter County can help you achieve a resolution in your partition case in the most time-efficient manner possible.
Who Can File a Partition Action?
The laws in Sutter County, and throughout California, are that there are four distinct types of co-ownership: joint tenancy (with rights of survivorship), tenancy in common, partnership, and community property. Any real estate owned by joint tenants, tenants in common, or under a partnership is subject to partition law. Community property, however, is not. Property that has been purchased by spouses during the course of their marriage is community property, and therefore does not fall under the umbrella of partition law, unless it was already distributed to the former marital partners in the divorce. A family law attorney with experience in division of community property can assist in such scenarios.
How Much Does a Partition Action Cost?
The cost of a partition action in Sutter County can vary widely depending on the complexity of the case. A typical partition action usually costs between $5,000 and $12,000, with about $8,000 being the most common cost. However, difficulty locating a defendant, motion and opposition to appointment of a partition referee, disagreement on property sale price, and other issues may raise the cost of your partition action. An experienced partition lawyer can mitigate costs and resolve your co-ownership dispute with maximum efficiency.
Who Pays for a Partition Action?
In Sutter County, California and elsewhere in the United States, each party typically pays for their own attorney’s fees (known as the “American Rule”). However, California partition law allows for an exception to this rule, stating that “the court shall apportion the costs of partition among the parties in proportion to their interests or make such other apportionment as may be equitable.” California Code of Civil Procedure 874.040 Indeed, the court may award “reasonable attorney’s fees incurred or paid by a party for the common benefit.” California Code of Civil Procedure 874.010(a)
Contact an Experienced Partition Attorney in Sutter County, California
If you want to end your co-ownership relationship, but your co-owner won’t agree, a partition action is your only option. Our experienced partition lawyer serving Sutter County have years of experience ending co-ownership disputes in California and can help you unlock the equity in your Sutter County property. For a free, 15 minute consultation with an experienced partition attorney at Partition Lawyer California, call (800) 443-3300 or fill out a contact form online.