Defenses Against a Partition Action in Florida
What Are the Defenses Against a Partition Action in Florida?
A partition action in Florida may arise when multiple co-owners, such as children of a deceased parent or spouses, jointly own real estate and disagreements occur. While an amicable agreement between parties can avoid the need for partition action, sometimes conflicts arise, leading to one co-owner filing a partition action to demand a sale or buy-out of the property.
In cases where no agreement can be reached among the parties involved, a co-owner can seek court intervention. The co-owner seeking the partition must prove ownership and must request the court divide the property either via a Partition in Kind, where the property is divided into physically distinct and separately titled parcels of land, or via the more common Partition by Sale, where the property is sold, all liens are paid, and the proceeds are divided between the co-owners. The court will then decide on an appropriate resolution such as physically dividing the property or forcing a sale of the property with a determination as to the rights of the parties to any proceeds from a partition sale.
To defend against a partition action in the State of Florida, the remaining owner(s) should seek guidance from an experienced partition action attorney to protect their rights. It is very rare for a Florida court to outright deny a Partition by Sale. The right to partition is considered an absolute right in Florida – the law will not force co-owners to own property together. That said, defenses to partition do exist, the most common being that a co-owner previously voluntarily waived their legal rights to the property.
Just as importantly, however, is the co-owners’ respective rights to the partition sales proceeds, which is determined through a process commonly called “contribution.” As a part of the partition litigation, parties often assert claims to receive an uneven amount of the sales proceeds due to their uneven payment of expenses (mortgage payment, taxes, etc.) or other capital expenditures (paid for a new roof) in proportion to their ownership share. For example, if two co-owners owned a property 50/50, but one of the co-owners paid all of the bills during the co-ownership, that co-owner would have a claim to substantially share of the partition sales proceeds if properly raised in the partition action.
Most partition litigation occurs on this issue.
About Messina Law Group, P.A.
We are a full-service law firm operating in the State of Florida, and we specialize in handling Action for Partition cases. Our goal is to protect the interests of each client and provide them with the best legal representation. If you are considering filing a Complaint for Partition, whether related to probate or a traditional co-ownership arrangement, we are here to help.
For a free consultation, call us at 813) 492-7798. Our office is located at 2550 Permit Place, New Port Richey, Florida, and we also have other convenient locations available by appointment.