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What is a Partition Attorney

A partition attorney is a lawyer you go to if you co-own property with people who you disagree with regarding the property’s administration. For example, if you co-own property with someone and you want to sell while the other does not, you go to a partition attorney. If you disagree with the other co-owner on the issue of how to use the co-owned property, you go to a partition attorney. The partition attorney will file a partition case with the court to request for the sale of the property and the division of the proceeds (less expenses) among the co-owners.

Partition of Property

In a partition case, there are two ways that partition is effected: the property can be physically divided, if it is possible. Otherwise, the property is sold.

When the co-owners acquire the property as heirs, a different procedure is observed. Under the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act (UPHPA), which is applicable in many states, including New York, the co-owners are required to bargain in good faith regarding the sale of the property in a mediation conference. If this fails, the court is required to make a valuation of the inherited property in an evidentiary hearing. Based on this value, the property is offered to the defendant co-owners, who are given the right to purchase the share of the co-owner seeking partition. If the defendants do not exercise this right, property may be sold in open market (and not in auction) at fair market value.

Usual Outcome of a Partition Action

A partition action is almost always granted, for as long as proper procedure is followed. For this reason, once the partition attorney files the case, parties usually arrive at a settlement regarding the administration of the property. The co-owners know they will lose equity in the property if the partition case is dragged on because the partition lawyers’ fees will be taken from the proceeds of the property before such proceeds are distributed to the co-owners. For this reason, a partition case is usually just filed for leverage in negotiations, especially for those co-owners who are not yielding in not wanting to sell the property.

Expertise of Partition Attorneys

Partition attorneys must have strong negotiation skills so they can effectively mediate between the parties with conflicting interests regarding the sale of the property. It is also important to know local laws pertaining to real estate transactions, zoning regulations, tax implications, and title disputes, which will be helpful in the sale of the property. In addition, the partition attorney needs to represent the client in court hearings regarding the partition action.

Partition lawyers play an important role in protecting their clients’ rights in having the property sold, even at the objection of the other co-owners. Partition lawyers know the best strategy to to move forward based on the individual circumstances at hand. If you own property with someone else and you are in disagreement on how to use the property, we at the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin are here for you. We have offices in New York, NY, Brooklyn, NY and Queens, NY. You can call us at 718-509-9774 or send us an email at attorneyalbertgoodwin@gmail.com.