Civil Causes of Action - Partition Law & Legal Definition


A court action to divide property. The action usually arises when a property is jointly owned and a dispute arises about how to divide it. The partition statutes govern actions for partition of real property and, in many cases, actions for the partition of personal property. The partition statutes do not apply to property divisions under the Family Law Act or in other types of cases specifically governed by other statutes. 

A partition action may be initiated and maintained by any of the following persons:

  1. A co-owner of personal property;
  2. an owner of an estate of inheritance, an estate for life, or an estate for years in real property where such property or estate therein is owned by several persons concurrently or in successive estates. Generally, a partition action may be maintained only by a person having the interest in the property, however, an equitable interest, is sufficient to support a partition action. 

A 'partition in kind' refers to land partitioned conveniently and equitably between or among the owners. Alternatively, it must be sold as a single parcel and the proceeds divided among the owners.