Owelty Law and Legal Definition

Owelty is an equalization charge. It is the amount that one co-owner must pay to another after a lawsuit to partition real estate, so that each co-owner receives equal value from the property. This is done to achieve equality after exchange of parcels of land having different values or after an unequal partition of real property.

The following is an example of a caselaw defining owelty:

Owelty is a sum of money paid by one former joint tenant to another after a partition results in an unequal division of their land; the owelty compensates the former tenant who received the lesser value for the disparity.[Masayesva ex rel. Hopi Indian Tribe v. Hale, 118 F.3d 1371 (9th Cir. Ariz. 1995)]