For years, California has been well known for its high real estate values. With so much value present in land or buildings, the stakes are high when one or more co-owners decide to leave the co-ownership arrangement. You likely do not want to sign away your property rights for no compensation but dislike the thought of battling over the partition in court. Your legal expenses could soar during litigation. A court-ordered sale could be a sheriff’s auction where you might not get a good price. Coming to terms for a voluntary partition agreement is your best chance at meeting your goals and satisfying your financial needs.
Meeting with a mediator has a great potential to guide you and your opposing party toward a mutually acceptable agreement. A mediator acts as a neutral third-party. This professional possesses training specifically aimed at helping contentious parties work through their disagreements.
Mediation often succeeds because the mediator makes sure that each side gets to speak in a calm atmosphere. Quite frankly, people also tend to be more reasonable when speaking in front of a stranger. The decision to try mediation does not mean you cannot consult a lawyer about your rights. People entering mediation to settle a real estate dispute often educate themselves about their legal position beforehand.
What voluntary partition could look like
A voluntary partition requires a written agreement where you lay out the terms of what will happen. All owners of the property must sign the agreement.
If you have acreage, you have the option of dividing it up into new individually held parcels. The size of each parcel would be determined by the percentage of vested interest each owner has in the property.
However, division into multiple parcels is not always feasible, especially if your property is a building or single-family home. In that situation, you could appraise the property and have the other owner buy you out for its market value. Alternatively, you could sell the property on the open market and divide the proceeds.