Questions Frequently Asked About Partition In Texas
At The DOYLE LAW Firm in Dallas, I am frequently asked many questions about Texas’s complicated partition laws. Drawing from two decades of experience and insight, I offer brief answers to some of the most common questions I am asked.
My grandfather passed away 20 years ago, and I just found out that my two siblings and I co-own his house. My siblings won’t talk to me. Can I petition the court to partition the house and receive my share from the sales proceeds?
Yes. Even if the other co-owners won’t communicate with you, you can file and serve a partition action against them and the court will order the sale of the house. Even if the co-owners ignore the lawsuit, the court will still order the sale and the proceeds divided.
My boyfriend and I were planning to get married and bought a house, but after we bought the house, we broke up, and I moved out. He lives there and refuses to sell or pay me for my share of the home. Can I petition the court to partition the house so I can receive my share from the sales proceeds?
Yes. The court will order the sale of the home and if your boyfriend refuses to leave, he can be evicted. Partition is an absolute right for any one co-owner and it is, or is almost, impossible to stop a partition brought by one co-owner.
I entered into a business venture whereby certain other joint venturers and I purchased a piece of property. There is a dispute regarding whether to sell the property or hold on to it. Can I petition the court to partition the property?
Possibly, but certain agreements contain prohibitions against partition. I would have to read the relevant contract(s) in order to make a proper assessment.
My cousin and I own a house that had been our grandfather’s. We cannot agree on what to do with the house, and I just want the situation to end. Is partition an option for me and my cousin?
Yes. If you cannot agree, either one of you may hire an attorney to file a petition to partition the property, and it will be sold with the profits divided between the two of you.
I think my home needs to be partitioned, but I have paid all the taxes for years and years, and the other co-owners have not. Will I get credit for my tax payments?
Yes. The court will take into account all equities, including (a) who paid taxes, (b) who was living in the home, (c) who received rent, if any, (d) who paid for any significant improvements and (e) any other factors that should be taken into account in the spirit of equity.
If a title company in any Texas county tells you that you can’t sell your home because it is co-owned by someone else, what should you do?
Call me, James J. Doyle, III. It would be helpful if you can provide me with any of the following information:
- Who co-owns the home?
- What is the home’s value?
- Are there any mortgages or liens on the property?
- Who has been paying the taxes?
- Who has been living in the home?
- What is the rental value of the home?
- Have there been any major expenditures on improvements to the home?