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How to Get Money Out of a House Owned With Others

When someone passes away, the most valuable asset left to their heirs is often the family home. If there are multiple children in the family, the house may be left to all of them equally. While this may be an easy way for the parents to dispose of the house during the estate administration, and the easiest way to treat all of the children fairly, problems may develop down the road when the children have to decide how to manage that asset. For example, they may disagree on whether to keep or sell the house, or whether to renovate and use as investment property. After attempting to work together and perhaps after failing to negotiate a buyout, a co-owner may decide that no out-of-court solution is possible and it’s time to take the matter to court. The issue of bickering co-owners of property is not a new one. Florida state law provides a solution for this problem in the form of an action for partition. If you want to learn how to get money out of a house owned with others, contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates. Our Palm Beach County partition lawyers are ready to assist you today.

Resolving in court

To initiate an action for partition, a property owner must file a complaint with the court in the county where the property is located. The complaint must include:

  • A description of the property
  • The names and addresses of the owners of the property as well as any other interested parties
  • The interest of each party in the property.

The next step is for the court to determine if it is OK to partition the property. For example, a defense to partition may be that the petitioner’s claim to ownership is not valid. If the court determines that the petition should be approved and that partition is the appropriate remedy, it will issue a judgement ordering partition.

The court will then appointment three commissioners to manage the partition. They will review the property and make a recommendation as to whether the property should be partitioned in kind or partition by sale. A partition in kind requires the property to be divided, while a partition by sale requires the property to be divided. Generally, houses are not divided because it is not practical to divide a house and leave each owner with separately titled portions of the house.

If the commissioners determine that the property must be sold, the court will appoint a special magistrate to handle the sale of the house. There are different procedures for conducting the sale. The goal is to get the best price for the property.

  • Judicial sale by public auction. FL Stat § 64.071
  • Sale conducted by the clerk or a magistrate. FL Stat § 64.061
  • Sale based on the stipulation of the parties. See Carlsen v. Carlsen, 346 So. 2d. 132 (Fla. 2D DCA 1977)

Once the sale is completed, the court will distribute the proceeds to the former owners of the property. The owners are responsible for paying for the expenses of the partition. If the property is mortgaged or if there is a lien on the property, they will be satisfied out of the proceeds of the sale before the proceeds are distributed. If the house is mortgaged or there is a lien on the property, contact an experienced partition attorney in Palm Beach County to discuss the specifics of your situation as it may have a significant impact on the amount you ultimately receive from the sale. See Morrison v. Smolarick, No. 2D20-2693 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. Jan. 28, 2022).

Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates

In Florida, the process of partitioning a house involves several complicated steps that if handled incorrectly can result in your interests being compromised. The experienced partition attorneys serving Palm Beach County at Stephen Bilkis & Associates has a combined 70+ years of experience serving clients seeking partition of property. Contact us at 561-710-4000 for a free no obligation consultation. We give our clients individualized attention. We represent clients throughout the following areas: Palm Beach County, Dale County, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami.