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How Can I Separate My Undivided Interest in Land?

Co-owning a parcel of land is a big responsibility. While sole ownership of land is a responsibility in itself, the co-ownership of property comes with different legal stipulations and questions such as what happens when you die, and whether the property can be divided. Disagreements between co-owners of property can impact the ability to make decisions affecting the land, and may be a good reason to seek the division of property.

Co-ownership of Land

Land may be owned by a single owner or multiple owners, depending on the situation. Ownership may be between two spouses (which is the most common occurrence), between two business owners, or simply between two strangers who ended up jointly owning property. Co-owners of property may face difficult issues in the future when one person wishes to give their interest in property to another person, either in trust or through a will. The other owner may not object to this gift of property unless they move to separate their undivided property interest. Issues may additionally arise if one co-owner wants to develop one part of the property and the other owner disagrees with this idea.

Land Partitions in Texas

It is possible to separate an undivided interest in land through what is known as the land partition. Through a partition, co-ownership is converted into sole ownership and therefore one person gives up their common interest for a separate interest. This type of legal process can occur regardless of the number of owners of property, although keep in mind that you must get the consent of every owner. The ordinary form of land partition is known as “partition in kind,” and each owner will receive a portion of property once it is divided.

If a division of property is not an available option, the owners of the property can always put the property up for sale and divide the proceeds between all owners. This type of partition is known as “partition by sale.” While partition by sale is often used when land cannot be divided, it can also be used when it would be uneconomical to divide the land in separate parts. Some parcels of land are meant to be kept together, and dividing them into separate parts would drastically lower the value.

Texas law favors partition because it leads to peaceful ownership of property rather than forced use of property by what is known as property in common. Partition solves any would-be problems with joint tenancy and inheritance issues because it neatly slices away any remaining ownership. It additionally ends all restraints own ownership which were a part of the tenancy-in-common or joint tenancy.

Malley Law Firm, PLLC | Houston Property Attorney

If you are considering separating jointly owned property, do not hesitate to contact the Malley Law Firm, PLLC. Our firm has the resources and experience necessary to assist you in drafting all necessary documents for a land partition. We understand that property ownership can lead to strained relationships and will assist you in smoothing out any disagreements or resolving disputes. Contact our Houston or Beaumont office today for your initial free consultation.


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