Partition Actions & Co-Ownership Disputes in California

Co-ownership is a common way that siblings, families, and investors hold title to property in the Bay Area. However, disagreements can arise between the co-owners about the use, rights, or benefits of the property. These contentious disputes can be resolved through partition action, where one co-owner has the ability to sever the co-ownership through a sale of the shared real estate asset.

A partition action is a lawsuit filed by a co-owner when he or she cannot reach an agreement with the other co-owners. The issues giving rise to the partition can vary widely — from one co-owner exclusively occupying the space to rising costs for maintenance.

Every partition action is incredibly fact-intensive, with varying levels of importance: from major issues like ownership percentages to the minute details of executing a sale. As a result, it is critical to understand the basics of partition actions and co-ownership issues in California, such as:

  • Basics of Co-Ownership of Property
  • Who, What, Where, When, and Why of Partition Actions
  • Typical Situations and Characteristics of Partition Actions in California
  • Common Reasons for a California Partition Action
  • Mechanics of a Partition Action & Trial
  • Using a Referee in a Partition Action
  • Accounting, Attorney Fees, & Special Interests


The attorneys at Brewer Offord & Pedersen LLP have published previously about partition actions, including about co-ownership of property. In addition, the firm recently produced a webinar about partition actions and co-ownership issues. Attorney Julia M. Wei of Brewer Offord & Pedersen LLP provided essential information that homeowners, REALTORS®, real estate investors, and brokers should know about partition actions – including what they do, how they are performed, what they accomplish, and how they impact property ownership.

You can watch the replay of the webinar below, as well as view or download the slides.


Watch the Replay


View the Slides

Click Here to Download the Slides

To keep up with real estate law in California, including articles, guides, and downloads published by Brewer Offord & Pedersen LLP, visit our California real estate law blog.