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Discover Fauquier June 2019
470 Broadview Ave, Warrenton 540-347-3030
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judicial intervention if all interested parties
consent. That means either the property
will be sold and interests divided, or one
party will buy out the others who no longer
wish to keep their ownership interest in
the jointly owned real property. Before
suit is fi led, a property appraisal is usually
completed so there is an understanding of
the appropriate fair market value.
Once a partition suit is fi led, it can take
anywhere from 90 days to several years to
fi nalize. In certain cases, the Court refers
the matter to a "special commissioner," who
will hear evidence and make a decision. In
some cases, where an attorney represents
the petitioner and no other interested parties
are represented
b y c o u n s e l ,
attorney's fees are
recoverable. For
more information,
call (540) 347-
By William D. Ashwell
Attorney, Mark B. Williams &
In situations of jointly owned property and
property inherited by multiple heirs, it may
become necessary to seek partition and
sale of the subject property. Simply put,
this is getting the individual interests out
of a piece of real property, or sometimes
specifi c personal property, for someone to
either take the value and equity out of their
share of it, or to be relieved of the tax and
debt obligations associated with the interest.
In Virginia, the right to partition real property
is governed by a statute which outlines the
method and procedure of fi ling the necessary
paperwork with the proper jurisdiction.
Often, the suit is fi led in the circuit court in
the jurisdiction where the property lies. In
essence, the Petition in the court action asks
for judicial intervention to split the property
and divide the proceeds. There is usually
an attempt to split a property into equal
sections related to the co-owners' interest,
and if this is not feasible, there is a forced
sale with the proceeds divided equally
between the owners , minus necessary
fees, costs, applicable attorney's fees, and
property liens.
Before fi ling a partition suit, there is typically
an attempt to resolve the matter without
Understanding the Basics
of a Partition Suit