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Can I Sell My Half of a House When There is a Co-Owner

If you own a house jointly with another person, you might wondering: Can I sell my sell my half of a house when there is a co-owner? It is not unusual for co-owners of property to have different opinions as to what to do with the property. You may want to sell it and use the cash for something else, while you co-owner wants to hold on to the property. This might leave you wondering if you can sell your interest in the house, even if your co-owner is stalling. The answer to that question is yes. There are multiple ways to go about selling you have of a house when there is a co-owner, one of which is going to court and filing a partition action. At Stephen Bilkis & Associates, our experienced Chicago estate lawyers have years of experienced representing clients in partition matters as well as other complicated estate matters. If you live in the greater Chicago area, contact us to discuss your options.

Partition Action

While disputes over what to do with co-owned property develop for a variety of reasons, we see them often in estate matters where a parent leaves their children the family home in their will or where the children inherit it through intestate succession. Partition action arise when the co-owners cannot agree on the disposition of the property. One owner wants to keep it and the other owner is looking for a way to dispose of the property. When the parties cannot negotiate an agreement on the issue, any of the co-owners can file a petition for partition with the appropriate court. 735 ILCS 5/17-101

In a partition action, the petitioner is looking for a way out of ownership or looking for a way out of co-ownership. As an experienced Chicago estate lawyers will explain, there are two potential outcomes from a partition action: the court orders the property to be divided or the court orders the property to be sold.

If the court orders the property to be divided, the court will order property to be divided into separate parcels. Each co-owner will be individually deeded a distinct part of the property. Typically this result only happens if the property is a vacant lot, a wooded area, unimproved acreage, or other property that is easily divided. However, if the property is a house, the court is not likely to divide it. Instead, the court will determine that for practical reasons it would be necessary to sell the property. If the court orders a sale of the property, the proceeds of the sale will be divided among the co-owners based on their interest in the property.

Avoiding a Partition Action

A partition action is generally the last resort. As an experienced estate attorney in Chicago will explain, co-owners who disagree over the disposition of property do have other options that do not involve litigation. For example, the co-owner who wishes to keep the property can buyout the co-owner who wishes to sell. Or, the co-owner who wishes to sell their half of the house could find a buyer. However, finding a buy who is will to purchase only a part interest of a house is not likely.

Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates

An owner of a house can sell their half of a house when there is a co-owner through a partition action filed. Note that the sale of the house would be subject to any mortgage on the property. The mortgage would be paid first and the former co-owners would get what is left over. The experienced estate attorneys serving Chicago at Stephen Bilkis & Associates can help you sort through the legal issues involved in selling your half of a house when there is a co-owner. Contact us at 855-454-5529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients throughout Chicago.<

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