Can You Sue Your Spouse for Partition in Texas?

Spousal Partition in Texas

In Texas, the concept of partition is a legal mechanism that allows co-owners of property to divide their shared interest when they cannot agree on the disposition of the property. However, when it comes to partitioning property with your spouse, the situation becomes more complex.

What is Partition?

Partition is used when two or more people own a property together, and one party wants to sell the property while the other wants to retain it. If the co-owners cannot agree, the party wishing to sell can sue for partition. This process forces the sale of the property and divides the proceeds among the owners. According to Texas Property Code Section 23.001, any joint owner or claimant of real property can compel a partition of the property among the joint owners or claimants. 

There are two main types of partition:

  1. Partition in Kind: This involves physically dividing the property into distinct portions. This method is typically used for large plots of land where a division is feasible.
  2. Partition by Sale: When physical division is impractical, such as with a house, the court orders the sale of the property and the division of the proceeds among the owners.

Can You Partition Property with Your Spouse?

While partition is a useful tool for co-owners of property, it does not typically apply to married couples. If a married individual wants to force the sale of property owned jointly with their spouse, the correct legal process is usually through a divorce proceeding, not a partition action. Divorce handles the division of marital assets, including real estate, under the jurisdiction of family court.

It is possible to file a partition action against a former spouse after divorce. This is usually appropriate when spouses own property post divorce as tenants in common. A partition action between a former spouse is not materially different from any other partition action against another co-tenant. 

Legal Guidance and Practical Solutions

If you find yourself in a situation where you and your spouse cannot agree on the disposition or renovation of shared property, seeking legal advice is crucial. An experienced family law attorney can guide you through the appropriate legal processes, whether that involves mediation, divorce proceedings, or other legal remedies.

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