Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 8.01. Civil Remedies and Procedure
Chapter 3. Actions

§ 8.01-81. Who may compel partition of land; jurisdiction; validation of certain partitions of mineral rights; when shares of two or more laid off together. (2023 updated section)

A. Tenants in common, joint tenants, executors with the power to sell, and coparceners of real property, including mineral rights east and south of the Clinch River, shall be compellable to make partition and may compel partition, but in the case of an executor only if the power of sale is properly exercisable at that time under the circumstances; and a lien creditor or any owner of undivided estate in real estate may also compel partition for the purpose of subjecting the estate of his debtor or the rents and profits thereof to the satisfaction of his lien. Any court having general equity jurisdiction has jurisdiction in cases of partition, and in the exercise of such jurisdiction, shall order partition in kind if the real property in question is susceptible to a practicable division and may take cognizance of all questions of law affecting the legal title that may arise in any proceedings, between such tenants in common, joint tenants, executors with the power to sell, coparceners, and lien creditors.

Any two or more of the parties, if they so elect, may have their shares laid off together when partition can be conveniently made in that way. If the court orders partition in kind, the court may require that one or more parties pay one or more parties' amounts so that the payments, taken together with the court-determined value of the in-kind distributions to the parties, will make the partition in kind just and proportionate in value to the fractional interests held. If the court orders partition in kind, the court shall allocate to the parties that are unknown, unlocatable, or the subject of a default judgment a part of the property representing the combined interests of such parties as determined by the court, and such part of the property shall remain undivided.

B. If the court orders partition in kind, it shall consider:

1. Evidence of the collective duration of ownership or possession of any portion of the property by a party and one or more predecessors in title or predecessors in possession of the property who are or were related to the party;

2. A party's sentimental attachment to any portion of the property, including any attachment arising because such portion of the property has ancestral or other unique or special value to the party;

3. The lawful use being made of any portion of the property by a party and the degree to which the party would be harmed if the party could not continue the same use of such portion of the property;

4. The degree to which a party has contributed to the physical improvement, maintenance, or upkeep of any portion of the property; and

5. Any other relevant factor.

C. All partitions of mineral rights heretofore had are hereby validated.

D. Unless displaced by a provision of this article, the established principles of Virginia partition law supplement this article.

Code 1950, § 8-690; 1964, c. 167; 1968, c. 412; 1977, c. 617; 1984, c. 226; 2020, cc. 115, 193; 2023, c. 333.