A partition action is a civil action brought to obtain a judicial judgement and court order to divide or liquidate real or personal property owned by multiple parties. Lawyers.com describes two distinct types of division: partition in kind and partition by sale.
Partition in kind is the property divide in which each owner retains a share of the original property. When division is impossible or not acceptable to all parties, partition by sale occurs and the assets are sold. The parties split the proceeds from the sale of the asset.