A partition of property occurs when the property owners cannot agree. Finally, one says "that's enough, I want out" or "I want my 1/2, you can have your 1/2". If the other side won't buy the other out, then one files a partition action with the court. The clerk of court (in North Carolina cases) will determine if the property can be divided equally or needs to be sold.
If sold, the clerk will appoint a commissioner or commissioners to sell and distribute the proceeds. There are also battles over who gets how much of the sales proceeds depending on who's been using the property and preventing a co-tenant from using, who paid the mortgages or taxes, who collected rents and so forth.
This is a general concept of a partition proceeding. For more, see my companion website:
We handle partition actions from the mountains to the beach. call 336-723-7200 for legal help with your real estate dispute.