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Owelty is an equalization charge. It is the amount paid to another party when it is impossible to partition real estate into units of equal value, so that each party receives equal value from the property.

Cases such as this one from Wyoming, explain that “owelty is a common law doctrine which addresses a disparity in the value of the partitioned parcels, and is a sum of money paid by one of two coparceners or cotenants to the other, when a partition has been effected between them, but the land not being susceptible of division into exactly equal shares, such payment is required to make the portions respectively assigned to them of equal value.”

[Last updated in July of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]