The courts have no authority over non-marital property. So, the first thing that the Court has to do is determine if they have authority over the property. In general, all assets acquired by the spouses before marriage is considered a non-marital property. All property acquired after marriage is considered property of marriage or marriage. If the marital property is therefore the Court "equitably" must divide the property.
Property is assumed to be spouses with the following exceptions:Property acquired by gift, inheritance or descent. Property acquired in exchange for assets acquired before marriage or in exchange for property acquired by gift, inheritance or descent. Property acquired by a spouse after a decree of legal separation. Property excluded from a valid agreement between the parties. Any judgment or property resulting from the judgment awarded to the spouse by the other spouse. Property acquired before marriage.
When marital and non-marital property was combined with the process of determination of the spouses can be very complicated. For example, what happens when one of the spouses do not – using the conjugal property to buy a House with the other spouse? What happens when one spouse inherits the money and the money is put into a joint bank account?
If a court decides that it is marital property and then the Court must determine as "fairly" divide the property. State laws differ on meaning of "fair" and most States do not consider "fair" means equal.when dividing marital property almost all States will consider some or all of the following: The contribution of each party for the acquisition, preservation, or increase or decrease the value of non-marital conjugal or property, including the contribution of a spouse as a housewife or for the unity of the family. The dissipation of marital property either spouse or not. The value of the property assigned to each spouse. The duration of the marriage. The economic situation of each spouse when the Division of property is to become effective, including the opportunity for designation of a family home, or the right to live in the House for a reasonable period, to the spouse having custody of children. All obligations and rights arising from a previous marriage of both parties. Any post nuptial agreement of the parties. Age, health, employment, the amount and sources of income, professional skills, marketable skills, property, liabilities and needs of each party. Custodial requirements of any children. The reasonable possibility of each spouse to the future acquisition of capital assets and income, the tax implications of property Division on their economic conditions of the parties.
It is important that you hire an attorney who is familiar with the laws of your State and how your jurisdiction of the Court in particular manages distribution of property, usually in order to help solve this problem very complicated.