When addressing property division during a divorce, the courts must first determine what is considered marital property. In most cases, property that was obtained before a marriage is considered non-marital property and will not be part of the property division.
Property that is obtained during the course of a marriage is generally considered to be marital property, though there are a few exceptions. This could include gifts, property acquired following a Judgement of Legal Separation and property excluded by valid agreement of both parties. It is not always a black and white area, however. Non-marital property that is used to benefit both spouses during the course of a marriage then becomes marital property. This could include an inheritance that is then used for upgrades on a home.
There are several factors that the courts take into consideration when dividing marital property. This includes but is not limited to the value of all the property, the duration of the marriage, the financial situation of each spouse, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements that were made before or during the marriage and the age, health and well-being of each spouse, including each's ability to reenter the workforce. If there are children involved, the courts will also look at how child custody and child support will be allocated post-divorce. Often, this means that the custodial parent will be able to stay in the home. This is done to minimize the impact on children from the marriage.
We all know that emotions can run high during a divorce and it is not uncommon for someone to think irrationally and make unwise decisions during the process of property division during a divorce. During these trying times, it might be in your best interest to reach out for professional support.
Source: Live About, "How Does The Court Determine If Property is Marital Or Non-Marital Property?," Cathy Meyer, Oct. 15, 2016