When you decide to get a divorce, you are going to have to divide up marital property that you and your spouse own together. In an ideal situation, you and your spouse are going to be able to sit down and consider the property and debts that you have acquired over the course of your marriage and will be able to make rational choices on how to divide everything up. With the help of a divorce lawyer, you should be able to come up with a plan for splitting assets so you can both end up happy and so you can save yourself money. Sometimes, however, this does not happen and you end up having to litigate on how assets should be divided. When this happens, a family court judge makes a decision on asset division.
While martial property is going to be divided either by the judge or by you and your spouse, any property that you came into the marriage with should generally still be yours to keep. There could be some limited exceptions if you co-mingled this property or if your spouse improved its worth, but it usually does not become part of a divorce settlement agreement. A divorce attorney can help you to understand what is separate property and what you can retain.