How does a court determine whether property is marital/community property or separate property?

Generally speaking, property acquired during the course of a party’s marriage is considered marital property, meaning that it is subject to an equitable division by the courts. Property that a party had before entering into marriage may well be considered separate, non-marital property. Courts do not have the power to apportion separate, non marital property. In many states, if one party inherits money from her parents, that property also would be considered separate property.