Spouses are generally free to divide their property as they see fit. That is called a “marital settlement agreement,” which is a contract between the husband and the wife that divides property and debts and resolves other issues of the divorce.
Surprisingly, a majority of divorces are settled without the need for a judge to decide property or other issues. However, if the division of property cannot be settled, then the court must make the determination. Laws vary from state to state.