When getting a divorce, each party has to provide the judge with paperwork known as the preliminary financial disclosures. It's a necessary step in the divorce proceedings and a judge will not sign off on a divorce without them. Family law court requires that there be nothing less than absolute honesty and transparency when it comes to listing all of the joint assets acquired throughout the period of the marriage. Doing anything less than this can incur serious penalties imposed by the judge.
The preliminary financial disclosures encompass everything that is considered to be community property between the two parties. Community property includes everything that was purchased or opened (such as a retirement account) during the marriage. This helps to define the items that fall under the classification and what items do not. Not all items that are brought into the marital household are considered to be jointly owned.
Once the items have been identified, the final disposition of the assets must be made. The court requires that both parties come to a resolution over all assets at the time of divorce. That is to say who gets what has to be settled by the time the divorce is to be finalized.