A Minnesota judge has rejected a divorce agreement between former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin and his wife, citing possibility of fraud.
Derek Chauvin also faces a lawsuit from Floyd’s family, according to reports.
Washington County District Judge Juanita Freeman rejected the divorce late October, stating that a transfer of “substantially all” of one’s assets to the other in an uncontested marriage dissolution is a “badge of fraud.”
Freeman wrote that judges can deny an uncontested agreement between a couple if “the transfer features ‘badges of fraud.’”
“The Court has a duty to ensure that marriage dissolution agreements are fair and equitable,” Freeman wrote. “One badge of fraud is a party’s transfer of ‘substantially all’ of his or her assets.”
The judge wrote that the terms of Derek and Kellie Chauvin’s agreement have been heavily redacted. Under the agreement, Kellie Chauvin would have received all equity in the couple’s two homes, all the money in their bank and investment accounts and all the money from Derek Chauvin’s pension and retirement accounts, Freeman said.
The judge did not accuse the couple of fraud, according to the report. She did not provide any other details or motives for her decision to reject the divorce either. But the judge reportedly wrote that the Chauvins can submit a revised agreement to be considered by the court, adding it must indicate which portion of Derek Chauvin’s pension and retirement accounts are nonmarital and “include a balance sheet specifically indicating the total dollar value of the debts and assets that are assigned to each party.”
A divorce attorney, Marc Beyer, not representing either party in the Chauvin case, said it’s possible the agreement was created to get assets out of Derek Chauvin’s name before a possible civil judgment against him, AP reported. The lawsuit against Chauvin and three other officers accused of aiding and abetting did not specify damages, but family attorney Benjamin Crump has said they would seek “a precedent that makes it financially prohibitive for police to wrongfully kill marginalized people,” according to the report.
Victoria Brenner, another divorce attorney said it’s unusual for a judge to reject a stipulated agreement, according to The Associated Press. Brenner said it could be argued that Kellie Chauvin needs more assets as her husband faces potential prison time. But, she said Derek Chauvin will need assets too.
Derek and Kellie Chauvin were reportedly charged with tax fraud in July, accused of failing to properly file their income taxes in Minnesota for a few years, including not reporting all of their income.