Police Officer in Floyd Case Suspected of ‘Fraud’ in Divorce
A former police officer whose role in the death of a man while being arrested in Minnesota sparked outrage across the country is facing questions about whether his recent divorce is an elaborate scheme to escape the long arm of the law.
A judge in Minneapolis recently rejected a proposed divorce settlement between Derek Chauvin and his wife Kellie, the Star Tribune reports. The judge said the deal, which would have given most of the couple’s assets to Kellie, raised questions about whether the couple was simply trying to protect their assets from civil lawsuits over Chauvin’s role in the death of George Floyd over the summer.
“The Court has a duty to ensure that marriage dissolution agreements are fair and equitable,” Washington County District Judge Juanita Freeman wrote, according to the AP. “One badge of fraud is a party’s transfer of ‘substantially all’ of his or her assets.”
Derek Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder after Floyd died while Chauvin was arresting him in Minneapolis. Chauvin also faces a civil wrongful death lawsuit, accusing him of squeezing the life out of Floyd by kneeling on the back of his neck for some 9 minutes while making the arrest.
Kellie Chauvin filed for divorce from her husband in May, shortly after being fired from the Minneapolis Police Department. She asked a court to award her both of the couple’s homes, immediately prompting speculation that the split may be designed to shield the couple’s assets.
Rejecting the proposed settlement agreement, Freeman stopped short of directly accusing the couple of fraud.
How to Effectively Dissolve a Marriage in Michigan
Although the Chauvin method may not be the most effective way to do it, marital settlement agreements are a valuable tool for anyone seeking a divorce in Michigan. A Grand Rapids divorce lawyer at Kraayeveld Law can help clients avoid stressful and costly court battles through negotiated settlements.
Divorce is a legal process in which a judge ultimately issues an order dissolving the marriage. Judges are often called on to resolve a wide range of other family law issues related to the divorce, including how assets will be divided and whether one spouse should pay alimony to the other. For couples that have kids, the judge will also weigh-in on custody and visitation.
A marital settlement agreement — negotiated between the divorcing spouses (and their lawyers) — gives the spouses the power to decide how many or all of these issues will be resolved, instead of leaving them to a judge. Although the judge must approve the agreement, as the Chauvin case shows, divorcing spouses often have significant leeway in resolving the related legal issues.
Speak with a Grand Rapids Divorce Lawyer Today
At Kraayeveld Law, our family lawyers help people efficiently untangle their marriages and navigate a wide range of issues, like child support, child custody, and alimony. A Grand Rapids divorce lawyer at our firm will take the time to understand your unique needs and craft a legal strategy tailored to your goals.
Call 616-285-0808 or contact us online to make an appointment to speak with a Grand Rapids divorce lawyer about your situation.