New court filings show that the estranged wife of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who is charged in George Floyd's death, could be awarded about two-thirds of the couple's assets in a divorce that was previously flagged by a judge for possible fraud.
A detailed division of their two homes, multiple bank accounts and debts show that Kellie Chauvin would receive $703,717.69 while Derek Chauvin would receive $420,768.22.
Court documents also detailed vandalism that hurt the resale value of their house in Oakdale, and Kellie Chauvin's plans to legally change her first and last names.
Derek and Kellie Chauvin filed the proposed divorce settlement with the court in early December under seal, and refiled a public version late last week at the behest of Washington County District Judge Juanita Freeman, who rejected their first offer last October because Kellie Chauvin would have been awarded most of their assets.
Veteran divorce attorneys who are not involved in the matter reviewed the second offer and said it did little to quell Freeman's worry.
"I don't think this resolves the judge's concern about possible fraud, as she presumably wanted to see a more equal division," said divorce attorney Marc Beyer.
"It only highlights it even more. In so many words, [Freeman] pretty much told them that they can't award all of the marital assets to [Kellie Chauvin], but this still does that."
Freeman has not ruled on the Chauvins' second offer, which was drafted by Kellie Chauvin's attorney, Amanda Mason-Sekula.
A hearing in the matter is scheduled for March 26 with a trial set for April 26.
Mason-Sekula did not return a message seeking comment. Derek Chauvin has no attorney in the case and could not be reached for comment.
The Chauvins' divorce has come under scrutiny as some question whether it's a strategic move to protect their assets from civil litigation. Kellie Chauvin filed for divorce on May 31, two days after her husband was charged in Floyd's May 25 death.
Attorneys for Floyd's family later filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Minneapolis, Chauvin and three of his former colleagues who assisted in Floyd's arrest: J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao.
Several divorce attorneys have said Freeman's October ruling fueled speculation about a divorce of convenience.
"The Court has a duty to ensure that marriage dissolution agreements are fair and equitable," Freeman wrote in October. "One badge of fraud is a party's transfer of 'substantially all' of his or her assets."
The details of the first proposed settlement were redacted. It's unknown publicly how it compares to the second offering, which noted that Kellie Chauvin shouldered several financial burdens, including mortgages and home improvements, alone while her husband was in jail for several months.
Derek Chauvin was released on bond in October; he is scheduled to be tried March 8. His co-defendants are scheduled to be tried in August.
"Both parties have freely entered into this Agreement [sic]," said the second proposed settlement. "… Both parties believe the terms and conditions to be fair and reasonable under the circumstances."
The couple married in 2010, have no children together and are not seeking spousal maintenance.
According to the new filings: Kellie Chauvin lost her job as a Realtor last May, has been unable to work due to safety concerns and cannot currently support herself.
She was awarded the net profits, $12,996, from the August sale of their Oakdale home, which was vandalized and sold for $26,000 below the asking price.
She would also receive the title to their Florida townhouse, which was valued at $226,282 before it was vandalized after Floyd's death. She also expected to incur the unknown cost of damage caused to other buildings in their association.
Kellie Chauvin would receive a substantial amount of money from Derek Chauvin's Minnesota Deferred Compensation Plan, Roth IRA, Health Care Savings Plan and pension, totaling $754,911.82.
(Her total divorce settlement would be lower after debts are factored in.)
Derek Chauvin would receive $452,524.38 from the same accounts in nonmarital assets — money he earned before their marriage. Nonmarital assets are commonly awarded to the earner.
"Overall, this division continues the underlying concern of the divorce being utilized as a vehicle to shift assets out of Mr. Chauvin's name as a means to protect the underlying assets from civil litigation, and thereby using the dissolution process to preserve assets rather than to effectuate a full and fair settlement in a divorce," said divorce attorney Jack De Walt.
While state law doesn't require an exactly equal division of marital assets — assets earned during marriage — De Walt and Beyer said the Chauvins' proposals stood out.
Of the marital assets, Derek Chauvin would receive a debt of $8,862.17 to be subtracted from his nonmarital award of $429,630.39. Kellie Chauvin would receive $658,461 in marital assets and $45,256 in nonmarital assets.
"The court has some discretion in deciding whether a proposed division is indeed just and equitable," Beyer said, "but on its face, it's hard to imagine that this division falls into that category."
Court filings also said Kellie Chauvin would change her name to a common Hmong name that would allow her to go undetected.
"The name change request is being made due to Petitioner's safety being put in jeopardy," court documents said.
"A name change will also allow Petitioner to once again secure employment without the attached stigma of continuing to use the Chauvin surname."
Derek and Kellie Chauvin also face several felony charges in Washington County alleging that they failed to claim $464,433 in joint income dating back to 2014; they are scheduled to be tried June 30 in that case.
An earlier version of this story included the proposed new name of Kellie Chauvin. That name has been removed to protect her safety.
Chao Xiong • 612-270-4708