Can the Court Reject My Divorce Agreement?

Divorce is seldom easy, and sometimes it comes at a time when other aspects of life seem to be derailing. Nevertheless, the courts in Minnesota seek to achieve fair and balanced resolutions to divorce disputes, particularly when it comes to the division of assets. While some may worry that a divorce will leave them struggling financially, others may wrongly use the process to protect their assets from other kinds of judgments.

One example of this is a man whose wife filed for divorce within a few days of his arrest for a highly publicized crime. The couple arrived at a divorce agreement in which the accused man transferred nearly all the martial assets to his wife. However, when the judge reviewed the agreement, she rejected it as a “badge of fraud.”

What is a badge of fraud?

A badge of fraud is anything that raises suspicion that fraud may be in play during a legal transaction. Often this involves taking steps to avoid creditors. It may also indicate someone is trying to protect assets from impending lawsuits, as this case may suggest, where the family of victim has already filed civil claims against the accused. The judge did not accuse the couple of fraud but suggested they revise their agreement with more detail and a more equitable division.

Minnesota courts prefer that divorcing couples work out an agreement rather than going through litigation. While rejecting a divorce agreement is rare, judges may do so. However, it is always wise obtain an attorney’s review of a divorce agreement before seeking a judge’s signature.

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