22 January 2016
Advice for Couples with Miscalculated Divorce Settlements
A software error on the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) website has affected over 3,600 divorce settlements.
Ten per cent of the separated couples who used the MoJ’s website between April 2014 and December 2015 to record the value of their assets are reported to have been affected.
Divorced couples affected by Ministry of Justice (MoJ) Form E fault are now advised to revisit their settlement and consider whether the outcome is correct.
If both divorcées were ‘litigants in person’ and representing themselves in court they may have a settlement based on the wrong set of figures, especially if they both used the summary page of the Form E as confirmation of their financial positions.
If you have been affected and your case is still open then it should be flagged up to the courts automatically and it should not impact the final outcome on your divorce settlement.
If your case is closed there is a possibility that the error has affected the final decision on your divorce settlement. You should receive an apology from Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) that will alert you to the possibility that your wealth was miscalculated.
You then have the option to apply to the court to set aside your financial order and renegotiate your divorce settlement. The MoJ confirm that no court fee is payable in the circumstances.
Justice Minister Shailesh Vara admitted that 3,638 divorce couples who filled out ‘Form E’ have had their assets miscalculated by the MoJ website. The problem was a faulty formula, which did not take away debts and liabilities from individual’s wealth.
What is Form E?
When financial assets are divided upon divorce, full and frank financial disclosure is to be made by both partners. Form E is a critically important document. It’s filled out by both people in the relationship to ensure that they give the correct amount of detail about their financial position.
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