Divorce form error on UK government website 'could have led to unfair settlements'
Divorce form error on UK government website 'could have led to unfair settlements'

Divorce form error on UK government website “could have led to unfair settlements”

An urgent investigation has been launched after a fault was discovered in an online form used by divorcing couples calculating financial settlements.

The error on the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) website had the potential to inflate a spouse’s financial worth, according to The Guardian.

The disclosure prompted suggestions that thousands of couples who have settled divorces in the last 20 months may have to re-open negotiations and the Ministry of Justice has launched an urgent investigation.

The glitch, in Form E on the Ministry of Justice website, was rectified earlier this month.

Expert Nicola Matheson-Durrant, from the Family Law Clinic in Berkshire said not all couples would be affected, but they should check that their Form E is correct.

She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It is only about litigants in person, people who haven’t got solicitors, and people who have used solicitors who have used that particular version of the Form E – there are other versions which don’t have this error.

“The problem arises if you have filled the form in, using that form and filled in all the boxes and let the form calculate for you and summarise all the totals for you.

“If you have printed the form out yourself and handwritten the information in, that isn’t where the problem is, obviously.

“So what I would advise is that people look at their Form E first, see what versions they have got – both of their Form E and the other partner’s Form E to see if any of those coincide with the faulty Form E.

“Then, if you have used a solicitor, contact them and say there may be a problem. If they haven’t used a solicitor, contact the Ministry of Justice.”

Those who believe they may have been affected are being asked to email Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS).

A spokesman said: “We are urgently investigating this issue.

“Officials are taking steps to identify rapidly cases where this regrettable error may have had an impact, and we will be writing to anyone affected as soon as possible.


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