16 December 2015, by Taylor King Family Law Solicitors
A fault in the Form E, the form used to collate parties’ financial information, has been spotted earlier this month by a family law specialist in Ascot, Berkshire. The error was in the calculation of assets on the summary page and has the software has been miscalculating assets since April 2014. The totals on that page failed to deduct any liabilities from the total therefore potentially overinflating the value of a spouse’s assets.
Approximately 20,000 forms were downloaded in the 20 month period the software was producing inaccurate calculations; however, not all of them will have been used to work out the division of assets.
Not all divorcing couples use the automatic calculator on the form, preferring instead to print out the form and fill it in by hand. At Taylor King, we use software that generates the form rather than downloading the one available of the Ministry of Justice website.
Judgments may have been handed down by the family courts founded on erroneous information.
An HMCTS spokesperson 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. Anyone concerned about their own court proceedings should contactformE@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk.”