Many couples that get divorced in Greater Manchester use an online form to record financial information. Form E on the Ministry of Justice website is used to calculate the difference between a couple's assets and liabilities so that a judge can determine an appropriate divorce settlement amount. Recently, a mistake was discovered on that online form that could have led to thousands of unfair divorce settlements.
The online form was undercounting liabilities, resulting in an inflated picture of a spouse's wealth. The error was spotted by a McKenzie friend and corrected in early December. After discovering the error, the woman said that she was very surprised that no solicitor, barrister or judge had noticed it before her.
It is not yet known how many divorces were affected by the error, but divorced spouses that were affected might have to renegotiate settlements. There are around 120,000 divorces every year in England and Wales, but not every divorcing couples use the MoJ website form. HM Courts & Tribunals Service will reportedly contact divorced people who may have been affected by the online error.
A person who believes that their divorce settlement might have been affected by the error on Form E may want to speak with a family law solicitor. A solicitor may be able to look into the details of a divorce settlement to determine whether or not it was miscalculated. If there was a mistake in the calculation, a solicitor may be able to help reopen the divorce case.