Posted by Patrick Hart, Partner
On 1 September 2016 Withy King LLP merged with Royds LLP. The trading name for the merged firm is Royds Withy King. All content produced prior to this date will remain in the name of the firms pre-merger.
Unfair divorce settlements may have occurred due to Ministry of Justice form error
A critical software error has been uncovered in an online Ministry of Justice (MoJ) form used by divorcing couples across England and Wales, meaning that unfair divorce settlements may have gone ahead.
Following the news, an urgent investigation has been launched into the problem, though no specific number of affected cases has yet been released.
It has been announced that couples who settled divorces during the course of the last 20 months are those that have been affected, and renegotiations might have to take place in many of those cases.
The main issue surrounds the fact that couples’ financial details were disclosed on the form as part of divorce proceedings, but it failed to take into account previously stated liabilities, meaning that financial settlements might have been based on inaccurate calculations.
Form E on the MoJ website is where problems were resolved earlier this month, but Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS) will be contacting any affected parties in the immediate future.
Not every couple uses the online form as part of proceedings, as a paper submission is also another option.
120,000 divorces are finalised in England and Wales each year, so the expectation is that a significant number of people are likely to be affected.
A spokesman for HMCTS said: “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 contact formE@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk.”
At Royds, our experienced family law department are able to advise on all aspects of the divorce process. We will work closely with clients to achieve the best possible outcome. For more information, please visit or contact Patrick Hart.