If you have used the government’s online Form E financial statement since April 2014, due to a fault in the software, your debts and liabilities may not have been taken into account in the automatic calculations, potentially making your finances look better than they really are and inflating your financial worth.
The Ministry of Justice are urgently investigating the extent of the errors and an HMCTS spokesperson has 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 contact formE@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk”.
It may be that this software error leads to cases being reopened if the error has resulted in incorrect calculations of total assets. This would be particularly relevant where one party has significant debts or liabilities which, if erroneously excluded in the calculation of their total assets, would lead to the division of the assets between the divorcing couple being based on incorrect calculations of their assets.
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UPDATE (Jan 2016):
On the 21st January 2016 the Ministry of Justice issued their formal response to the faulty Form E, which can be found using the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/family-justice
If you receive a communication from the Ministry of Justice indicating that you are one of the 3,500 people affected by the faulty Form E you can contact us for advice on what action you can take.