Revealed: divorce software error hits thousands of settlements
Thousands of couples who have settled their divorces in the last 20 months may have to re-open negotiations because a critical fault has been found in software used to calculate financial terms.
The Ministry of Justice was urgently investigating the extent of the errors of “Form E” on its website, which have the potential to inflate the financial worth of a wife or husband. It has published an email address – formE@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk – asking anyone who believes they have been affected to contact the department.
One particular paragraph, numbered 2.20, which is supposed to produce totals, fails to reflect the minus figure of final liabilities entered earlier on, producing a simple mathematical error. If a party had significant debts or liabilities, they were not recognised or recorded on the electronic form, potentially inflating their true worth. Distorted net figures of applicants’ assets were therefore being produced.