A software error is to blame, apparently.
Those who have sought the best solicitors for family law Cheshire has to offer in the past 20 months may be interested to hear that their settlement may have been affected by a software error on the UK government website.
The Ministry of Justice admitted on Thursday that a fault with Form E may have been miscalculating financial settlements by inflating the income of one partner, and that the fault has been in effect since April 2014.
Over that time, the form was downloaded 20,000 times according to the Guardian, however, this is unlikely to be representative of the number of people affected by the software glitch.
The error was detected by a law expert, who aids litigants, earlier this month, however, while admitting the fault, the Ministry of Justice did not make a public announcement straight away. The McKenzie Friend in question, Nicola Matheson-Durant, said: “It is such a critical fault. This form has been used in training so it will also have been seen by paralegals, university law departments and the Law Society.”
Not all couples seeking divorce will have been affected by the software, as it’s still possible to do it using simple pen and paper with the help of family law solicitors, however, it deals a blow to the concept touted by the Civil Justice Council of a ‘revolutionary’ digital age for justice, as reported in February this year. This proposed digital court – which is compared in similarity to eBay’s conflict resolution centre by the Guardian – was suggested to deal with claims of up to £25,000 and be operational within two years.