Upon a marriage coming to an end, often the husband and wife will provide financial disclosure to each other by way of a completed Financial Statement (Form E). In this Form, full details can be given as to each parties’ current financial circumstances, including their income, assets and liabilities. Such financial disclosure is often required prior to a financial settlement being agreed.
At Bray & Bray, we use our own version of the Form E when advising our clients. However it is possible to download a version of this Form from the HMCTS Form finder website. Indeed it appears that since April 2014, just under 20,000 Form E’s were downloaded from this website.
It has very recently come to light that there is an error in the Form E which is on the HMCTS website. Paragraph 2.20 of the Form E is supposed to automatically produce totals by adding assets together and then subtracting the liabilities. Unfortunately the HMCTS version of the Form E is defective in that it fails to automatically deduct any liabilities from the assets, thus inflating the wealth of the person completing the form. It is possible that people using the Form E, on this website, may have reached a financial settlement relying upon false figures in paragraph 2.20. If so, this could have led to there being incorrect and unfair settlements which may now need to be reconsidered.
We would confirm that the Form E version we have always used does not contain this error and therefore any Form E’s which we have prepared, on behalf of our clients, have been calculated correctly.
On 17th December 2015, the Ministry of Justice published advice regarding the faulty Form E. They have confirmed that their software has been rectified and that their online version of the Form E is now correct. It is understood that officials at HMCTS are now taking steps to identify, as quickly as possible, any cases where use of the faulty Form E may have had an impact upon the financial settlement and they intend to write to anyone who may have been affected. In the meantime though, anyone who has used the faulty Form E, and who is concerned about how it may have affected their own Court proceedings, can contact HMCTS at: formE@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk.
If you have used the faulty Form E, when negotiating a financial settlement with your spouse, and require advice regarding this, then please contact us. Bray & Bray have three main offices across Leicestershire, feel free to phone or pop in to talk to our solicitors.
Call or pop in to our Leicestershire offices
Leicester 0116 254 8871
Hinckley 01455 639 900
Market Harborough 01858 467 181