It has recently been announced that many people could be paying too much in spousal or court order child maintenance payments, following an error on the electronic version of Form E.
The liabilities section at part 2.0 of the form wrongly calculated the total amount of liabilities that a party had, and therefore they may have been ordered to pay a sum of maintenance or provide a lump sum to their partners that was too high. Alternatively some parties debts may not have been calculated correctly when they were being awarded maintenance meaning that they have been paid too little.
In financial proceedings the courts will essentially look at the needs of each party based upon the following principles:
Should there be any children from the marriage their needs will be placed as a priority, often meaning that the resident parent will receive a greater reward from the assets of the marriage.
It is often very difficult to vary an order once it has been made. The error on the Form E means that there is now the capability for many cases to be reopened on this basis, to ensure that each party received a fair award.