Bit of background, my xtb was not permanent in UK and she just received Permanent Residency in UK i.e. she is entitled for housing benefit and Income support now. Currently I am paying her 1100 (400 CSA & 700 SM) per month as interim maintenance, MPS is yet to be reviewed. My xtb is the petitioner in ancillary relief application.
I filled my form E and lodge it to court on time. Haven't received other party form e yet. 25th Feb (this monday) was the first appointment + MPS (Maintenance Pending Suit). My sol received a call from my xtb sol yesterday that her sol completely forget about 25th hearing etc etc. xtb sol said their form e is ready and will exchange shortly and mention since her client is now entitled for housing benefit and income support there is no point doing MPS because we dont know yet how much would be her income. So let us adjourn it and asked my solicitor to give a offer letter saying this much amount your client can afford just for the purpose to use it to find out how much my xtb would be entitled for housing benefit and IS. I think xtb sol is playing games regarding the offer letter because I dont think Council will calculate her IS and Housing Benifit just based on a letter from my sol. I think council need solid proof like court order and bank statement to find out how much is the income and then they will calculate anyones IS and housing benefit. Please correct me If I am wrong.
My sol pressurised me yesterday, advised me to adjourn the hearing bcoz we dont have complete knowledge of my xtb income and it would be waste of time and money to goto court. I finally agreed to that bcoz I was confused and cant understand whether it is a good idea or not. Please let me know whether my sol advise was correct or not.
My sol also very keen to send an offer letter to other party saying this is very good oportunity for us. But I dont think so, I think we mustn't make any offer whatsoever before getting theor form E and since xtb is petitioner it is usually petitioner who makes an offer not the respondent.
I am very much confused about the whole sitution and cant figure out what is good or bad for me.
Clearly on the face of it the solicitor forgetting the hearing would have had adverse implications costs wise.
For the O/S the DJ may say her failure should be condemned by a personal order for costs
For you extra costs in attending a hearing likely to be unproductive. So your solr is right in trying to save costs for you.
If the O/S on benefits she is on legal aid so getting an order against her is like finding rocking horse poop! So again solrs call sensible.
Now if a MPS appliaction is made and an order has to be made other than by consent usually costs follow the event...ie you are at risk of picking up the tab
Clearly what is at stake here is paying a sum pro tem that she can manage on and you can afford. The hearings are short and you will be shocked that hardly any cross examination takes place so....whilst I appreciate the thirst for acuruate knowledge of her HB situation the solr is absolutely right in suggesting you make an offer immediately.
Why cos the Consent Order to adjourn will record to int MPS till say the FDR say and in that time you can reconsider quantum if necessary. BUT order on a no order for costs basis.
Even if other side refuse offer -if they get no more than offer they are unlikely to get costs of and incidental to the application -in fact Crt could give costs to them up to date of offer and you costs thereafter. In reality no order would likely be made.
So it seems to me the advice is sound and aimed at protecting your tail.
Lets face it her financial position is pretty simple to \predict as are her financial needs.