My ex and I have a Consent Order (CO) in place....it includes details that my ex is to get half of the maturity value or a capped £20k if the totals exceed £40k of 2 small endowment policies in joint names, which I continued to pay for 8 years post divorce. The CO regarding the maturity of the endowments stipulates this is to occur in August 2012, which is when we thought both policies matured. We have since found out we both made a mistake over the dates and the 2nd policy does not mature for a further year. Clearly, we are both culpable for providing incorrect information that is included in the CO.
It is clear in the CO that I am to make a single payment of £20k on maturity of the policies (note this is plural) and considers that she only gets that amount IF they both exceed a total of £40k on maturity. At present the final policy''s maturity value is not known although the estimate indicates it may well just creep over the £40k mark, but it is a year away rather than as indicated in the CO!
Knowing that one policy matures next month, she has now written requesting her £20k share immediately upon maturity, however, as the CO states, that amount is only based on the £40k threshold being achieved, which until next July cannot be confirmed and I do not want to part with money on a guestimate!!
I am not avoiding compliance with the CO, but in the spirit of the CO (although the date is wrong) the question I now have is:
Given the mutual mistake in the CO over the timing of maturity and the context of the wording, can I withhold payment of the £20k (or less, if the totals are not achieved) until the final policy matures next year, safeguarding my position for now until I am sure that sufficient funds are realised when I will transfer her share as directed?