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Flipside of Myerson v Myerson

Date:26 JUN 2009

The Court of Appeal has ruled a West Yorkshire woman cannot claim more after her ex-husband's shares quadrupled in value.

Kim Walkden, 47, originally received a cash settlement totalling £482,000 in 2006, mainly based on the £800,000 value placed on her husband's share of the timber company Triesse and was also awarded maintenance of £1,100 a month.

However, Mrs Walkden sought to renegotiate her divorce settlement from her former husband, Martin, after the timber company was sold for more than £3.7 million in 2007.

Her lawyers argued that as a result of the higher value, Mr Walkden's share of the couple's assets had risen to 82% from 58% while Mrs Walkden's share had fallen from 42% to 18%.

In June last year, Mrs Walkden was given permission at York County Court to seek a renegotiation of the original settlement.

Mr Walkden, 47, won his appeal yesterday on the ground that his situation was no different from that of the Brian Myerson, whose attempt to renegotiate his £9.5m divorce settlement on the grounds that the recession had badly affected his finances was rejected by the court of appeal in April.

Lord Justice Thorpe, sitting with Lord Justice Wall and Lord Justice Elias, said none of the legal requirements that would allow Mrs Walkden to reopen the hearing over division of assets had been met.

He added that he was handing down his judgment because the issues in the case "were of some general importance".

Lord Justice Wall, noted that Mrs Walkden had reached an agreement with her former husband whereby her maintenance payments were converted to a capital sum and the couple had now achieved a clean break.

The judge said the case could be described "as the flipside of the decision of this court in Myerson v Myerson".