Courtroom Rejects Spouse’s Fears of Husband’s “Grasp Liar” Expertise

Starting with this quote from “The Tiger’s Bones”, The Tiger’s Bones and Different Performs for Youngsters (Viking Press, 1974), these had been the courtroom’s opening phrases in a 370-paragraph ruling in a latest case known as R.L. v. M.F.

“Nothing is free”, wrote the British poet, Ted Hughes. “All the things must be paid for. For each revenue in a single factor, cost in another factor.” So it was right here, for the events to this case. Every made selections that they thought greatest for themselves and their household. Every choice exacted a price, to them, their partner and their household. That value is, partially, being measured out on this choice. In some ways, it’s a expensive one for this complete household.

Among the decisions the courtroom refers to associated to profession decisions, parenting kinds and approaches, and the way in which they every handled what turned out to be an acrimonious divorce.  All of it culminated in an 11-day trial the place the courtroom was requested to untangle numerous points together with parenting time, spousal assist, youngster assist, and division of property.

The events had separated after 14.5 years of marriage and two kids collectively.  The daddy, who was a banker, now earned about $2 million a 12 months. Nonetheless, because the courtroom concluded, his excessive success “exacted a heavy value” in his relationships with the mom and their two daughters.  He was typically absent as the youngsters grew up.

Furthermore, when issues began to go badly within the marriage, he selected to remain in what the courtroom known as “a strain cooker residence scenario” for 22 months post-separation; this not solely spiked the extent of battle, however seemingly had a profound impression on his relationship along with his daughters as effectively.

The mom, for her half, made some unlucky selections as effectively; many of those drove up the trial value and period.  For instance, from the monetary facet of untangling their affairs, the mom selected deliberate underemployment:  Though she was a medical physician who had vital incomes capability, she selected to work solely part-time regardless that her teenage kids not wanted her full-time caregiving.   This led the courtroom to scrutinize her income-earning means, and in the end impute an annual earnings of $550,000 to her.

Troublingly, in her trial proof earlier than the courtroom she additionally selected to assault the daddy’s character:  Whereas he was admittedly a less-than-perfect partner and dad or mum, she portrayed him as abusive, controlling and harmful – allegedly exacerbated by his stints with the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in Bosnia and Afghanistan.  At numerous factors she claimed that he had killed males in Afghanistan as a sniper, or else utilizing man-to-man fight, and that she now feared he would kill her.  However the courtroom discovered these violent characterizations and fears had been merely not borne out by the proof. Extra regarding was that the youngsters had taken on the mom’s hyperbolic views and fears of him, which she did little to dispel, even after the daddy took steps to restore his wounded relationships with them.

Thus the courtroom was left untangle the often-conflicting testimony from every partner, and examine it to the stories from the knowledgeable assessor, Dr. Radovanovic.  In the middle of making its ruling on credibility, the courtroom summarized a number of the questionable elements of the proof this fashion: 

Causes for Scepticism About Every Social gathering’s Proof

150      From all the above, it may be surmised that I’ve cause to be skeptical of each events’ arguments about their credibility compared to the opposite. My causes embody:

For the Father:

a. The Father instructed Dr. Radovanovic that he by no means used spyware and adware within the Dwelling. But the proof is obvious that he bought a spyware and adware equipment that included each spyware and adware and anti-spyware. The youngsters and the Mom had been conscious of this truth, which he makes an attempt to downplay.

b. The youngsters instructed Dr. Radovanovic that they overheard the Father berate the Mom. He known as that rhetoric “playful”. Within the circumstances of this case, that rationale isn’t plausible.

c. The Father complained at trial that the Mom was undermining his try and reconcile with the youngsters throughout his summer season keep in Muskoka by doing a number of the driving. But he requested that she do the driving. …

d. The Father claimed that the one babysitter that the Mom would permit for the youngsters was the Grandmother. He cited that alleged truth as proof of her degree of management over the youngsters. But the proof at trial confirmed that the Mom had recruited a variety of non-family member babysitters.

For the Mom:

a. Most of my issues relating to the Mom’s proof pertains to her exaggerated and even hyperbolic descriptions of the Father, each out and in of courtroom. Among the many examples are the next:

(i) In her consumption kinds for Dr. Radovanovic, the Mom unjustifiably described the Father in phrases that denoted a Rambo-like character. She wrote that he has a “potential for bodily abuse and violent behaviour” in direction of the youngsters. She went on to talk of her bodily concern of his purported potential for violence. She ascribed this partially to a brutal and murderous time period of service with the CAF. These claims are bereft of any corroborating proof and forcefully rejected by the Father. … 

(iii) Equally, as set out above, the Mom spoke of the Father “stalking” her and the youngsters within the Dwelling between the time of separation and his transferring out. But a lot of what I heard appeared like woeful and determined makes an attempt to have interaction the youngsters, and A. particularly, about why they’d distanced themselves from him. There have been occasions that he was weepy, each with them and Dr. Radovanovic, which they perceived as threatening. Dr. Radovanovic, who witnessed one such interplay, didn’t share that view.

(iv) One other extravagant description of the Father provided by the Mom in an e mail to Dr. Radovanovic was that of “grasp liar and manipulator: abilities he has attained from his profession within the army and banking sectors”. Amongst his purported abilities is the flexibility to “…manipulate, face up to and administer intense questioning”. That definitely was not the impression that he gave at trial. Whereas he didn’t fold below cross-examination, he was not masterful both, as a number of the feedback discovered elsewhere in these causes present. Additional, there isn’t a proof that he obtained the form of coaching that she described, which seems to be the stuff of grasp spies. … 

b. In contemplating these excessive allegations, I can’t ignore the truth that the events lived collectively in a strain cooker of a Dwelling for twenty-two months after separating. But the Father by no means laid an inappropriate hand on or threatened both the Mom or the youngsters. …

e. There’s merely no proof earlier than the courtroom that the Father ever posed a bodily menace to any of the Mom or the youngsters. Additional, as Dr. Radovanovic identified and I noticed throughout the trial, the Father can merely show an intense look.

In the end, the courtroom dominated that whereas neither dad or mum was outright meaning to mislead the courtroom, their respective proof was “filtered” by way of the lens of their robust, subjective views.  And whereas neither of their proof was to be universally favoured over the opposite’s, courtroom concluded that particularly the mom’s allegations of household violence and danger of hurt by the daddy couldn’t be taken at face worth.   

With these conclusions in thoughts, the courtroom went on to make its numerous rulings on the events’ multi-faceted disputes, in a protracted and really detailed judgment.  Adverting again to the theme of the mother and father making deliberate decisions, the courtroom pronounced: 

I add that each mother and father have chosen to have interaction on this very costly, protracted and corrosive litigation.

Full textual content of the choice: R.L. v M.F, 2023 ONSC 2885 (CanLII)