Scranton & Scranton 2012 FamCAFC 54

The case involved two children aged about 7 and 10 years at the time.  Two simultaneous expert reports indicated that the father had an obsessive personality disorder and that at times he became so completely preoccupied with projects that he was physically and emotionally unavailable to people around him.  Evidence was given that the father was domineering, for example when the couple dined at a restaurant the father insisted that the mother drink wine when she had ordered water (personality domineering).  The trial judge ordered that the mother have sole parental responsibility.  The father appealed.

The judge found that the father did not have the same understanding of the concept of joint consent or agreement as others, as agreement is commonly considered to be acceptance between parties rather than acquiescence under pressure or weight of information.  The father understood agreement to occur when he presented a detailed, comprehensive and thorough document that another sensible person must agree with (personality rigid).

The judge found that the father did not accept statements by the mother about her own emotions of feeling threatened, pressured, harassed and intimidated, as the father stated that the mother’s actions were contrary to these emotions (emotional invalidation).

The appeal was dismissed as no error by the trial judge had been established.