Smythe v. Banks

This case concerned parenting orders for the three children of the applicant mother and respondent father. The mother alleged that during her relationship with the father, he domestically abused her by shouting at her, denigrating her, physically assaulting her, and suppressing her financial autonomy. There was also evidence that the father was charged with a number of offences of assaulting his new partner (Ms. H). The Family Consultant described the father’s treatment of Ms. H and the applicant as “pathological” and “coercive controlling violence.” The court was satisfied that the children would be exposed to domestic violence within the father’s household and found that the presumption of equal shared parental responsibility did not apply. The court also found that the children’s need for protection from harm superseded their need for interaction with their father, their apparent wishes to stay with their father, and the presumption that the child’s best interests are served by an order allocating equal shared parental responsibility to both parents. The court ordered that the children live with the mother and limited the father’s contact with the children to four professionally supervised visits per year and occasional written communications. Outside of these parameters, the father was forbidden to contact his children.



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