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When Your Ex-Partner Denies You Access

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 15 Feb 2019 | comments*Discuss
Contact Court Final Hearing Directions

If your ex-partner says she’s not going to let you have any contact with your children, it can be one of the most distressing things that can happen to you. There may be a number of reasons behind her decision but somehow they’re irrelevant; you simply want to be able to spend time with your kids. So what can you do to change the situation?

Why It Happens

There are several reasons why your ex might deny you access to your children.
  • It could be a bargaining chip for Divorce or legal proceedings yet to come
  • It might be revenge for the break-up of the relationship
  • In some instances, it’s even been used as a way to conceal a new relationship

Denial of contact, as it’s called legally, doesn’t necessarily happen immediately after your relationship ends. It can occur at any time until the child is of age.

What to Do About It

Your first step should be to send a registered letter to your ex-partner in which you ask her to reinstate contact between you and your children. Don't forget to take a copy of the letter for your records and keep your proof of sending. However, remember court is always seen as a last resort and you will usually have to show that you have both attended a Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting (MIAM) before you can apply.

If this produces no action, and/or your ex refuses to attend mediation, then you have no alternative but to go to court and ask for an Interim Contact Order. In order to obtain a contact order you will need to submit the correct form to the court, find out which form you need Here.

What Does the Interim Contact Order Do?

The interim contact order allows you to have contact with your children until a full court hearing resolves the matter one way or another. If your ex shows no opposition to interim contact, it can be resolved without a court appearance. However, at this stage that’s not likely to be the case.

What Kind of Contact Can you Expect in the Interim?

What you and your solicitor will have to do is remind the court at a “directions hearing” of the length of time before the full hearing will occur. This can often be six months or longer, which can be detrimental to your relationship with your child. In most instances, the court will allow some limited contact between you and your children in the interim, although it’s unlikely to be “staying contact” (allowing the children to stay overnight with you) if the mother objects. She might also demand supervised contact, and the court will generally accede. This all seems heavily weighted towards the mother, even though you might have done nothing wrong. However, it’s a case of the court opting to be cautious.

The Directions Hearing

Prior to the hearing you should inform both the opposing solicitor and the court itself that your side will ask for interim contact and be asking for oral evidence. This will avoid any adjournment. If you’ve had previous contact with your child before you were denied access, especially “staying contact”, you should provide evidence of this to the court, as it will bolster your argument.

The Final Hearing

One of the most important factors preceding the final hearing is the report by the Cafcass (Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service) officer. He or she will interview you and your former partner, your children, if they’re old enough, as well as carers and teachers etc. Generally, the court will accept the report’s recommendations regarding custody and contact. If you disagree with the report, either in part or completely, you can ask for more information, or for another report by a different officer.

If You’re Still Denied Access

If your former partner denies you contact in defiance of an order laid down by the court, you can take her to court to demand access. However, before taking this step, think carefully, as it will not only make relations between the two of you worse, but could possibly end up with her fined or in jail, which will have an adverse affect on the children. If at all possible, you should Attempt Mediation first.

Check out the Separated Dads Forum... It's a great resource where you can ask for advice on topics including Child Access, Maintenance, CAFCASS, Fathers Rights, Court, Behaviour or simply to have a chat with other dads.

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[Add a Comment]
@mommyside.yeah I been sectioned for mental health I have schizophrenia ,bipolar ,narcissistic ,.psychopath all those disorders rolled into men my doctor said I am bad men and one word from my lips should be taking serously because I am a sick man .i told him I feel proud to have these disorders he ask why I said that means I beat (Allen the most feared member off my family )so I am the (men ).he said take pills son we don’t want any trouble or blood splatter and you don’t want to be locked with the criminally insane .my family think I am good men and turn blind eye even when kid I tried to kill my cousin and my nan said no he didn’t he is a good boy .it was a accident and just a game.
Sam watson - 11-Feb-19 @ 11:15 PM
@mommyside.from my point off view (I am ashamed off her daughter )and have ask countless times for her daughter to stop using my (surname )I don’t no if they have mental health issues or what or (don’t understand me ).but the gods truth is I want nothing to do with (them )and for the last time get off social media with my surname this is no game .and if you want to make something off my threats you have my address
Sam watson - 11-Feb-19 @ 10:08 PM
@mommyside.i said the same thing to the mother off my maybe child I said I hate you more then anyone in the whole world (I swear on the bible I mean it ).i don’t care one bit if she thinks her daughter has a right to no both parents .if I wanted to see her daughter I would have went to court for visitation 10 years ago .if she thinks I have mental health issues well good for her like I said to everyone know the truth about her .she is a ugly yellow tooth grub that thinks she is one step ahead of me ha ha what a dead set loser .
Sam Watson - 11-Feb-19 @ 8:25 PM
Hi, just from a mothers point of view. I split from my husband 3 years ago, he’s not paid child maintenance even though there is a court order in place. He hasn’t seen our children since June last. The relationship was fine until he got another woman pregnant and is lying to everyone as to why our marriage failed. He keeps threatening me with a *access* order in hope I will stop trying to get maintenance from him, but he doesn’t seem to understand that I believe children have the right to have a relationship with both parents. I only stopped him seeing his children because he told me he got sectioned under the mental health act, and he even said he hated me more then he loved his children. Men can be just as bad as women.
Mommaside - 11-Feb-19 @ 4:03 PM
Hi, just from a mothers point of view. I split from my husband 3 years ago, he’s not paid child maintenance even though there is a court order in place. He hasn’t seen our children since June last. The relationship was fine until he got another woman pregnant and is lying to everyone as to why our marriage failed. He keeps threatening me with a maintenance order in hope I will stop trying to get maintenance from him, but he doesn’t seem to understand that I believe children have the right to have a relationship with both parents. I only stopped him seeing his children because he told me he got sectioned under the mental health act, and he even said he hated me more then he loved his children. Men can be just as bad as women.
Mommaside - 11-Feb-19 @ 4:02 PM
I have a child arrangements order in place and yet my Ex won’t let me see my daughter. Aug was the last time I saw her. I’ve made evryway possible to speak to my Ex but she refuses me to see her. Before everyone says take her back to court. It’s not as black and white as that. In order to go back to court you have to pay for the privilege I simpley can’t affors it. Not only that The last time this went to court I was a litigating person and the court wasn’t interested in anything I had to say and took all my ex’s lies and believed her because she had a Solicitor I’m literally banging my head of a brick wall. Any ideas and I don’t mean well the law says this etc as in the Big Wide World it actually doesn’t work like that
Solja - 1-Feb-19 @ 7:33 PM
@dom.i don’t want to go to (mediation or court) .i am not (paralysed mate).i don’t care about her daughter because it’s been 10 years .i write in (blogs for fun) and to learn how to read and write better .truth is brother burn me you are (dead to me )that goes for anyone family or friend.
Sam - 30-Jan-19 @ 1:04 AM
In this situation do not turn up at the property that your child / children reside. It is just a way for the ex to get involvement of the police and get a non molestation order. Very important. Go straight for mediation and if there is no joy get a signature form required for c100 child arrangement order. Bide your time and think positively as you can as it is incredibly paralysing. I have had my own story to tell with 3 rounds of mediation and 3 court hearings and an enforcement order. Please feel free to ask me any questions as I want to help others in this situation. Look after yourselves.
Dom - 29-Jan-19 @ 11:47 PM
And if she wants the cold hard truth I am (sensitive )over what she done .and wont ever change that .go get a puppethe will follow you around like lost sheep .i am man and call a spade a spade.and in my ex case a whore is a whore .
Sam - 18-Jan-19 @ 2:51 AM
@pedeiro.i Feel people are reading into (posts to much )?.my ex can have her child I want nothing to do with the situation( she understands why )and understands I am different now( grown up now )and just the (thought off dealing )with the past and all the other (people involved )is just not (my thing) .weird thing is I understand everything now have clear understanding and want nothing to do with any off them .just want to live my life .she can rasie her family (the way she wants ).(if I was older when I meet my ex the gods truth is I never would have dated her let alone had a child to her ).she has my permission to change the surname if she wants .ps sorry for all the messages I weird fella at times .
Sam - 18-Jan-19 @ 1:25 AM
Hello I’m looking for some help. Since July I don’t see my 2 kids, 13 years and 5 years. They want spend time with me but my X doesn’t let my kids come with me. I pay my child maintenance every month. And I got my rights. I live with my partner now, and my kids want spend time with us and my X doesn’t let my kids come and visit me. Anyone knows who could help me in this situation.Thanks so much for reading this.
Padeiro - 17-Jan-19 @ 10:00 PM
was wondering if anyone knows if my ex can actually dictate who i can talk to on the phone whilst i have contact with my children? and whether or not she can stop me having contact with them if i speak to my new partner
andrew - 9-Jan-19 @ 7:58 PM
hi just looking for some advice for my son,he split from his partner in october last year and has been having his 11mth old son every weekend, he couldnt have him last weekend due to work so let the mother know, unfortunatly she has decided to stop access now saying that not having his son last week was not good enough and he wont be having him again, now we have tried to contact her to sort this out but she has blocked the whole family, can you advise on what to do please, thankyou (nan) hayley.
h - 9-Jan-19 @ 10:17 AM
Hi I hope you can help me in this dark situation which I don't know my correct wrights as a child father. Me and childs mother broke up ia bit 6 month ago. ..since then I've had regular consistent contact 2 days a week and I'm paying regular maintenance but now all of the sudden mother has stopped all content phone calls contact in general with me and my family.. Her words are its best if I don't contact my daughter ever again. . And now has had a police conjunction against me going near propaty and no phone contact either. .. The mother background is horrifying from having her first child taken away from her when she was younger and on the drugs she have had a police record for number of different violent offences and so does each member of her family have a police record. .. I have no record I'm a working man who pays for his child. .. Basically tell me if I got a chance of either having the chance to have my child full time custody or at least joint custody and please advise me what steps to take as I am lost and going out of my mind thinking I've most my baby for ever.
Germant92 - 6-Jan-19 @ 11:35 PM
I left my X in 2015 and my children 16 and 13 were happy to see me. As the months went on, the carpet was well and truly pulled from me.The more I tried the less I see them.It was all starting to slip away. I gave my kids my love and my money, never want for nothing and their mum continued to take my money and live in our house. I'm an idiot I now have no access, my X says the children do not want to see me, I can't see them, I can't communicate with them, they have now blocked me completely. I feel lost, helpless and frustrated that my love for my children has just been taken away because of someone who simply is angry and bitter. Your comments would be appreciated to someone who feels completely lost.
Lion - 15-Dec-18 @ 11:57 AM
Hello, I am starting the ball rolling in completing a C100 court application to arrange for me to see my daughter and have my name on the birth certificate.My question is until the court date comes through, should I block all contact from my ex?She will not be civil and my ex refused mediation and keeps making threats etc re moving abroad etc. Has anyone else had a similar situation?Any advice would be greatly appreciated, Lee
leeg - 28-Nov-18 @ 10:11 AM
I just want to say to my ex that even though all her secrets have been exposed .my final decision is to walk away from my daughter now it’s a (super hard decision) put one I feel strongly about and feel it’s the right decision for everyone involved.after weighing everything up in my head flip flopping .yeah I am done I don’t have (fight in me )or the( want) anymore to have my daughter .i spoke to my uncle dan he went legal staight away for his children I told him he is a bettergood man then me .i don’t have the will I am sorry I let my family down like my mother manly broke her heart I didn’t take action .but brighter note my ex didn’t push charges so I am home free .i leave my ex alone now let her and her boyfriend rasie her .she doesn’t even no me in reality I am a stranger in reality I never should have called in the first place anyway I don’t no what I was thinking hey I remember I was on a bender and scattered as f other wise I never would have called gods truth .but I take my hat off to the men that go legal for there children you guys are the goods guys cheers To you good dads out there.
It’s done for good t - 22-Oct-18 @ 2:44 AM
@glen.i am in serous relationship now and planning on moving in with her after christmas she has no children[ no baggage ].now i never would have went legal for my daughter but i wasn't in a properrelationship with my x so it is different .to your situation .but if you did go legal you would get visitation to your children even if they have been brainwashed bye your x there would be nothing she could do there is she could breach order then you got to go back to court .so you need to make a choice weather it is[ worth the effort and money ]to see your children lot of guys walk away trust me its easier to start over and have more children if thats what you want .for me i never want to see my maybe daughter i wrote the chapter of my life off many years ago and become the real me and couldn't be happier i dumb foundered a few people but its my life and choice and at the end of the day i am happy .so stuff the judges and haters all i got to say they must have a boring life to critise me.
chris laurie - 13-Oct-18 @ 9:59 PM
I got married and due to that had first hearing my ex said I haven't saw them for a whole year which she has lied about the first hearing said I can ring them on a sat for a month then contact centre fortnightly till the second hearing but I feel like I'm losing my kids as I rang and they both said we don't love you anymore your not our dad etc they love our moms new boyfriend the kids are 8 and 6 so I recond the moms been brain washing them upsetting for me I feel at a loss even with the courts
Glen - 13-Oct-18 @ 1:10 PM
Sorry my comment was meant to say that my ex has never followed the court order even though it’s the amount of contact he chose and asked for. The court order was done in May ‘16 when our daughter was two as I had already been unsure about reintroducing my ex back into her life but he had promised that he really wanted to be involved which is why we got the agreement made and why I’ve so far let things go as they have been but I don’t feel it’s in the best interest of our daughter but unsure how to go about changing it. I think if I went to my ex to change it, he won’t be cooperative and will give another sob story and make more promises he doesn’t intend to keep with regards to contact so I’m a bit lost at the moment
Chichi85 - 4-Oct-18 @ 12:31 PM
Hi, I have a court order in place where my ex is meant to see our daughterfor one weekend every month but he followed it even tho he asked for that amount of contact, in the 4 years of our daughters life he has only seen her 4 times. He doesn’t get in touch to arrange any visits since the last visit 6 months ago, hasn’t been present for special occasions like birthday, Christmas etc doesn’t even ask how he is so I have stopped “updating” him. Since I stopped sending regular email updates, I have been blocked on all methods of contact we previously used and he has moved to a different city. I have always had my doubts about my ex actually wanting to be involved as he was pushing for abortion from the moment I found out I was pregnant but when our daughter was born he suddenly popped up saying all he’s ever wanted to do was be a dad and that I’m somehow stopping him. What I want to know is, clearly the court order isn’t being followed by my ex and I am unable to contact him anyway to arrange contact although it looks like he just doesn’t want anything to do with DD but is there any way to get the court order changed/dissolved as it clearly isn’t working or what the father even wants? From what I understand, he wouldn’t breaching the court order by not taking up contact but if he say attempted to make a visit (although it’s been 6 months since last one) I could be seen as breaching the order if I don’t allow it? Only our daughter is 4 and was upset when my ex appeared and then disappeared again and it’s the 4th time he’s done it since DD was born and I don’t want it to negatively affect our daughter. Any advice on what to do?
Chichi85 - 4-Oct-18 @ 12:19 PM
hi my ex has denied he is the father to child maintanenceso he doesn’t have to pay, but wants half custody of my newborn. can i stop contact, he is not on the birth certificate and has no been around my whole pregnancy? he has been very verbally abusive and controlling towards me what do i do? i just want him to leave us alone.
Georgie - 4-Oct-18 @ 10:50 AM
@ens.sounds like you are talking about me .i am still violent and hate my x with a passion .where is no chance I would fight for my daughter legally after the stories I heard about my x (who would ).if she thinks it is best to keep my daughter away from so be it .goodbye and have a good life .have fun with all your affairs.dont come staking me I excepted you don’t want me to have contract I have stopped contacting her I tried my daughter she never replied so I will never contact her again in life either so I except not to be stalked sounds fair to me .hey it’s not rocket science .ps do not push me x and test waters you will see a side to me you will not like just a heads up .
Chris laurie - 3-Oct-18 @ 9:47 PM
Hi. My ex partner was abusive and hasnt seen his daughter for nearly four years, mediation was stopped because of the abuse and he has never gone to court/paid maintanence. I know he is still violent as he was in the paper recently for threatening someone with a weapon. He wants contact but Im not sure what my rights are?
Ens - 3-Oct-18 @ 4:40 PM
@Mamy- yes, but there are some mothers that are just plain evil and they use their kids as weapons to undemine the father's love for their kids. Dads love their kids and have emotions (just as much as mums do we have a paternal instinct), so it really hurts when we are kept from seeing our kids. No, not all women are evil, but neither are all men manipulative cheats.
AaronB - 21-Sep-18 @ 11:26 AM
This page is aimed at making women out to be the bad person at all costs, how women have been portrayed is disgusting! A women has placed a concern about getting her children back and you state women lie in court!!! My ex was a manipulative cheat, at the moment he gets access but if they are in danger he won’t! Women have a stonger maternal instinct and if they feel thier babies are in danger they have every right to stop access. So maybe that should be in your bulletin points. Who ever has written this page just seems like a bitter man that had his kids taken for some reason. Women arnt always in the wrong! Some times they are but we’re all human beings! Stop been so against women! We have givrn birth to the babies and deserve respect for that! There’s already two sides and kids should never suffer.
Mamy - 20-Sep-18 @ 5:29 AM
Sammi - Your Question:
Hi, my ex husband has stopped me complety of all contact to my daughter and also has taken her from school, I need some help in getting my children back home please as I have 2 girls. Please are you able to help me. Thank you

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. The link here will help answer your question in full.
SeparatedDads - 18-Sep-18 @ 10:13 AM
Let me start by saying you all have my deepest of sympathy. I admire your courage & commitment. What you need to understand you can't win anything against a woman in court. They all play the helpless women. Make up lied about you.There are tons of help places for them to turn too. Your find 90% of these women before or after the court room are vindictive nasty..think of the worst names you could say.. multiple by 10 and we are getting close to the truth how they really are. The district judge always sides with the woman. You will always be the.. because of.. If you give reasons your petty.. It's a woman's world in the UK. Remember the saying.. A women scorned.. it's true. Don't let it distroy you.. Your life is important too. Let it go.Walk away. I got so stressed out I had a heartattack.. And was in hospital.She knew. Took me to court while in hospital. I couldn't attend anything.. Even meet Caffcass. She got a no contact order 10 years ago.I come out of hospital to a court order. Don't know what, where my child lives or is. Just the CSA now CSM bastard's trying to get money..Who won't tell me nothing. I can tell you a lot more.. make your hair stand on end.. Then probably get a do good response of some one saying I need to pay the CSA etc,etc.. let's put it this way.. How would you feel when you're mother died.. Good now you understand. Well mine did. Left me money. She banked the cheque in the joint account. Arranged an overdraft.. Emptied the account.. and in the red.. Who do they come too.. exactly. So she isn't short of a few quid.. Good luck if you choose to fight on. I'm out.. staying out.. I want quite
Got the T shirt - 17-Sep-18 @ 9:39 PM
Hi, my ex husband has stopped me complety of all contact to my daughter and also has taken her from school, I need some help in getting my children back home please as I have 2 girls. Please are you able to help me. Thank you
Sammi - 16-Sep-18 @ 3:02 PM
@Beesey- do keep going, at some point your ex's actions will catch up with her. The court doesn't approve of people who are in contempt of court and do not take the order seriously. You just have to keep plugging on man until you get the result you want, and you will as I did after three years of battling. Dark days... but there is will be light at the end of the tunnel.
joshV - 13-Sep-18 @ 3:26 PM
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