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When Your Ex-Partner Denies You Access

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 13 Oct 2018 | 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]
@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
Ngumi - Your Question:
Hi, i’m separated with my wife, she wont let me see my two children at all. She even takes the children abroad without informing me, I got to know it from friends. What should I do. The court seems to take forever. Please advise

Our Response:
Unfortunately, your only recourse is to suggest mediation or (if your ex refuses) court. Please see the link here .
SeparatedDads - 13-Sep-18 @ 2:12 PM
Sandy - Your Question:
Can my daughter in law tell my son he cannot have the kids to sleep over at his house during the week. He will get them to school. He does see them at the weekends but this is an extra thing he would like to do. She just says no

Our Response:
If your daughter-in-law does, your son's recourse is further explained via the link here .
SeparatedDads - 13-Sep-18 @ 12:53 PM
Hi, i’m separated with my wife, she wont let me see my two children at all. She even takes the children abroad without informing me, i got to know it from friends. What should i do. The court seems to take forever. Please advise
Ngumi - 11-Sep-18 @ 10:02 PM
Can my daughter in law tell my son he cannot have the kids to sleep over at his house during the week. He will get them to school . He does see them at the weekends but this is an extra thing he would like to do. She just says no
Sandy - 11-Sep-18 @ 4:03 PM
I have been to mediation twice, I have been on the single parenting course - my ex wife has refused to attend any of these courses. I have a court order in place giving me 1 weekend a month access and am supposed to have weekly phone calls. Try and get this enforced though. She hasn't let me see my children since February and has now stopped the phone calls as well. I have been backwards and forwards to court for over 3 years now but I will not give in. My children are my world and I did not divorce them, just their mother! I have another section 7 being made soon and back to court in November. KEEP GOING FATHERS OUT THERE.
Beesey - 11-Sep-18 @ 2:58 PM
Robbie - Your Question:
I have been separated from my wife of 13 years for 6 weeks now, although things had been deteriorating for 5 or 6 years. The distressing issue now is my children aged 12 and 7. Because I have a new partner in my life now, neither of my kids want to see me or talk to me, never mind stay at my new home. My ex wife assures me that the decision has come directly from the kids, although I fear they are being directly or indirectly influenced by her family. Either way, she says she won't force the children to do something they don't want to do. How do I convince them that I still love them and am there for them, if I can't contact them? My wife claims that legally they are old enough to decide for themselves.I really don't want to even explore the legal route if I can avoid it. She tells me that if I get my new partner out of my life, that the kids will accept me again. I think this is unreasonable to demand. I'm very happy with life with my new partner, but the situation with my kids is tearing me apart.

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. Your only other option in situations such as this is to suggest mediation, please see the link here. Our Separated Dads forum may also be of help to you, as many of our dads can advise from personal experience.
SeparatedDads - 11-Sep-18 @ 11:27 AM
Hi, my ex ismonths pregnant and she is already saying i wont be able to be part of my sons life when i want to be, what should i do?
Jimmy - 11-Sep-18 @ 8:37 AM
I have been separated from my wife of 13 years for 6 weeks now, although things had been deteriorating for 5 or 6 years. The distressing issue now is my children aged 12 and 7. Because I have a new partner in my life now, neither of my kids want to see me or talk to me, never mind stay at my new home. My ex wife assures me that the decision has come directly from the kids, although I fear they are being directly or indirectly influenced by her family. Either way, she says she won't force the children to do something they don't want to do. How do I convince them that I still love them and am there for them, if I can't contact them? My wife claims that legally they are old enough to decide for themselves...I really don't want to even explore the legal route if I can avoid it. She tells me that if I get my new partner out of my life, that the kids will accept me again. I think this is unreasonable to demand. I'm very happy with life with my new partner, but the situation with my kids is tearing me apart.
Robbie - 10-Sep-18 @ 11:04 AM
Confuseddad - Your Question:
Hi me and my ex split 4 years ago and have a child together and she had a boy from previous relationship, he knows me as his dad.We had a good split no problems even though she cheated and left me.However I’ve been dating a old friend and been together for quite a while she has two younger children and my step son has been rude, called them names and hit them and some other things it’s been on going for months I’ve tried everything to sort and deal with it and told my ex all the problems it’s got to a stage that I now can’t have him at her house, my ex has now said she will stop me having my daughter if I don’t take him.And even said she will call the school to stop me collect her.Can this happen?What can I do?

Our Response:
I think the thing is here, is what you want for the relationship between you and your step-son. Do you want to cut him out of your life? This sounds more of a deeper issue and if you considered your child your own, or your own child acted in this way then you would still push forward with trying to resolve the situation in some way. A standard answer would be not to have your step-son and children at your current girlfriend's house but to spend time with your children yourself. However, if you do not wish to take this approach and you would rather stop seeing your step-son, then the article you are responding to and the link here is your only course of action.
SeparatedDads - 6-Sep-18 @ 11:38 AM
Hi me and my ex split 4 years ago and have a child together and she had a boy from previous relationship, he knows me as his dad. We had a good split no problems even though she cheated and left me. However I’ve been dating a old friend and been together for quite a while she has two younger children and my step son has been rude, called them names and hit them and some other things it’s been on going for months I’ve tried everything to sort and deal with it and told my ex all the problems it’s got to a stage that I now can’t have him at her house, my ex has now said she will stop me having my daughter if I don’t take him. And even said she will call the school to stop me collect her. Can this happen? What can I do?
Confuseddad - 4-Sep-18 @ 9:01 PM
Ben - Your Question:
Hi all, I have been separated from my ex and mother of my first born daughter for 6 years to which this is the last time I saw my daughter after a difficult and mutual seperation, I've struggled to live without having my daughter in my life a lot I want to try for access but haven't a clue how to start and I don't want to cause my daughter distress being she is only 8 I don't want to leave it too long though every day feels a lifetime. Any advice or guidance is much my appreciated.

Our Response:
You would have to start by either contacting your ex to request access, or sending a letter either written by you or a solicitor asking the same. If your ex refuses to come to an agreement, then you would have to suggest mediation and/or as a last resort, court. If you haven't seen your daughter for this amount of time, what have you got to lose by asking/applying? Please also see the link here . If you cannot afford legal representation (if you have to take the matter to court), then please see the link here.
SeparatedDads - 4-Sep-18 @ 11:57 AM
Hi all, I have been separated from my ex and mother of my first born daughter for 6 years to which this is the last time I saw my daughter after a difficult and mutual seperation, I've struggled to live without having my daughter in my life a lot I want to try for access but haven't a clue how to start and I don't want to cause my daughter distress being she is only 8 I don't want to leave it too long though every day feels a lifetime. Any advice or guidance is much my appreciated.
Ben - 28-Aug-18 @ 9:19 PM
Nan - Your Question:
Hi my son has split with his daughters mum and has not seen her for nearly six months now he saw a solicitor because he is being refused access and has started the process - however he was advised this could takes months - he is on the birth certificate and has parental responsibility if he was to just pick his daughter up from play school what would the legal outcome be please

Our Response:
We can not predict what the legal outcome would be, your son would have to suggest mediation first before he can apply to court. Unfortunately, it can take months (if the matter goes to court). The quicker your son attempts to gain access, then the quicker the situation will be resolved. I hope the situation can be resolved outside court. A solicitor's letter outlining the rights of your son may work in the first instance.
SeparatedDads - 17-Aug-18 @ 11:18 AM
Hi my son has split with his daughters mum and has not seen her for nearly six months now he saw a solicitor because he is being refused access and has started the process - however he was advised this could takes months - he is on the birth certificate and has parental responsibility if he was to just pick his daughter up from play school what would the legal outcome be please
Nan - 17-Aug-18 @ 1:38 AM
@nick - it really doesn't look good if you interrupt the judge as this could backfire on you and will play straight into your ex's hands. Most definitely keep quiet.
JaseN - 16-Aug-18 @ 12:17 PM
I have been divorced a year and ex has made things very difficult for me re our child lies and lies in court the legal system isn't straight forward. so I have taken her to court to try to see more of my daughter and not accompanied unlike she has set me up on through court/ I have paid another court hearing to try to see my child more but solicitor I have says not to say anything in court to keep quiet as this is first stage but next hearing after this one will be final should I be interrupting the court to tell the judge about all the lies I have lots of evidence. my ex says im a very bad dad and have not been responsible enough all the time this is just lies so any advise guys with next hearing soon/
nick - 15-Aug-18 @ 6:40 PM
I been in dark place but I have pulled though now I have moments but pull myself together pretty quick now snap out of it .my child mother is difficult but hey she is a women I have only had a few women and they all been difficult I always get broken ones but I am sure they would tell you that I amdifficult and the only one broken is me .the moral of my story is I f up big time I never went legal to see my daughter when i should have and got all emotional and upset and got carried away and got off track lost the point and go into a ramble pick fights about how I was wronged bye my x and family members.and not (daughter focused ,sorry daughter).
Rosscoe - 12-Aug-18 @ 1:13 AM
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