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When Your Ex-Partner Denies You Access

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 18 Oct 2020 | 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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Hi. I read all the stories n i scared to go to court.So my story goes as we got married at 2016 n bought a house togheter.(Guess what i was paying every bills/mortgage).in 2018 she asked her sister to move to us for a few month till she found a place on her own.So i agree as few mnth not a biggie.in 2019 our son born n thats where the hell started.She was chking my phone/broke to my FB pick pocketing me,Checking thru all my pockets literally had no life only wrk sleep (if she let me) n had to stand all her negativ comment.She was choked me hit me slap me 3 occasion when i reached the tipping point n left...ran to my friend(i hide it so she did not know) as my family over 2500 miles away.literally she abused me over the yrs as i had no family rnd i was the perfect victim.Long story short she not let me sleep my 21 mnth old over my rent which is 25min walk from our house She refuse to buy me out n she only let me see my son at our family home n only till she wrks.if i not act as she wish she picking arguments.My family NEVER see our kid only hers but her family is the same country as mine.She refuse contact whit our children see my SIS or cousines our my father.im really lost ATM.ive got legal aid ATM as we recived UC when i left so i already sent her 3 letter via Solicitor but so far she only anwser the 2nd one n all she did in it was Mud throwing on me.im wrried to go to court as im only getting about 15 grand a yr whit full time job.i could not cover costs not to mention i have to represent myself in a diffrent country court system which is scary as hell but for my son i would do but just simply cannot live like that to wait when she will act out of the blue.When she will took our son away.She already picked Nursery whitout consulting me.. i did not knew till she told me he is in that nursery...Well any advice would be great as im clear whit my rights but lost to what would be the best step not to rip myself n my son future for a life.
Atis - 18-Oct-20 @ 7:42 PM
Me and my ex partner broke up and she ran off with my little one and will not let me see her what’s so ever and it’s coming up to her first birthday what can I do
Steve - 17-Oct-20 @ 10:22 AM
My son was born prematurely last Christmas and he had to fight for his life as soon as he was delivered. He had hydrops fetalis and had to have 100% support from a ventilator immediately after his delivery. We had to sit there on Christmas day 2019 in NICU being told by Doctors they don't know how the next 5 day's is going to go...it was a very tough time. I asked a reverend if she could bless and anoint him on Christmas day which she did and praise the lord my son pulled through and he is good he came home on valentine's day 2020 . I was told by his mother's malicious ex that his mother was going to use me for a child just two weeks into the relationship with his mother. I just passed this off as her ex trying just another low ball move because he was hurting over there relationship ending. Oh my don'tI wish I listened! I started to see her ups and downs whilst living together. She confided in me about her struggles with mental health, self harm, suicide attempts and abandonment issues because of her abusive parents which in turn have made her the person and gave her the personality which she now lives with today. She buttered me up, love bombed me made me believe she was the one but now seems she was just doing what her ex implied to me. She started causing arguments with me for no reason whatsoever. Guilt tripping me and making me feel bad for feeling bad. Gaslighting me. Covertly being narcissistic behind closed doors. My rational mind couldn't figure out why she was hurting me when all I ever did was fully support her and our son. She had told me a lot of negative things about her past how her mother is a narcissist and her older half sister is her mother's prodigy and they are bullies and think they are better then everyone else when they are actually failures. They tried to make my childs mother miscarry whilst she was pregnant subjected her to somewhat unhealthy amounts of stress. Raised concerns to the community mental health team counsellor she was under who then raised concerns to the midwifery team which then made referrals to the social services. A assessment was carried out throughout the pregnancy and the case was closed immediately. I talked to my son's mother about this and she agreed that she thinks it would be best to not have any contact with them and keep them out of our new family. Explained and told this to the social services during the assessment. So everything is going fantastic. Our son is home it would seem we was happy but then her family got involved with her again I don't know when or how this happened but it was something that wasn't discussed with me. Our son was struggling to breathe in June he was rushed to hospital one parent policy because of covid situation and safeguarding protocol was carried out and our son is being temporarily held under a interim care order whilst the investigations are being done. She stayed in a relationship for four weeks with me after we lost our son. Then she decided to
N - 17-Oct-20 @ 9:58 AM
My kids don't want to see their father, they haven't seen him since before lockdown because they refused so i had to make excuses for them-it caused a full blown melt down for both of them, lockdown happened and their father didn't contact me from march to end of august about them at all and even then it was to demand contact not to ask about them, i didn't reply because i was unsure what to say and now i have had a threatening email stating that he will take me back to court and ensure i suffer full legal ramifications for keeping him and the kids apart-i can't stand the man yet i haven't done anything to stop the contact with the kids they have stopped the contact themselves, i am worried and scared
Penguin - 13-Oct-20 @ 2:37 PM
I have not seen my grandson for nearly 18 months now and neither has my son. My son and his wife split and are now at the end of a bitter divorce. Unfortunately she was greatly influenced by her father who told her the best way to hurt my son was to stop him seeing his children. Her parents live up North over 250 miles away and she took my Grandson overnight to stay with her parents who he did not know at all and away from the only family he has ever known. My ex-daughter in law did not get on with her parents and she was very close to us as was my grandson. He had loving cousins who he saw everyweekend but she snatched him away to cause nothing but pain and misery especially for the son - my grandson. Cutting a long story short she told terrible lie upon terrible and laughable lie and has fought tooth and nail to stop any of us seeing my grandson. The Social Sevices were lazy, incompetent and pathetic believing every word she said without even a cursory check with anyone else. For example my wife was supposed to have tried to kidnap my grandson snatching him up and running away with him despite her just having a knee operation and registered disabled. This was done so she could claim legal aid for abuse victims despite there not being one jot of evidence. She was given financial support because of the so called 'abuse' but it cost my son over £50,000 and got himself into debt as he just wanted to see his son. He offered his wife everything the house financial support everything but she threw it all away simply to hurt him and his family. After dreadful heartache and pain caused by the disfunctional Family Court system she finally received a Court Order telling her she must allow child access as my son posed no threat whatsoever but she was granted contact centre to 'humour' her. She has ignored every communication attempt and simply ignores the Court Order. My son has been told he will have to go back to Court to get her to comply with even more costs which he simply cannot afford is there any other way?
Sad Grandfather - 12-Oct-20 @ 1:26 PM
My son hasn’t seen his daughter Victoria, in over a year.Her mother Cristina has an attorney who is keeping Daniel my son, away from her.It looks like Cristina’s attorney giving him even more problems concerning monetary, which we can’t afford this any longer, howcan we possibly see Daniel’s daughter and my my grand daughter again without money involved. Victoria has been diagnosed of depression but we never heard until now how she’s doing. We are very much concerned.Daniel pays child support and Cristina claim child abuse without any proof. And the courtfound him innocent of 3 different allegation. We need your help and your professional assistance. This case is in Illinois. Thank in advance. Yours sincerely Fely Kear
Faye - 7-Oct-20 @ 9:29 PM
Hi I’m Victim of DV and I have one child 3 year who is traumatic of his father behaviour, his father apply for child arrangement order to stay with his father on the weekend days but I am afraid leave my child with him because he has given the knife to my child play with It and my child puts in the mouth , do you think he can have a child during the nights with him or no?Thanks
Helena - 7-Oct-20 @ 7:58 PM
@Dave.i am not struggling emotionally, and I don't care who the mother is seeing or dates or married to I have no interest in her mother .if she gave me the DNA test iwould of took action legally 100 percentwithout a doupt if the (child is mine ).i know to much to not get the DNA test . To the test Is done and I have proven results. I won't be doing anything legally.
Christopher - 5-Oct-20 @ 3:51 PM
My ex wife has stopped me seeing my child, ive been fighting in courts for 4 years now and getting absolutely no where, my ex partner was violent to me but for some reason shes the one that is getting help with solicitors and im getting no help at all. I had supervised access because i picked my daughter up and put a bruise on her, after 4 appointments it was stopped 6 months later when it went back to court is was said that my 4 year old daughter had gone to her teacher and said "i dont wanna see my daddy anymore my daddy hurt me",but even after i picked her up and put a bruise on her she was asked by social services if she still wanted too see me and she said "yes". In 3 years my ex wife had not given my daughter a single letter, present or photo i had sent her, after 3 years i returned to the same town went back to court and even though knowing she haddent given her a sigle letter court gave me another year of writing e mails. I'm really struggling emotionally with this and really need to find some help
Dave - 5-Oct-20 @ 2:07 PM
@lenny.if she hits me child support hits me child support .truth is i am done for good 1000 percent .
christopher - 5-Oct-20 @ 12:12 AM
@Lenny.(i am done now) .i tried .and won't be getting a court order Because of the child's age .i have found peace within me now .and have come terms with the fact her mother was in a relationship with my uncle and roofer why pretending to be in a relationship with me .and knowing I may not be the bio father .yeah that women knows how to( destroy good men ).and I personally think she gets off on doing that .but I am glad I am not living that way anymore and haven't in over a decade .but that nightmare did leave me traumatized and I am not ashamed to say it . Because I was never built for that kind off lifestyle her mother lives .and living it messed me up .took me off my own path .
Christopher - 4-Oct-20 @ 10:32 PM
@lenny ,I cant give you any advice i have never been allowed to see my daughter .I try a different approach few years ago just got in trouble had to face court .but she was older enough to no I tried. There is nothing eles I can do now .i would of loved to had a relationship with her like my uncle has with hes sons and daughters. (But i dont think that is going to happen for me) .not with her mother she feels it is best for her daughter to not have contact with me .brighter note atleast I dont have to deal with her mother ever again thats a bonus. Yeah all can say is it must of meant to be this way .but i have a pretty good life and I am happy so yeah as the saying goes thats all she wrote.
Christopher - 4-Oct-20 @ 12:54 AM
Hi, i have a daughter with my ex partner. We mutually arrange visitation for whats best for us both in the past, when she has her we always video call and vice versa. Its been a week since she took her back and has blocked all forms off me contacting her.. pretty lost on what to do or where to go, she lives only 30 miles away but i fear going to her house may disrupt my daughter,as she can be pretty hostile when things dont go herway. She doesnt include me in any of her life or day to day decisions, despite having PR, as im on the birth C. If anyone could share any advice on what i should do, or where i should go then please please help. Thank you kindly.
Lenny - 3-Oct-20 @ 4:08 PM
My wife and I initially agreed I would have kids on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday night and arrange for kids to go to school. Her father used to do the school run but she has now turned her family against me. My older daughter helped me out for a while but it is getting too much for her as she does shift work. My wife then reduced my contact to every other weekend without an agreement, refuses to drop them off or pick them up. I work 9 am to 5.30pm, kids have to be in school 8.20 and 8.40. I don't have a car and there is no direct bus to the schools so it is impossible for me to get kids to school and me to work on time. I have now said I can no longer to Monday mornings so will bring kids back Sunday night after evening meal. She has now said she is going to refuse me access because I have changed the agreement. She has a car, has no job and only lives around 5 miles away yet refuses to come and get them on the Monday morning. The question is, can she do that? and what would a courts decision be about the Monday morning issue if we were to go down that route?
Derran - 28-Sep-20 @ 9:47 AM
Wow strugglin myself at moment new partner has threatened me blah blah but im still hangin on if required UK law could i legally bar him from being around my kids as its hindering my access?
John - 25-Sep-20 @ 11:30 PM
What if my exes new partner has threatened me can i have removed or barred from being around my children?
John - 25-Sep-20 @ 11:11 PM
@BWC you should return to court, apply for variation of order and request increased time. Your child should be spending overnightd with you by now.
Steve - 18-Sep-20 @ 11:13 PM
@Sunny you should try relationship counselling for both of you. Reminds me of petty nonsense that happened in my marriage.
Steve - 18-Sep-20 @ 11:10 PM
I've been married for 8 years now and have a angel of a child who is 12 months but my devil of a wife is always being horrible. It's something I've been putting up with since day one of marriage and was too gullible to think she would change for the better. I always cook our meals, help out in the house take her on international holidays every year. In return all I get is constant mood swings saying I don't do enough in the house, if I don't go to the supermarket straight away she will cause a big argument with verbal abuse. Now that we have a child she uses my daughter against me when she has a psychotic episode shewill take her out my hands physically and prevent me coming near her and if I do she starts shouting in front of my daughter which I hate her having to see. I really want to leave her but I know what she is capable of and the UK courts always favour the mother, she will prevent me from seeing her by making up excuses saying shes going out somewhere and saying bad things about me to my daughter as she gets older to turn her against me
Sunny - 6-Sep-20 @ 8:24 PM
I have tried twice to register to your forum and it has twice told me I am a suspected spammer... Can you help please??
Stick - 4-Sep-20 @ 9:25 AM
My son separatd from his ex 4years ago he as nothing but trouble from her. He has children with her he give her money for them he's even got shopping for them but that not good enough she s constantly phoning him morning noon and night shes thumped him kick him Iv seen it for myself his phone is on fire with her phoning him. She's using the children as weppons if she doesn't get what she wants she gets the children to go through is phone to see who is on and who's he seeingshes even broken is relationships up with the lies her house is a mess the children or very idle and leve thing anywhere I know she's asked im for money for a bills but got a tatoo with it he as bent backwards to help but she makes out that he doesn't do anything. I'VE been in the house my god I'd rather ther live on a tip hes even took her out for the day just to help but thats not good enough. Allway on the want I've even spooken to social services but they or no bothered they everything ok the way thay live in if would have been a man looking after the children it would not be good enough wy do they treat men different to women what's rong with equal rights or doesn't it matter for the men. Allso she tride to stab him the police as been out to see her about this incident but the abuse still goes on hes scared of not seeing his children he keeps quite about it what elsie can he do. It's rong how men or treated in this situation no wonder men take there lives when treated like this
Ford - 27-Aug-20 @ 9:45 AM
My son separatd from his ex 4years ago he as nothing but trouble from her. He has children with her he give her money for them he's even got shopping for them but that not good enough she s constantly phoning him morning noon and night shes thumped him kick him Iv seen it for myself his phone is on fire with her phoning him. She's using the children as weppons if she doesn't get what she wants she gets the children to go through is phone to see who is on and who's he seeingshes even broken is relationships up with the lies her house is a mess the children or very idle and leve thing anywhere I know she's asked im for money for a bills but got a tatoo with it he as bent backwards to help but she makes out that he doesn't do anything. I'VE been in the house my god I'd rather ther live on a tip hes even took her out for the day just to help but thats not good enough. Allway on the want I've even spooken to social services but they or no bothered they everything ok the way thay live in if would have been a man looking after the children it would not be good enough wy do they treat men different to women what's rong with equal rights or doesn't it matter for the men. Allso she tride to stab him the police as been out to see her about this incident but the abuse still goes on hes scared of not seeing his children he keeps quite about it what elsie can he do. It's rong how men or treated in this situation no wonder men take there lives when treated like this
Ford - 27-Aug-20 @ 9:45 AM
Ive already been through the court hearing in which i was granted a measly 2 hours a week with my son under supervision from my exs control freak mother or my judas mother who i have no contact with since she turnt her back on me to take my exs side so they wouldn't be shadowed out of my sons life like me yeah very supportive i know. Well my son sees me each week for his 2 hours and are bond is inseparable he idiolises me as i do him to the point he's got to the stage where he asks me each weekend to see me more and why he can't be around me more hes coming up 4 and is anything but stupid. So where do i stand in talking to my son about this and getting the time we both deserve with eachother as im being destroyed mentally as it is with not being around my son let alone knowing hes now being subject of child abuse by his vile mother with being used as a weapon against me without his thoughts being put into perspective atall.
BWC - 24-Aug-20 @ 8:54 PM
My Husband had a child with a woman 23 years older than him in 1989 and was allowed to see his son for 3 months before she disappeared it took him over a year to find her and he started legal proceedings to get access to his child. He offered her money for maintenance but she refused saying he was never going to see his child and she didn't want his money.He contacted a solicitor and a hearing was set up but she failed to show up eventually saying the child had been ill and she couldn't leave him.. It was adjourned for a future date and again she didn't show up. A 3rd date was set and she was summoned to appear. She came and made false comments that he was to pushy and aggressive and she didn't wan't him around her son. It was adjourned for investigation by social workers into his character. They found nothing and a report was prepared for the court. Another date was set and guess what... she didn't show up. They tried to serve papers on her again but she had moved. My Husband had run out of money to fight the case and decided to drop it at the time.He made several attempts over the years to find them but had no luck.Then in 2007 he got a letter from the old Child support service who claimed he owed 16 years of child maintenance (Child now 18)and would take him to court.He tried to fight it claiming he had offered money but she refused but they said he still had to pay. He paid for 2 years until he became seriously ill with Kidney failure at which time his payments were reduced to £5 a month. He is still paying it even though his son will be 31 soon.It is not that I object to him paying for his son or that I think he shouldn't owe it. Its more that the new service that have taken over contacted him a year ago to set up the new payments and they text him every 4 weeks to remind him to pay which he does by standing order and then this month they wrote him an annual review changed the date to calendar monthly on a date that is earlier than his 4 weekly payment was due to go out, claimed he hasn't paid, threatened court action by text and all of this is affecting his mental health. It is bad enough that he gets a monthly text reminder 31 years later that he has a Son out there that he has never been allowed to see but then it seems he will also be harassed on a yearly basis when they do their annual review. I am a mother myself and I would neverdream of keeping my Children away from their father, he had to deal with his alcoholism but still got supervised visits until he did sort himself out.Women should not be allowed to keep a child away from their father like this and if they do there should be consequences. Even now 30 years on it is he who is paying the price and I don't mean £5 a month I mean mentally.I traced his son a few years back who it seemed was still living with his mother in 2016 and sent him a letter explaining everything but had no reply. We have tried to look him up again earlier this year to find they have
Pip - 22-Aug-20 @ 10:24 AM
@sunrise, so your using your child as a weapon and a pawn in your chess game to hurt your ex then and admitting it that’s child abuse doesn’t matter what your ex has done to you he has done nothing to the kid and a father deserves every right as the mother any women who does that isn’t a mother or a parent and one day you won’t have that ammunition and the kid will grow to resent you when they are older stop and think of the kid other than yourself
Pete - 21-Aug-20 @ 2:55 AM
@Christopher Your insults are not constructive to advancing father’s rights and are not appreciated. If you’re not here to share your own story or to be supportive of others who are,then you are abusing this forum for your own malicious purposes and your post should be deleted.Furthermore, you are showing your ignorance by suggesting that these situations only happen in Texas, when the truth isa father can be alienated from his child in any state in the United States of America. This is a very painful issue for my our family, especially for my brother who did nothing to deserve to be barred from his daughter’s life.
Mimi - 19-Aug-20 @ 2:14 PM
@mimi. What is this post!! sum cousin loving hill billys from Texas can't see he's bloody daughter because the women was married to who ???.and old hubby getting out of jail a nd forgiven her for cheating .your all need to go on Jerry springer.
Christopher - 19-Aug-20 @ 11:39 AM
My brother found out on the day his daughter was born that the baby‘s mom was married. She said the reason she lied was because she figured he wouldn’t want to be with her if he knew she was married. She also said that her husband had just been sentenced to 3 years in prison when they first met met and my brother was so sweetand served as a nice distraction while her husband was locked up. She said the reason she’s finally telling him the truth is because her husband is being released from prison soon and he has forgiven her for cheating and has decided they will raise the baby together. She toldmy brother he could hold his daughterfor exactly 5 minutesbut would have to leavethe hospital afterwards, it was so sad. He tried to establish his rights but apparently men have no rights to their children when the woman is already married. Hetried to have his name put on thebirth certificate but in the state of Texas if a woman is married the husband is presumed to be the child’s father so his request was denied. He thenfiled child support on himself and had a petition for paternity drawn up but the mother had it dismissed.He consulted several lawyers and they all say the same thing: that there’s nothingthat can be donebecause she is the custodial parent and her husband is the father of record. Her husband is now out of jail and heposts pictures on Facebook with my niecelike she’shis daughter. So sickening. This is my brother’sonly child and unfortunately the law doesn’t allow him any recourse to have a relationship with his daughter because she was already married.
Mimi - 19-Aug-20 @ 9:39 AM
Well I know children should see their fathers but when a man emotionally abuses a woman and destroys her soul I think she has every right to keep that child away from him or give him little contact as possible . We are human and if someone hurts or destroys out life we will react in ways we thought we never would . My partner hurt me so bad and nearly destroyed me I only allow him 1 visit a week and how I see it he will add no value to my child’s life because ofthe person he is . I would never stop complete contact but I keep it minimum.
Sunrise - 15-Aug-20 @ 9:05 PM
My ex has stopped me seey my daughter and we have a court order saying I see her every week end and she's stopped blocked me on everything and I don't no wat to do I have got forms for a motion of contempt and sent them to court and I'm waiting
Dreas - 6-Aug-20 @ 9:19 PM
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