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When Your Ex-Partner Denies You Access

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 20 Feb 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]
Steve- Your Question:
My ex wife and I divorced over 2 years ago. We had a court order put in place that she would have the kids live with her but we would have joint parental. I could see the children anytime during the week and have them overnight at the weekend. About a year ago she moved 80 miles away, pulled the children out of their school and moved in with another man. She told me the day she left. Since then I've been unable to see the kids during the week and she refuses point blank to pick them up from me if I collect them on a Friday. Now I haven't seen or spoken to the children since the new year. She has stopped all contact or communication with my children. Any advice on what I can do. Thanks

Our Response:
You would have to take the advice in the article and apply directly to court. When your ex moved without consulting you, she was significantly breaching the court order, please see link here . You could have taken the matter back to court then (you don't say why you didn't). If you wish to see your children for access, then you would have to apply back to court. It is unlikely that a court would order your ex to move back to the area with the children now they could be viewed as being settled, However, you can still go to court for a breach of the order.
SeparatedDads - 22-Feb-18 @ 1:50 PM
Cwl - Your Question:
My ex has blocked me from my daughter.but it’s all good.she thinks I will get a solicitor?i have a legal question my name is on my daughters birth certificate I have ask the mother to remove my last name she hasn’t. I don’t no why ?she can block me but can’t do this I don’t even pay child support she( doesn’t want it )so how can I remove my last name legally.this is a legitimate question ?

Our Response:
You cannot force your ex to remove your child's surname name from the birth certificate.
SeparatedDads - 22-Feb-18 @ 12:55 PM
My ex wife and I divorced over 2 years ago. We had a court order put in place that she would have the kids live with her but we would have joint parental. I could see the children anytime during the week and have them overnight at the weekend. About a year ago she moved 80 miles away, pulled the children out of their school and moved in with another man. She told me the day she left. Since then I've been unable to see the kids during the week and she refuses point blank to pick them up from me if I collect them on a Friday. Now I haven't seen or spoken to the children since the new year. She has stopped all contact or communication with my children. Any advice on what I can do. Thanks
Steve - 20-Feb-18 @ 9:13 PM
My ex has blocked me from my daughter .but it’s all good .she thinks I will get a solicitor? .i have a legal question my name is on my daughters birth certificate I have ask the mother to remove my last name she hasn’t. I don’t no why ?she can block me but can’t do this I don’t even pay child support she( doesn’t want it )so how can I remove my last name legally.this is a legitimate question ?.
Cwl - 20-Feb-18 @ 6:06 PM
TheDetective - Your Question:
Please can someone contact me ASAP. Trying to register for the forum but it constantly tells me I’m a spammer. I need urgent advice before tomorrow as parental alienation is occurring. There’s no way to contact administrators as it suggests, as you have to be registered to do so. And there’s no other contact details anywhere else. Help!!

Our Response:
At the very bottom of the forum main page (left hand side), there is a tab to contact the administrators. If you contact them, they will help set you up.
SeparatedDads - 19-Feb-18 @ 10:02 AM
Please can someone contact me ASAP. Trying to register for the forum but it constantly tells me I’m a spammer. I need urgent advice before tomorrow as parental alienation is occurring. There’s no way to contact administrators as it suggests, as you have to be registered to do so. And there’s no other contact details anywhere else. Help!!
TheDetective - 18-Feb-18 @ 10:49 AM
Janitasdaddy - Your Question:
Me and my ex went our separate ways in 2015 and we were never married but lived together for 4 years having a daughter born 2012 when she left we had a agreement to pay an X amount a month then I will see her Friday to Monday every second weekend which happened for one year before she went to court thereafter I paid little bit more still seeing her the same amount of time thereafter she went back to court to raise the amount which I agreed on and still sore the same amount of time then when I got retrenched and a new boyfriend came along she kept away from me and all the more reasons came along for her not to answer my calls and give me unreachable places and times to see my daughter as she knows my situation she uses that to make it difficult for me to see her or when I call to speak to her now she went to court again saying that I don't want to make time for my daughter turning it on me please help me what do I do?

Our Response:
Any changes to a contact order (made through a court) must be agreed by both parties. One party cannot unilaterally decide to change the order or apply additional terms. If they wish to do so, they will need to refer the matter back to the courts, please see link here .
SeparatedDads - 16-Feb-18 @ 2:26 PM
me and my ex went our separate ways in 2015 and we were never married but lived together for 4 years having a daughter born 2012 when she left we had a agreement to pay an X amount a month then I will see her Friday to Monday every second weekend which happened for one year before she went to court thereafter I paid little bit more still seeing her the same amount of time thereafter she went back to court to raise the amount which I agreed on and still sore the same amount of time then when I got retrenched and a new boyfriend came along she kept away from me and all the more reasons came along for her not to answer my calls and give me unreachable places and times to see my daughter as she knows my situation she uses that to make it difficult for me to see her or when I call to speak to her now she went to court again saying that I don't want to make time for my daughter turning it on me please help me what do I do?
Janitasdaddy - 16-Feb-18 @ 5:47 AM
Steph- Your Question:
Me and my X split 6 years ago and I have been with my new partner for 5 years. We originally had an agreement which 3 years ago she wanted to change and she wanted a social life and wanted me and my partner to have the kids full time, which we did straight away. So we had them for the next 2 years she then decided she wanted them back so we then had a new arrangement (to suit her) which was we had them a week and she had them a week. Now she has taken them again and wants it to go back to the 1st original arrangement as that’s what she feels Is best. She won’t let me see them unless I agree, I can’t afford court fees what are my options ? Please help

Our Response:
As explained in the article, your option is to suggest mediation in order to come to a workable arrangement (if you cannot agree between you, or if she is withholding access), and if your ex disagrees, then you would have to apply to court.
SeparatedDads - 15-Feb-18 @ 10:57 AM
Me and my X split 6 years ago and I have been with my new partner for 5 years. We originally had an agreement which 3 years ago she wanted to change and she wanted a social life and wanted me and my partner to have the kids full time, which we did straight away. So we had them for the next 2 years she then decided she wanted them back so we then had a new arrangement (to suit her) which was we had them a week and she had them a week. Now she has taken them again and wants it to go back to the 1st original arrangement as that’s what she feels Is best. She won’t let me see them unless I agree, I can’t afford court fees what are my options ? Please help
Steph - 14-Feb-18 @ 10:50 AM
Ears - Your Question:
I split up from my then wife in 2015 within weeks she stoped contact and moved house and I dnt know we’re shes lives and I can’t afford a Solicter it would take me too long to save up what options have i

Our Response:
If you do not know where your ex-wife lives, then when you apply to court via a C100 contact form, see link here, you would also fill in a C4 form here which is an application for an order for disclosure of a child’s whereabouts. This will allow the courts to put a trace on your child, so you can bring the matter to court. You might be able to get money off your court or tribunal fees if you have little or no savings, are on certain benefits or have a low income, please see link here .
SeparatedDads - 9-Feb-18 @ 11:01 AM
Ears - Your Question:
What happens if you can’t afford a soliciter or it would take a lifetime to save up for one

Our Response:
You can self-litigate, please see link here . In addition, you may be able to get help from a McKenzie Friend, please see link Using a McKenzie Friend in Court, here. Joining our Separated Dads forum can help with other guidance and advice.
SeparatedDads - 9-Feb-18 @ 10:56 AM
I split up from my then wife in 2015 within weeks she stoped contact and moved house and I dnt know we’re shes lives and I can’t afford a Solicter it would take me too long to save up what options have i
Ears - 8-Feb-18 @ 4:04 PM
What happens if you can’t afford a soliciter or it would take a lifetime to save up for one
Ears - 8-Feb-18 @ 4:00 PM
AYAS - Your Question:
I HAVE BEEN IN A RELATIONSHIP FOR SOME YEARS APPROXIMATELY EIGHT TO NINE YEARS AND WE ARE NO LONGER IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH THE BABY MAMA BUT WE SHARE OUR LOVE WITH A BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTER AND I AM DOING EVERYTHING I CAN TO BE THE FATHER MY CHILD'S WANT ME TO BE BUT HER MOTHER DENIES ME ACCESS TO SEE MY DAUGHTER, PLEASE KINDLY ADVICE WHAT MUST I DO.

Our Response:
The article advises what you should do in full. However, please note this refers to English family law. It may be different in the country of your residence, you would have to take legal advice where you live.
SeparatedDads - 8-Feb-18 @ 3:17 PM
Face - Your Question:
My wife took my children to Ohio 7 years ago now after my last child turned 17 who I have not seen unless I go to Ohio what can I do

Our Response:
As we are a UK-based website, with knowledge only of UK-based family law, unfortunately we cannot advise. You will have to seek legal advice locally.
SeparatedDads - 8-Feb-18 @ 1:41 PM
I HAVE BEEN IN A RELATIONSHIP FOR SOME YEARS APPROXIMATELY EIGHT TO NINE YEARS AND WE ARE NO LONGER IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH THE BABY MAMA BUT WE SHARE OUR LOVE WITH A BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTER AND I AM DOING EVERYTHING I CAN TO BE THE FATHER MY CHILD'S WANT ME TO BE BUT HER MOTHER DENIES ME ACCESS TO SEE MY DAUGHTER,PLEASE KINDLY ADVICE WHAT MUST I DO......
AYAS - 8-Feb-18 @ 7:28 AM
My wife took my children to Ohio 7 years ago now after my last child turned 17 who I have not seen unless i go to Ohio what can i do
Face - 7-Feb-18 @ 1:57 AM
I see my x for what she is .she be playing her new man now .she a sexist person a man hater .she thinks she the boom because sum model agent back in 1991 wanted to shoot her it’s her calm to fame .she is up the duff at 44 she now has 3 kids to 3 different fathers one is dead im the other one she run from the new one is disabled and is a puppet for her run around like lost sheep at her beck and call .my poor child has had 67new step daddy’s and 3 step mummy’s in the last 9 years .and she thinks my daughter is better off without me?.
Pappa - 1-Feb-18 @ 12:10 PM
To my x I don’t have big trust fund from family or guarantor to back me .the only way I had was work multiple jobs have no social life do it myself and to make sarifice .but my big picture is always to create wealth for my child so she never had to do what I did and to pass it on to her kids. That’s the dream anyway .
Chris - 1-Feb-18 @ 10:44 AM
Gods truth that’s why lied and tried Different ways to get bree because I didn’t want to pay .because needed money for house big picture .but the connection was real on my part god truth .i will save again for bree.
Chris - 1-Feb-18 @ 10:11 AM
My x and I have spiritual connection.we both share one thing in common the love for our child .now she is stubborn because she knows she is in the wrong (big time).i know she is hurting and feels dreadful shame for for past behaviour because she was raised proper her father was ( A good man )and I know in her (heart she wants to redeem her self )she committed adultery with family members had a drug problem neglected her own kids and there wish’s to live with me .i know she will do the right thing and bring the kids to me because I know deep down she is a good person with a heart of gold.she can bring for boyfriend and not feel uncomfortable.
Chris - 1-Feb-18 @ 12:43 AM
My ex 36 lives with brothers go out drinking in pubs and clubs sleeps with younger women he’s brothers get them for him .he is self employed bricklayer doesn’t pay child support rights money of though business has good accountants if I try to get support 5bucks a week I would get nothing .doesnt see our daughter he needs to take responsibility for his child I get stuck doing everythinghe needs grow up come on .im up the duff with new boyfriend is on benefits from government so we are on struggle street .i have no money if I represent my self in court will they make me parent ?hes daughter is hurting her behaviour is terrible because she wants her dad they where like to peas in a pod those two .my boyfriend even got involved went to his house daughters daddy laughed at him made fun of him call him a bludger and get a job be a man .my boyfriend is disabled can’t work it’s not he’s fault .im at a loss .
Help - 31-Jan-18 @ 3:34 AM
i think he had the wrong chris laurie but i said no you have the right man .and you can terminate my rights and be her daddy .he said cool i would love the houor .i said right you are a better man then me .
relly - 30-Jan-18 @ 9:36 AM
[last and final letter to my ex].fro 2009 to 2015 i [shut down mentally] didn't want to process what had happened or deal with it big mistake lost a lot of good years .i think personally i went back to my early 20s late teens .to i seen the photo of bree then it hit home like a tonne of bricks hitting me in the [head].i went to a deep mental depression and anxiety and felt losti had out of body experience like nothing i have ever experienced in my life i thought i lost my[ mind ].i didn't know if i was arthur or martha .and in that deep mental depression i lived the past .and discovered what a nightmare you are .you are a bad person .thanks for reading goodbye .i won't bother you good people with my texts anymore.ps thanks for the closure been very therapeutic.
chris - 30-Jan-18 @ 1:46 AM
i haven't seen my daughter in 8 years .i am in dept to my eye balls .that is just the bank .i o 45grand to a sp bookie with heavy hitters.my child wants to see me but i feel like a failure. she feels like i don't love her .i do love her very much i just want to fix my life first i can't offer her nothing at the moment .her mother is so pissed at me she doesn't understand .she lives the high life with hubby .i will see my child again i promise.
truth cwl - 29-Jan-18 @ 10:46 PM
Hi my x is (madly in love me )she can’t expect im gay .she even got a (look a like )replacement for me.to hurt me she keeps my children away from me .i think I have to go to court ?.the question I have is my daughter is 13 so isn’t up to now without court?
Richard - 29-Jan-18 @ 9:10 PM
Hi I'm struggling to get access to see my boys. I've been through a court but I had to end that due to my x using it to turn my boys against me. I do not want them to be hurt so stopping it was my only option. She agreed that she would help bring the boys closer to me but 10 months on things are worse. I've asked her to go to mediation but she refuses. She blames me for all that has happened and won't make any effort to mend things. I see my youngest on a Monday for 2 hours and rarely see other 2 boys. I don't want to go back to court but I'm beginning to think I have no other option . Can anyone advise
Jp - 29-Jan-18 @ 5:59 PM
hello, i have been struggling to get access to my little girl now for over 6 month since we broke up on her terms and she found a new chap. ever since this has happened i have been denied contact between my daughter, no call or text since and i dont know where she is any more, i dont know where to turn to. i tried mediation but she would not turn up and she has moved out sine then. how or which way do i turn as cheap as possible when i have no support and really struggling. me and my daughter had the most amazing bound and feel all has been ripped away.
daryl - 28-Jan-18 @ 9:01 PM
I'm not sure what to do and hoping I could get some advice? My son's dad has been in prison, while he had our boy overnight, he committed arson on a car garage he felt ripped him off, he left our boy with his step mum while he did thus but was arrested while our boy slept. I got a call from step mum in morning she can't get him to school and explained what happened. Of course I was angry. Son has been going to step mum's still every Wednesday and Sunday and every other Saturday like he did while dad was there. Step mum is leaving my ex. Now sentencing is next week and ex is convinced he will be out due to "ptsd" and his disability, he was disabled while he did this (physical). I haven't taken son to see him as I honestly don't want my child in a prison, plus he is autistic and has spd which effects him in places where he would have to be touched and there are alarms ECT so there's no chance we'd get him in bed kick off that much. Plus I don't know who's sat on the next table. He hasn't had any letters of his dad, but spike to him on the phone a few times. Now my ex thinks when he gets out he is having son over night, I'm not 100% happy about this. For a few reasons. 1) he did this while son was in his care. 2) when he was arrested they looked around and found him growing weed in a house our boy was in! 3) this isn't the first time son has gone months without seeing his dad, 2 times his dad just disappeared with no word and no explanation when he came back. Still to this day I have no idea why or what happened. 4) I asked my son if he wanted to see his dad in prison, we called it police hotel to him as he's so innocent I didn't want to scare him, he said "no I'm ok." I thought we could build this all up again, he sees him during the day Sunday and after school on Wednesday then his step mum will pick him up for over night. This will take a few months for my son to settle into due to the autism. Then after that we try one over night a week, but I know my ex, with out son's step mum there he won't pick him up, as it was her that reminded him and told him what was happening and when. Which is another thing, while son was with his dad and step mum it was step mum that did all the care as in her words his dad would get frustrated. So she did it All, wake ups (he wakes in night 2 times for toileting), changing, bathing, meal times, medication everything. Even while I was with his dad I did it all so I felt very comfortable knowing his step mum lives him enough to be a 2nd mum to him. So sorry thus has gone on a bit but I am so torn, I know my son needs his daddy, and I badly want him to have a dad that puts him first and is there for everything, but I also need to protect my son's mental state and I can't help but worry about how this is going to pan out. It makes me cry thinking about it all. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
Kaz - 28-Jan-18 @ 11:12 AM
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