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When Your Ex-Partner Denies You Access

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 18 Feb 2017 | 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, and stating that if she does not do so, you’ll have to resort to legal action. Don't forget to take a copy of the letter for your records and keep your proof of sending.

If this produces no action, 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.

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I was in a relationship for several years, but never married, and before we split the lady in question fell pregnant and although we had broken up I promised to support her when the baby was born. My daughter Kacie was born 19th March 2004 and I willingly paid maintenance at a level that was mutually agreeable to both of us. Unfortunately I lost my job in November 2013, and the amount that I have paid is in excess of £30000 in the period since Kacie was born on 19th March 2004 and end of 2013. All was OK, but when my ex partner got married, my daughter was calling him Dad and me Mark (although she did call me dad eventually). The reason that all went pear shaped was that I lost my temper with him and told him that he was not Kacie's dad, I WAS and am still not allowed to see Kacie and am not even named as the father on the birth certificate. Whilst I appreciate that the main concern is Kacie's welfare and what is best for her, I would dearly like to see her again and will shortly be starting a new job, so I can start paying maintenance again. The level I was paying was over the odds anyway and I was only allowed to see Kacie round her grandmother's and was never allowed to have her stay the night. WHAT CAN I DO???
Yid - 18-Feb-17 @ 6:01 PM
Pounds - Your Question:
Please help. My ex is not letting me see my children. She is claiming some spurious pseudo legal nonsense about access needing to be with her presence and at locations chosen by her?

Our Response:
You would need to take the advice laid out in the article. The courts will request you seek mediation in the first instance - but if your ex refuses, then you will be allowed to apply for a contact order.
SeparatedDads - 17-Feb-17 @ 2:34 PM
Please help. My ex is not letting me see my children. She is claiming some spurious pseudo legal nonsense about access needing to be with her presence and at locations chosen by her?
Pounds - 16-Feb-17 @ 9:32 PM
Kray - Your Question:
14 months ago I was told I was the father of a 10 year old boy (11 now) I knew nothing about a DNA test was done where it was proved I was the father. It was fine at first I was allowed to see him but now she has stopped me from seeing him and today iv been contacted by the police with an harassment order to stop contacting her about seeing my son. She has recently got back with her ex who brought my son up til it all came out last year is there anything I can do

Our Response:
As suggested in the article, you would have to take the matter to court. If you have an harrassment order, then you may wish to seek legal advice first in order to fully explore your options. If you cannot afford legal representation in court, you can self-litigate, please see link here. As your son is now aged 11, he will also be asked his opinion regarding whether he wishes to have contact with you, and this will be taken into consideration through Cafcass and the courts.
SeparatedDads - 16-Feb-17 @ 11:34 AM
tiger - Your Question:
I need some advice I was meant to see my son 2weeks ago but my ex sent me a text saying don't contact me anymore and if you want to see your son you must go through a family law court can see do this I've done nothing wrong she the 1 who kicked me out and in another relationship

Our Response:
Unfortunately, regardless of whose fault it is and/or who left who, if your ex is denying you access you will have to take the matter to court. Therefore, as difficult as it may be, please go through the procedure laid out in the article. If you can't afford the legal fees you can self litigate, please see link here. Our Separated Dads forum is also there if you need any additional advice and help.
SeparatedDads - 15-Feb-17 @ 2:35 PM
14 months ago I was told I was the father of a 10 year old boy (11 now) I knew nothing about a DNA test was done where it was proved I was the father. It was fine at first I was allowed to see him but now she has stopped me from seeing him and today iv been contacted by the police with an harassment order to stop contacting her about seeing my son. She has recently got back with her ex who brought my son up til it all came out last year is there anything I can do
Kray - 15-Feb-17 @ 2:19 PM
hi my prolmbem is im denied to see the my child
mandla - 13-Feb-17 @ 8:16 AM
i need some advice i was meant to see my son 2weeks ago but my ex sent me a text saying don't contact me anymore and if you want to see your son you must go through a family law court can see do this I've done nothing wrong she the 1 who kicked me out and in another relationship
tiger - 11-Feb-17 @ 9:50 AM
Hi - My daughter has a 2 week old boy and had been in a same-sex relationship.The relationship was falling apart before the child was born but now, in an attempt to extract revenge and to cast my daughter in a bad light legally, she has had my daughter charged with unlawful assault with a DVO being put in place.This woman is toxic, unstable and a bully- I have been living here and watched the interactions between the two and know for a fact my daughter would have been protecting herself against her partner.Anyway, until the court case against my daughter, this woman has access to my grandson which disturbs me greatly.She is not a biological parent and I fear for the safety of the newborn.As a grandparent, can I deny her access to my grandson during the period before the court case in order to protect him?He is only a newborn!
Confused - 10-Feb-17 @ 5:42 PM
Deb - Your Question:
Hi need advice for my son he has got parental responsibility and a child arrangement order to see his daughter which has all gone well until it came to overnight stays in which his ex has now said she will not let it happen as it's not in best interests of his 13 month old daughter this was supposed to have started the beginning of January she states baby needs breastfeeding through the night up to 8times. The ex is pulling every excuse out the book for her baby not to see her dad it's been 3 weeks now she's refused any advice surely welcomed thankyou

Our Response:
You don't say whether overnight stays are part of the contact order. If they are and your son's ex is in breach of the order, please see link: Breach of Contact or Residence Order: What to Do, here. I hope this helps.
SeparatedDads - 8-Feb-17 @ 2:31 PM
Hi need advice for my son he has got parental responsibility and a child arrangement order to see his daughter which has all gone well until it came to overnight stays in which his ex has now said she will not let it happen as it's not in best interests of his 13 month old daughter this was supposed to have started the beginning of January she states baby needs breastfeeding through the night up to 8times. The ex is pulling every excuse out the book for her baby not to see her dad it's been 3 weeks now she's refused any advice surely welcomed thankyou
Deb - 1-Feb-17 @ 9:17 PM
Help me- Your Question:
Hi my exstranged wife is not letting me see my 10 Month old daughter , she's has Fausely accused me of domestic breach , with her mother as witness , she has no accusing me of adultry, and drug alagations , said she had been advised of her lawyer to nonlet me see my daughter , yet she is working , out partying and letting her family members watch her what do I do ?

Our Response:
You would have to go through the process listed in this article. However, before you do, you may wish to suggest your ex attends mediation which is a pre-requisite before you are allowed to apply to court. Please see here. If mediation fails or if your ex refuses to attend, you can take the matter through the court process.
SeparatedDads - 30-Jan-17 @ 12:28 PM
Hi my exstranged wife is not letting me see my 10 Month old daughter , she's has Fausely accused me of domestic breach , with her mother as witness , she has no accusing me of adultry, and drug alagations , said she had been advised of her lawyer to nonlet me see my daughter , yet she is working , out partying and letting her family members watch her what do I do ?
Help me - 30-Jan-17 @ 6:58 AM
GoDiegoGo - Your Question:
I am strongly considering taking my ex to court over contact and joint parental responsibility with my daughter. I read online that mediation has to have first taken place. Although it wasn't MIAM we attempted mediation with my ex her father and step mother where we came to an agreement but she later reniged on it 2 to 3 weeks later hence why I'm considering court. My question is if I have recorded this mediation does it count as an official mediation or will I have to apply for MIAM before going the route of court?

Our Response:
If official mediation has failed, then you can apply to take the same matter directly to court. Your own family mediation does not count, as it has not been authorised by the court, please see link here.
SeparatedDads - 27-Jan-17 @ 2:32 PM
I am strongly considering taking my ex to court over contact and joint parental responsibility with my daughter. I read online that mediation has to have first taken place. Although it wasn't MIAM we attempted mediation with my ex her father and step mother where we came to an agreement but she later reniged on it 2 to 3 weeks later hence why I'm considering court. My question is if I have recorded this mediation does it count as an official mediation or will I have to apply for MIAM before going the route of court?
GoDiegoGo - 27-Jan-17 @ 3:06 AM
Jess - Your Question:
Well I have a problem that my ex is now going to stop me seeing my son and I need some major advice on what to do. she is stopping seeing them as I am a transgender I have knew all my life and since we broke up just over 7 years I came out she knew I was dressing up didn't know how far I was taking things she now knows I am on HRT but still yet to find out I will having my Op my so is almost 8 years old and knows that I dress as a female but I don't wear it in front of him however one occasion I did wear a woman's cardigan and she got to know bout this which is why she is now being awkward with me she has already cut my days for having my son and its only time she will stop it completely. my ex does approve the way I am as she is very transphobic and doesn't think it is normal she is very hostile towards me but all I care bout is my son and what right do I have to keep in contact with him we have been through mediation but was over 5 years ago I am very worried and really don't know what to do as in the past I have tries to commit suicide as this has happened before over 25 years ago I hope you can give any advice or tell me what rights do I have plus will the way I am does it affect my situation for having my son.

Our Response:
Your rights are the same as any other non-resident parents and you will be treated equally with regard to having access to your child. However, you will still have to go through the process laid out in the article if your ex disagrees about you having access. Before the matter goes to court a report will be carried out by Cafcass, please see link here . This will assess at you as a parent and your existing relationship to your child, not as a LGBT person.
SeparatedDads - 25-Jan-17 @ 11:55 AM
Well I have a problem that my ex is now going to stop me seeing my son and I need some major advice on what to do. she is stopping seeing them as I ama transgender I have knew all my life and since we broke up just over 7 years I came out she knew I was dressing up didn't know how far I was taking things she now knows I am on HRT but still yet to find out I will having my Op my so is almost 8 years old and knows that I dress as a female but I don't wear it in front of him however one occasion I did wear a woman's cardigan and she got to know bout this which is why she is now being awkward with me she has already cut my days for having my son and its only time she will stop it completely. my ex does approve the way I am as she is very transphobic and doesn't think it is normal she is very hostile towards me but all I care bout is my son and what right do I have to keep in contact with him we have been through mediation but was over 5 years ago I am very worried and really don't know what to do as in the past I have tries to commit suicide as this has happened before over 25 years ago I hope you can give any advice or tell me what rights do I have plus will the way I am does it affect my situation for having my son.
Jess - 24-Jan-17 @ 4:13 PM
Zakes - Your Question:
The mother of my kids wont let me see my kids again after she found out I am married so she actually thinks my wife will harm her kids or even kill them when they visit me she never knew all along when my first born used to visit a lot I was already married my son and my wife do get along so pls guys I need advise on what to do pls pls

Our Response:
You would have to follow the advice given in the article. If the matter goes to court Cafcass will conduct a report, please see link here which will help further. Just because your ex may dislike your wife, it doesn't mean the court won't allow access. Your ex would have to be able to prove why it was not in the best interests of your kids to be under the same roof as your wife.
SeparatedDads - 24-Jan-17 @ 10:59 AM
Jack101 - Your Question:
Hi Guys, I have a 7 year old daughter who I used to see on a very regular basis until a year ago I stupidly got charged with serious assault & my daughters mum stopped me seeing her, I take full responsibility that I didn't do everything in my power then to get my daughter back in my life but I had so much going on with the law I didn't want to get her involved in that or see me in some of the states I was, I've now just got over all the backlash of this charge and want to get back on track seeing her! I've been in her life since day 1 so it really gets me down. has anyone been in a similar situation or can people point me in the right direction to get support and advice (I'm from Edinburgh) anything would be much appreciated, thanks.

Our Response:
If you are looking for others' experiences and advice, you may wish to sign up to our Separated Dads Forum here. If you can pay to seek some legal advice in the first instance this will help guide you in what you need to do to begin applying for access. If you cannot afford legal representation after this you can self-litigate if the matter has to go to court, please see link here . It might be the solicitor will advice you take a parenting/anger management course. If you have previously been charged with assualt, the courts will want to see you prove you are doing everything in your power to get back on track. This way you have a better chance of regaining access to your daughter.
SeparatedDads - 24-Jan-17 @ 10:33 AM
The mother of my kids wont let me see my kids again after she found out i am married so she actually thinks my wife will harm her kids or even kill them when they visit me she never knew all along when my first born used to visit a lot i was already married my son and my wife do get along so pls guys i need advise on what to do pls pls
Zakes - 23-Jan-17 @ 1:01 PM
Hi Guys,I have a 7 year old daughter who I used to see on a very regular basis until a year ago i stupidly got charged with serious assault & my daughters mum stopped me seeing her, I take full responsibility that I didn't do everything in my power then to get my daughter back in my life but I had so much going on with the law I didn't want to get her involved in that or see me in some of the states I was, I've now just got over all the backlash of this charge and want to get back on track seeing her! I've been in her life since day 1 so it really gets me down ... has anyone been in a similar situation or can people point me in the right direction to get support and advice (I'm from Edinburgh) anything would be much appreciated, thanks.
Jack101 - 23-Jan-17 @ 9:57 AM
My ex has refused me access to my 3 year old son since June last year. I pay csa every month. Never missed a payment. She refuses me to even phone to talk to him and wouldn't even let me phone and say happy birthday to him in September. I have no idea how to go about being able to see him with official documentation where she can't deny me access. I just want to be able to see my son again.
Jack - 21-Jan-17 @ 8:52 PM
Hi I'm having trouble seeing my daughter. She is 7 years of age. I see both my son and daughter every other weekend until lately. Now my daughter has decided to stop coming to visit as her family are offering to take her elsewhere on my weekends and decides to go with them instead. Can I do anything about this? Also my son wants to live with me and he is 8, what is the likly hood of that happening??
Sibble - 20-Jan-17 @ 9:12 PM
Jay - Your Question:
Hello, does anyone have any advice on a good solicitor which is also quite cheap? Although I work I am struggling for money, paying bills, travelling miles, paying maintenance and for a contact centre is taking its toll.

Our Response:
We cannot recommend solicitors directly. Also, if you canot afford legal fees and you wish to take your ex to court for access to your child, you can self litigate, please see link here.
SeparatedDads - 20-Jan-17 @ 12:47 PM
Hello, does anyone have any advice on a good solicitor which is also quite cheap?Although I work I am struggling for money, paying bills,travelling miles, paying maintenance and for a contact centre is taking its toll.
Jay - 19-Jan-17 @ 7:15 PM
Nat - Your Question:
Hi, I need some help.My partner & I haven't been together for very long but I've been very close friends with the family for a couple of years. He has 2 children with his ex girlfriend of 6 years aged 4 and 8 months old. She had a restraining order put on him from an argument and kicking Him out and is not allowing him to have contact with his children. It's destroying him. She allows it one minute and has him round to see them and get the order lifted but then gets him arrested for being there. He's on the birth certificate of one child and not the other also tried contacting other members of her family to see if they could help so she didn't have to see him and they have been no help. What else can he do and ASAP?

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this - but unless his ex will consent to having mediation in order to resolve the matter between them informally, please see link here, as specified in the article, he would have to apply to take the matter to court.
SeparatedDads - 16-Jan-17 @ 12:56 PM
Blerbo - Your Question:
Hi, need some advice. My partner wants regular access with his son, we know how to go about this.the worry we have is he doesnt pay csa/maintenance because he would love to have his son as much as he can, she just picks and chooses when he can. Can she order him to pay/backdate payments? Even though its her choice to deny contact. Thanks

Our Response:
Firstly, child maintenance and child access are two completely unrelated issue that are not dependent upon each other. With regards to child access, if your partner wishes to gain access, then regardless of whether he pays maintenance or not he can still apply. Therefore, if he wishes for a more concrete arrangement then he would have to either suggest mediation, please see link: Mediation: What is it and is it For Me? here and if his ex refuses mediation, then he would have to the option to apply to court. With regards to maintenance, every non-resident parent is obligated to pay towards the day-to-day welfare of their child. However, if the NRP is not earning, then it is likely they are exempt. However, if he is earning and paying taxes through the HMRC and the resident parent decides to apply via the CMS, then they will be expected to pay.
SeparatedDads - 16-Jan-17 @ 12:15 PM
Hi, I need some help. My partner & I haven't been together for very long but I've been very close friends with the family for a couple of years. He has 2 children with his ex girlfriend of 6 years aged 4 and 8 months old. She had a restraining order put on him from an argument and kicking Him out and is not allowing him to have contact with his children. It's destroying him. She allows it one minute and has him round to see them and get the order lifted but then gets him arrested for being there. He's on the birth certificate of one child and not the other also tried contacting other members of her family to see if they could help so she didn't have to see him and they have been no help. What else can he do and ASAP?
Nat - 15-Jan-17 @ 8:24 PM
Hi, need some advice. My partner wants regular access with his son, we know how to go about this..the worry we have is he doesnt pay csa/maintenance because he would love to have his son as much as he can, she just picks and chooses when he can. Can she order him to pay/backdate payments? Even though its her choice to deny contact. Thanks
Blerbo - 15-Jan-17 @ 4:16 PM
Hi, I'm doing this for a friend of mine who doesn't fully understand what to do etc. So basically his son his 6months old but he hasn't seen him since September. As his ex isn't allowing him too, he went suicidal and went down hill as his little boy was his world. He's gotten back on track and is dieing to see his again. Any help! Also does it cost in anyway?. Many thanks in advance.
gem - 14-Jan-17 @ 7:37 PM
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