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When Your Ex-Partner Denies You Access

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 27 Jun 2019 | comments*Discuss
 
Contact Court Final Hearing Directions

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

Why It Happens

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

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

What to Do About It

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

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

What Does the Interim Contact Order Do?

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

What Kind of Contact Can you Expect in the Interim?

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

The Directions Hearing

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

The Final Hearing

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

If You’re Still Denied Access

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

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

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My ex has stopped me seeing my son in order to claim full child maintenance how can this be allowed ,what rights do I have , can I report her to anyone on thisas is this not kidnapping, i want to see my child ?
hendo - 27-Jun-19 @ 9:12 AM
I’m a single dad of 1. I have a child with the devil it seems, she is only happy to let me see my child when I make her feel like I’m interested in her or when myself & my partner of 5 years are on a break. The mother has many different partners around my child, has verbally attack my partners child & physically attacked my partner twice. Now I haven’t seen my child for about 2 months. Previously it’s happened for a year. She has poisoned my child against my partner also. I don’t have a job atm tongue transitioning into another trade but what can I do? Financially I’m not capable to pay for court
Ben - 20-Jun-19 @ 2:21 PM
Iv got 3 daughters with 2 different woman my oldest 2 mother stopped me from seeing them since my youngest was born (1month old) now my youngest daughters mother has stopped me seeing her I think it's to hurt me knowing I'm hurting not seeing my other 2
Deanobeano - 19-Jun-19 @ 6:15 PM
@Familia CoParenting My partner (on his behalf as he doesn't use a computer) has just been in court for the second hearing trying to get access to his child. His ex partner did not turn up. She's continually asked for supervised contact centre access but when the judge suggested it at the last hearing, she refused because the closest contact centre is too far away and she's not a good driver, apparently (there are bus routes and train routes from where she lives). What happens if she continues to deny access in a contact centre? Does it mean he just won't be able to see his child again?
StressedandConfused - 7-Jun-19 @ 2:02 PM
So, I get contact with my two kids.. Sunday till Tuesday, 2nights and 3 days, but I want to be to have my girls till wedensday,, so the custody will be split between me and my ex partner.. how do I go about doing this as I have asked my ex and she has refused. Because she thinks she will lose out on child maintenance money..???
Scott - 7-Jun-19 @ 11:21 AM
the stone cold hard truth is i will never see my daughter again .but [i tried with all my heart to see her i can honestly say that] .when you are up against a ex like mine its near impossible and even in todays day and age mothers still have all the power .but i feel my slate is clean i god damn tried i swallowed my pride and ill feeling i have for her mother and tried to see my daughter .when inside i wanted to throat punch her mother .but i didn't i listen to her stupid mother ramblings and acted like a little girl on the phone and guess what i still never got to see my daughter .[but on the whole big picture i guess it was meant to be this way thats why it turned out like this] .[so good luck to all the dads out there i hope you have better luck at seeing your children then i did] .stay strong and keep fighting to see your children and one day the system might change and give dads fair go to then keep fighting .
chriso - 26-May-19 @ 1:03 AM
Hi , My boyfriend is in prison (nothing child related, not great but I need to be honest to get the correct advice). His ex had previously let the children visit him once a month with their nan. His eldest (13) made contact with me and wanted to meet me. I contacted her mum to make sure it was ok she reluctantly agreed. Me and daughter get on great and she has told me all the awful (lies) things that have been said in front of her and her sister (aged 7) now the little one isn’t allowed to speak to her dad on the phone or visit her dad. I have requested that we all meet up so youngest can get to know us all with her mum there (who has threatened me with violence on numerous occasions) and she initially agrees then just doesn’t answer the phone. I don’t want to involve the eldest so I don’t mention it to her I just want to know if their dad has any rights to see his youngest as he’s missing her so much :(
Nic - 20-May-19 @ 10:28 PM
I offer free advice to anyone going through this situation, and can also help should the matter end up in the Family Court. Happy for anyone to contact me :-)
Familia CoParenting - 20-May-19 @ 8:19 PM
I have 2 children. 2 & 5. they are my angels! 381 days ago I came home to an empty house. My wife had taken the kids and disappeared. I've spent a year going through court and now have the right to access but she is refusing to let me unless its supervised as she feels I am incapable of looking after them. Although I love looking after them and regularly have my niece as I like going out and doing things with her! Anyway, I arrived for contact last week and the agency I was using hadn't told either of us that it had been cancelled. So she let me have the first video call from them in months. The children are always asking after me and shower me with 'I love you's on the phone. Now I am stuck at square one again. I am not allowed to contact her as she has a non-molestation in regards to me. I just want to see my daughters and shes making it difficult. She could quite easily let me see them but shes making me drag myself through contact centres. Even during the final hearing the judge said he sees no reason why I can't see them. I have never been violent towards my ex partner or my children but she says I am intimidating and shes worried I want to run away with them! I can't do that I love where I live and my job and friends and family! During my first CAFCASS meeting I agreed to the children living with her as she is a wonderful mum who always puts the children first. Right now all I want to do is see them as its been so long! Any help would be greatly appreciated, I will pay with beer!
Criptoh - 20-May-19 @ 4:26 PM
Hi,please everyone I need your advice, I am going court for PSO order and cafecase involves too,they said until they making their decision about my ex-partner and does he is ok to see the kids it was better to not have any contact in place. Which is I felt sorry for him and without letting anyone knows 4 time I show him my kids and he was happy to see them too. I had a call from cafecase yesterday and she ask do you have any contact in place ,I said no because I scared .she said my husband was there and he said I am cheating on cafecase and court and he was trying to win the court ,what is happening now if They now I laid,are they going to take my kids away just because I let him to see them ?
Jasmine - 17-May-19 @ 2:18 AM
Can’t believe it I’ve been seeing my girls 7 and 11 for the three and a half years me and my ex have separated and out of no where because she doesn’t like my new partner who has been in the kids lives for three years she has just stopped me from seeing the kids. Going through mediation does anyone know how long it could take we have a wedding in August and I just know she won’t allow the kids to attend as bridesmaids
Jimmy - 7-May-19 @ 10:51 PM
My ex partner lives at home with her father and she wont let my 5 month old daughter stay overnight with me whilst she goes out instead choosing her father to take care of of my daughter as she says its so it doesn't confuse my daughter. I see my daughter 3 times a week so i don't understand why she won't let me have her overnight in my opinion she will be much safer staying with me instead of at home when her mother will of had a few drinks and wouldn't be in a fit state to look after her if she woke up during the night or whatever. I would just like some advice on wether I'm wrong for being upset about this situatuon or what I'm saying is right all I have is my daughters best interests at heart
Joey - 4-May-19 @ 7:19 AM
My ex made allegations against me when I told her we weren't going to get back together (she had been using the baby to come to my house everyday when I moved out) and resulted in a non-mole based on her account compelety ignore the witness who told the truth in court, I tried to appeal but the process is so confusing I failed to do so and gave up. Two years later I'm still not allowed to see the baby. My ex makes new allegations all the time, even though I don't know anything about her or my daughter, I don't even know where they live. Caffcass want me to do a DV course but I don't meet the criteria as I've never abused her or threatened her, so when they ask if I did I can't say yes. My ex complained in court last time that I kept dragging her there, even though she has had me in court 6 times trying to get non-moles extended with no evidence and that was only the second time we had met for child arrangements. My ex changed the babies name with out permission and got her ears pierced. I'm at a complete loss as to what to do next. I'm beaten by the system and just want to see my daughter, but it feels so hopeless as I'm up against lies. Even things she said I did while we were together which I have texts, video etc.. to prove things didn't unfold in that way, the courts and cafcass have no interest in.
Keithcharles - 29-Apr-19 @ 3:13 PM
Hi I have a problem, I have a daughter and she is one year old. My problem is my girlfriend's mother doesn't allow me to see my daughter because am still a student and I didn't pay any damages, but I do maintain my daughter.so I don't know what to do and I can not afford to loose my baby, I love her with all my heart, pls her me
Mufunzi - 27-Apr-19 @ 8:00 PM
I can't believe I'm here.I had my 2 boys for a week. And during that time my ex showed up and removed them from me. Now she refuses to let me see them. I have no money for a lawyer, she has plenty. What can I do in Scotland that's free so I can see my beautiful boys.
Stewb - 27-Apr-19 @ 12:08 AM
I have 3 kids with my ex wife 2 girls and a boy I haven’t seen them for 7months now we going through court now and trust me court isn’t done overnight so iv seen my little boy and my little girl through contact centre but with the other girl she’s not mine but iv been there since sh was 6month old she is 9 now she even calls me dad so I asked the court if I could still see her aswell but the ex said no that jst broke me heart coz i took her on as my own that how evil ex can be
Dyl - 21-Apr-19 @ 9:46 PM
My partner has not let me see my daughter for 8 weeks and says she is never going to let me see her again
Brett - 19-Apr-19 @ 11:38 AM
@bubbles.yeah you pretty much got it right except I only have one daughter and she is a teenager now .
Chris - 14-Apr-19 @ 10:54 PM
My ex partner won't let me see my 2 daughters they are age 2&1 it's been nearly 2 months all because I became homeless don't have a job yet so I can't go to court I am looking for a job and all I want is to see my 2 daughters but no one will help so what can I do next because I can't afford to go to court just yet and my ex partner is planning on moving to Leeds soon and she will not tell me were my girls will be I have been to social security but they will not help so I don't know what to do so please can some one help
Bubbles - 14-Apr-19 @ 10:14 PM
I believe everything should be done( legally)when it comes to access to the child .
Chris - 14-Apr-19 @ 9:03 PM
Hi I’m Chris 30 years old and have a four year old boy I have been split from my ex gf for three years. We just had our boy and after birth she started going out with her freinds which I thought she’s been pregnant for ages she’s deserves a break. I was working shifts as a power station mechanical operator and then when I was off I was with both my son and ex when she went out I had our son to which she didn’t return when she said and I had to take days off work. She was seeing this younger lad taking drugs and drinking. One day she admitted she was seeing him and I kicked her out her excuse was the drugs I have been a previous party drug user when I was 18 and understand what they do to you. I had our son wile she found suitable accommodation and she tried getting back with me but one day I was driving to meet her and she’s taking bf back with our son I stopped loving her and wanted to get separated I have tried to be amicable and positive toward her and ask to see our son more I used to have him every weekend but now she has taken me to court on false allegations emergency court hearing and now I only get to see little dude every Wednesday for 3 hours and one weekend on and off as payed down by the court. I have had sevear depression and on high anti depressants which are now working but this is all because of negative effects caused by the other party pulling on heart strings using child to get attention seeing if I’m at work. She is using child maintenece as a weapon and constantly says you don’t pay for your son you don’t see him no authority’s seem to be bothered and she is now pregnant again. All I want is to see my son equally and be there for him yet he is with new bf and goes to their dads a lot to see her best friend who guess what is going out with her brother Have been to first hearing and everything is against me no legal aid help yet I’m in debt and on benifits has anyone else experienced a toxic narcissistic needy ex as any help would be amazing
Waddz - 12-Apr-19 @ 8:31 AM
Hi there baisicly I've been separated from my ex wife for over 2 years now and she got me arrested for assault and threatening words and behaviour which I was only arguing with her to try and c my children we both was arguing and I pleaded not guilty in court and then the judge believed all the lies and found me guilty for domestic violence and I had to do a anger management program and probation but I finished everything and then I got in contact with my ex about trying to see my kids again and she let me have them both every weekend which I was really happy with and I met another partner who I'm currently still with now my ex found out about me being in another relationship so she stopped the contact with my kids and it's been a year now I still haven't seen them both I've been taking her to court and I can't afford a solicitor as the csa are taking all my money but it's got to a stage now in court where my ex is saying I'm violent and the kids hate me she has completely brainwashed my babies and they are both saying they love me but they don't want to see me and cafcass are on her side she is also going for no contact at all and cafcass have recommended that I have a no contact order Its making me so depressed and sick I just want to c my children but it looks like I've lost I did say to the court and cafcass I would like to see my children in a contact centre but they are saying that no contact is better me and my children are so close but they have both been told to hate me now if someone on here can help me or if they know anything I can do please reply
Colin.d - 27-Mar-19 @ 9:57 AM
Hi there baisicly I've been separated from my ex wife for over 2 years now and she got me arrested for assault and threatening words and behaviour which I was only arguing with her to try and c my children we both was arguing and I pleaded not guilty in court and then the judge believed all the lies and found me guilty for domestic violence and I had to do a anger management program and probation but I finished everything and then I got in contact with my ex about trying to see my kids again and she let me have them both every weekend which I was really happy with and I met another partner who I'm currently still with now my ex found out about me being in another relationship so she stopped the contact with my kids and it's been a year now I still haven't seen them both I've been taking her to court and I can't afford a solicitor as the csa are taking all my money but it's got to a stage now in court where my ex is saying I'm violent and the kids hate me she has completely brainwashed my babies and they are both saying they love me but they don't want to see me and cafcass are on her side she is also going for no contact at all and cafcass have recommended that I have a no contact order Its making me so depressed and sick I just want to c my children but it looks like I've lost I did say to the court and cafcass I would like to see my children in a contact centre but they are saying that no contact is better me and my children are so close but they have both been told to hate me now if someone on here can help me or if they know anything I can do please reply.
Col - 27-Mar-19 @ 9:49 AM
It’s true I did go off the path possible( mental health issues) . I need to find a factory or labouring job to save my money and buy a business and prove I am not as dumb as people think .
CHris - 26-Mar-19 @ 8:25 PM
Now I am over been (sensitive )I have become (recluse) I have let people walk on me I won’t stand up for myself anymore the mother off my child was sleeping with my step brother and for years he would have little goes at me about him and he’s mates sleeping with her I would say nothing and when my family found out I made contact with the mother to see my daughter you know what the worse thing was my uncle strategically invited me around when all( I wanted was to meet my daughter)it’s but me in a difficult situation like my family don’t realise what the mother off my child is like and think I am just making it upwhen I was with her she just blatantly cheat I mean in my mothers house with my step brothers mates in the lounge room for god sake plus be having long affairs with my uncle and Jacob.i Need to see a psychiatrist and find out why I let her walk on me like that and let my family have little digs at me about her and again I say nothing .
Chris - 26-Mar-19 @ 8:06 PM
(Last post forever I promise).if my ex ever reads this I (apologise for the harassment with the messages) I had a (mental break down) .i promise you will never hear from me again .i will make up for lost time with my daughter when she is a adult.
Chris - 24-Mar-19 @ 10:13 PM
I made a promise to myself to stop thinking off the( past) and what if’s about not going to court for visitation it will cause me a( mental break down) make my anxiety worse .(i didn’t go to court back then I have to deal with it I made that choice I put myself in this position).i will see her when she is a (adult )and I will make up for lost time then .thanks for your blog it’s been (therapeutic) but no more looking back .
Chris - 24-Mar-19 @ 9:42 PM
@lol.if I had my time again that’s exactly what I would have done I think that would have stopped my (anxiety) I have now over not doing it and went down the path I went because when with the mother( i was completely over her) I even stopped paying the rent back then I was like you are on your( own) .but my (daughter thats a big regret) I wish I throw was ex out keeped my daughter full time .but in reality that would have (spiraled out off control).i should have just went to court for visitation and holidays. I was (young and dumb) back then now I am just (old and dumb with regrets )back I can step back anymore I must think off the future .
Chris - 24-Mar-19 @ 8:54 PM
@lol.when I was (young )I had child to a women .now as I look back I made a big mistake I should have went to court for visitation where it was (stated officially bye court order )I have my daughter on weekends and holidays and I picked her up from (school) on the Friday so I don’t have to interact deal with the mother .(thats what I should have done ).and only communication with the mother would be bye email if necessary.
Chris - 24-Mar-19 @ 5:23 PM
I was arrested for harrasment to my ex wife it still under investigation some 11 months later ( no charges) bail conditions have been taken off and I agreed in court that I dont want to go near her, she now tells mewhen I was arrested I was told by the police I would have to apply to the court for access to my children, I was never informed of this and the children was never part of my arrest, it was about her and her new boyfriend. When I was arrested I refused a solicitor because I had done nothing wrong, is she right because I have nothing in writing about the children, no court letters and nothing in writing from the police saying I cant see them as far as I see it she made the decision and is telling my daughter and anyone else that I wont apply. Why should I when there is nothing in place just a spitefull ex as I see it making this decision.Can somebody advise me
Lol - 24-Mar-19 @ 8:19 AM
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