Home > Negotiation > Checklist: Agreeing Visitation

Checklist: Agreeing Visitation

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 6 Oct 2016 | comments*Discuss
 
Visitation Child Ex Courts Mediation

The worst thing about being separated from your child is not being able to see them as often as you would like. Your child needs you in their life and it is important that you maintain regular contact with them. Your ex needs to understand the importance of allowing you access and ideally you will be able to come to a Visitation Agreement that you are both happy with. If not, then you will need to enter the legal system and go through the Family Courts. Follow our checklist, make sure you know your rights and then take it step by step to make sure you can see your children.

1. Know Your Rights

If you have parental responsibility then you have every right, both personally and legally, to see your child on a regular basis. To have parental responsibility you must be named on the birth certificate, have been married to the mother when your child was born or have applied for a parental responsibility order (see our article Your Separated Father's Rights for more information).

2. Try to Work it Out Privately

The best way to arrange to see your child is by working out an agreement with their mother. Your ex should understand that you have a right and need to be in your child’s life, and be willing to negotiate. Try to be mature about the process and realise that you both may need to compromise. If you do manage to come to a visitation agreement, you should get it signed by your solicitor to save any future problems.

3. Mediation

If you and your ex cannot come to a visitation agreement on your own, you are going to need to seek some help. Before jumping into the Family Courts it is a good idea to try Mediation. Mediation will help you both communicate better with each other, see the other person’s point of view, and hopefully come to some kind of agreement.

4. Apply For a Contact Order

If your ex is refusing you access or you still can’t come to an agreement, you will need to get a contact order. This is issued by the courts and lays out when you can visit your child. Before issuing a Contact Order the courts will do a report on your situation. Their primary concern is the welfare of the child and they will take into account their wishes, educational needs and your ability to provide for them when they visit.

5. Don’t Do Anything Rash

It can be very frustrating if your ex is not allowing you to see your child or is limiting access. It can be tempting to snatch more time with them or make your point, but the last thing you want to do is anything rash. Although it is an emotional time, try to think rationally and realise that going against a contact order or taking your children away will only count against you in the eyes of the courts.

As a father, you have a right to be involved in your child’s life. If you and your ex cannot come to a visitation agreement alone, then try mediation or move one step further and involve the courts in your bid for access.

Separated Dads Chat Room & Forum

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.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Louie - Your Question:
I pay child maintance for my one son to my ex on time every month. However I do not get to see my son every fortnight without her disrupting it with a birthday party or football practice which eats into my time with him. So instead of getting him every 2nd week for a friday night I will get him saturday at 3pm on occasions because she has plans for him. Also every single time I pick him up and collect him as she has moved 50 miles away and will never drop him to me never mind halfway. She loves this control and when I question it she threatens I will see him less. I want to know if I can seek to pay less child maintanence in a bid to make her see she gives me fair time. I tho7ght you had to get fair time otherwise you can rectify the maintance as its based on visiation rights. Correct? Please give me some advice its frustrating the control she has AND FURTHERMORE she enjoys it as I have a newborn she likes the disruption into my life. Many Thanks for ny support and advice. Louie

Our Response:
Child maintenance and child access have no bearing on each other and are completely separate issues. Regardless of whether a non-resident parent sees their child, they are still responsible for helping financially towards their day-to-day upbringing. Likewise, if a NRP is unemployed or has a low income, it means access is not stopped just because they can't afford to contribute to their child's upbringing. In other words, children are not viewed as financial commodoties. I'm, sorry to hear your ex is being unreasonable and is deliberately thwarting your time with your child. If you are unhappy with the way your ex is treating you with regards to access, you can try to solve these issues either via mediation or through court. A lot comes down to the individual parent, some primary carers realise there are two parents in every relationship and will try to play fair with regards to access. However, unfortunately there are also other parents who relish their sense of control, and it is always difficult to deal with such parents as there is often no logical reasoning with them. It is these cases that most often end up in court.
SeparatedDads - 7-Oct-16 @ 11:04 AM
I pay child maintance for my one son to my ex on time every month. However I do not get to see my son every fortnight without her disrupting it with a birthday party or football practice which eats into my time with him. So instead of getting him every 2nd week for a friday night I will get him saturday at 3pm on occasions because she has plans for him. Also every single time I pick him up and collect him as she has moved 50 miles away and will never drop him to me never mind halfway. She loves this control and when I question it she threatens i will see him less. I want to know if I can seek to pay less child maintanence in a bid to make her see she gives me fair time. I tho7ght you had to get fair time otherwise you can rectify the maintance as its based on visiation rights. Correct? Please give me some advice its frustrating the control she has AND FURTHERMORE she enjoys it as I have a newborn she likes the disruption into my life. Many Thanks for ny support and advice. Louie
Louie - 6-Oct-16 @ 2:02 PM
@Em - will he meet you halfway? Or split the journey, one takes and one does the return trip. If your ex wants to see your kids, he'll make the effort.
JJ - 5-Jan-16 @ 2:04 PM
Me and my ex have been separated now for about 18 months (give or take a few months where we tried to give it another go) I have driven the kids to his house.....every week and picked them up every week. This arrangement first started because he had been unwell but is now costing me quite a bit in time and fuel. I am with someone else which he doesn't like, and my new partner doesn't like my ex as he has been threatening in the past and occasionally physical with it. I have refused to take the kids and asked that he collect them. He will not therefore has decided that I am.stopping him from seeing them??? He has already missed one weekend. So although I understand all your points of view on being absent dad's but I'm stuck here with 2 kids who want to see their dad and he won't come
Em - 5-Jan-16 @ 9:08 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the SeparatedDads website. Please read our Disclaimer.