Home > Ask Our Experts > How Can I Obtain a Contact Order?

How Can I Obtain a Contact Order?

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 11 Sep 2019 | comments*Discuss
 
Contact Order Court Lawyer Ex Family

Q.

How can I obtain a Contact Order when I don't have an address for my wife and children? I only know the town they live in which is 100 miles plus away.

(D.T, 28 September 2008)

A.

First of all, in order to be eligible for a Contact Order, you must have what’s known as Parental Responsibility, which means either that you’re listed on the birth certificates of the children as the father, or you’ve obtained a Parental Responsibility Order (see our article on Your Separated Father's Rights).

Part of Parental Responsibility is the responsibility part, which means you’re almost certainly Paying Child Support of some kind. If you don’t have your ex’s address, it will likely be via the CSA (Child Support Agency).

However, don’t despair if you don’t have an address for your ex. You can go through the courts to obtain a contact order that will allow you time with your children.

You can apply to the court yourself, you will have to pay to submit your form but it is cheaper than the cost of a solicitor. You can use our article Which Court Form Do I Need? to find out which form to use and how to apply. From then on in you can represent yourself in court and with a little research you will be able to present to the court your expectations for contact and why you should be granted it. Read our article Representing Yourself in Court to get yourself started.

Of course, you can use family law solicitor to handle your case for you although you should be aware that the cost will be high.

Courts tend to work on a principle called “presumption of contact”, under which they do everything possible for a father to have contact with his children.

They will want a report on whether you can meet the needs of the child during a contact period, whether there’s any chance of harm coming to the child during contact, what the child desires, as well as their emotional and educational needs.

Although that sounds like a lot, it’s reassuring to know that some 90% of all Contact Orders are granted. If there’s a hearing then there will need to be a report from the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service officer, and interview with you, your ex, and others.

It sounds involved, and it does take some time, but bear in mind that it’s really all in the interests of the children.

So the first real step is for you or your solicitor, if you choose to hire one, to petition the court to grant you a Contact Order for your children. It’s helpful if you can supply their address, but it’s not mandatory, and you’re not the only one who’s not in possession of his ex’s address.

From there the court will contact your ex, and in the best of all possible worlds, they’ll work out an amicable arrangement.

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]
Im trying toget back in contact with my kids in care. I sufferdwith a mental breakdown after the death of my baby girl followed by a 2 year battle with Wiltshire social services. Resulting in them being taken. This was followed by my marriage ending and becoming homeless, was broken and couldnt cope no more. Ive not seen my boys for free year and dont no how to find them
Jamo - 11-Sep-19 @ 12:29 PM
First page rankings on Google We can put your website on 1st page of Google to drive relevant traffic to your site. Let us know if you would be interested in getting detailed proposal. We can also schedule a call & will be pleased to explain our services in detail. We look forward to hearing from you soon. Thanks!
Ulia Haynes - 9-Jul-19 @ 6:41 AM
My son does not to see his father bec he is verbally mentally and physically abusive.he does not pay maintenance but still thinks he can take me to court
Sal - 1-Jul-19 @ 7:45 PM
How do I get a contact order when my wife is refusing mediation and will only communiate via a solicitor?She has the kids suddenly saying that I am not safe to be with even though they've never been at risk with me.
Carl - 21-Jun-19 @ 12:10 PM
I've been separated from my wife for a year and I was seeing my daughter Imogen upto boxing day last year then my ex cut all points of contact and I haven't seen my daughter in 6 months and I've tried everything what can I do please I'm paying child maintenance Nick
Nick - 18-Jun-19 @ 1:58 PM
My ex moved out nearly a year ago to move back in with his ex girlfriend, he stopped paying the rent on the house that myself and his two sons 7 & 2 were living in which made us homeless, he occasionally contacted the boys and after me begging him to see them and talk to them he did occasionally come see them, he always stayed over so the boys could see him before he left, he did pay child support but now things have got so bad between us that we don’t talk (which suits me fine if I’m honest) but now he is refusing to pay child support (which doesn’t really surprise me he did this to his daughter didn’t see her or pay for her for 16years) but also now when our eldest phones him he refuses to pick up the phone! He hasn’t spoken or seen the youngest in over a month, can I arrange contact at a contact centre for him to attend because he smokes drugs like cigarettes and I don’t want the boys around that as he’s so unstable, I am a believer that all children need both parents in there lives even though we don’t get along this isn’t about us this is about the boys welfare
Lucylou - 16-Mar-19 @ 8:29 AM
Hi all, I recently commented here a few weeks ago about applying to the court for a fair arrangement to be made and how the legal system and solicitors are slightly bias against fathers...even when you are doing your best! I had second thoughts and decided to try mediation again, my ex would only go on the basis that I had to pay for the both of us! All I will say is pick your mediator carefully and have a couple of plans for what you feel is best for the kids and what also works for you before you go. The mediator can help, but I found I had to fight my corner and had to explain myself and how I can look after my children whereas my ex didn't. We are tying a new arrangement but I do still feel the system is bias as I had to work harder to come to an agreement and felt outnumbered in our session. Mediation works as well as you want it to. It's best to try sort things out in 1 appointment so it's not costing you going back for more appointments. I hope some of this info can help or give some insight to fathers who are just starting out in this process. If you are going to your first mediation, it is very difficult but, be ready to negotiate, do not give into submission or pressure, be confident, stay calm, be polite, stick to your guns and don't agree to something you think is not right for the children or yourself. Dads do matter.
Billy - 25-Jan-19 @ 7:04 AM
@dave.my x use to make a (gig out me )with my (own family )we will see who is (laughing in the long run it’s not about her daughter) it about( my honour) .she is going be taught a (life lesson )she( burnt the wrong men with me )yeah it’s immoral what she done and I am not a (Christian or a Muslim ).its a (laurie thing) and I don’t hold the men responsible I hold (her responsible )again it’s a (laurie thing .)its just time they will( slip up )and when they do she will get a (shock off her life) and be (begging for forgiveness )I (swear) that on the (laurie bible ).
Chris - 20-Jan-19 @ 2:32 PM
I have recently split up with my wife of 17 years , we have 4 children who i have not seen since we broke up over 8 weeks ago , i have tried contacting the oldest children girls 16 & 13 who have said they are not ready to talk with me and i have been told by my ex my boys who are 10 & 6 dont want to see mee either. My ex discussed all the detailsof the break up with the girls and i feel gave the girls a negative opinion on me which i dont think sheshould have.What rights do i have for access to my kids as i feel they are missing out by not having contact with me and i would do anything to be able to speak with them.
Dave - 20-Jan-19 @ 5:46 AM
my ex partner has stopped me from seeing my daughter for the past year. I've tried going to her house, contact over the phone, but she has blocked my numbers an I just get turned away when I go to her house. what can I do about this as I cant even contact her for mediation as I have no contact with her?
GC - 13-Jan-19 @ 11:57 AM
Hi, I'm separated with my wife for over 3 years now. Contact with my two sons (9 and 12) was always a bit of an issue. At the start she agreed to boys staying with me every other weekend plus half of all holidays (Halloween, midterm break, Christmas, etc-note she forced it to be below 104 nights a year), this was however really based on her plans, I was getting refused contact ona number of occasions. Last year I had to file for Specific Issue Order as my ex would not allow my older son to apply to a school closer to my home. Court ordered that my son will go the the school he wanted (the one I filed for) and at the same time we met with child welfare officer to discuss contact pattern moving forward. It was agreed that both boys will stay with me every weekend for one night (Friday/Saturday) and older son will also stay one night during the week - Wednesday. I have recently received a letter form my ex's solicitor saying that this contact pattern "didnt not work for his client" and she wanted to go back to the previous, biweekly rota. My solicitor responded to this saying that we dont see any need for a change however my ex still forcing this change and wont let me see my sons every weekend. After 3 years of struggle I still dont know when is the next time I will see my kids. Is Child Contact Order my only option? What are my options to force solicitors agreement? How likely it is to get shared residence if all criteria from a child wellbeing point of view are meet?
Slav - 19-Nov-18 @ 9:14 AM
Hi, I'm separated with my wife for over 3 years now. Contact with my two sons (9 and 12) was always a bit of an issue. At the start she agreed to boys staying with me every other weekend plus half of all holidays (Halloween, midterm break, Christmas, etc-note she forced it to be below 104 nights a year), this was however really based on her plans, I was getting refused contact ona number of occasions. Last year I had to file for Specific Issue Order as my ex would not allow my older son to apply to a school closer to my home. Court ordered that my son will go the the school he wanted (the one I filed for) and at the same time we met with child welfare officer to discuss contact pattern moving forward. It was agreed that both boys will stay with me every weekend for one night (Friday/Saturday) and older son will also stay one night during the week - Wednesday. I have recently received a letter form my ex's solicitor saying that this contact pattern "didnt not work for his client" and she wanted to go back to the previous, biweekly rota. My solicitor responded to this saying that we dont see any need for a change however my ex still forcing this change and wont let me see my sons every weekend. After 3 years of struggle I still dont know when is the next time I will see my kids. Is Child Contact Order my only option? What are my options to force solicitors agreement? How likely it is to get shared residence if all criteria from a child wellbeing point of view are meet?
Slav - 19-Nov-18 @ 3:15 AM
My son is working outside the EU but is having difficulty with his exwife keeping to the agreement that he telephonethe mobile he supplied once a week.Unfortunately his exwife is having difficulty in turning the mobile on at the agreed time so that my son can get through to his eight year old daughter.In the last eight weeks the phone has only been on for three of those weeks.What forms would we need to complete bearing in mind that he will not be returning to the UK for two years and I will be acting on his behalf. Can someone please let me know how we can proceed to get a contact order.
doctordolittle - 15-Oct-18 @ 8:12 PM
My ex wants to move my son schools when she moves house which will impact my access with him and he is becoming very distressed at the thought of moving schools. I have asked that she consider taking him to school as she works in the town in the mornings and I will pick him up afterwards and take him home to her when she finishes work but she is reluctant to agree.Is there anything I can do to stop her moving my son schools or gain a court order to prevent this. We are in Scotland
Dave - 17-Sep-18 @ 5:52 PM
Sue - Your Question:
I want to apply for a contact order.to see my grandchildren.how much will it cost me ?

Our Response:
The link here, which should tell you all you need to know.
SeparatedDads - 30-Jul-18 @ 11:45 AM
My friend had 7/7 (one week off, one week on) agreement with the mother of his children. They had previously agreed that he would pick the kids from her then she will pick the kids from him so it can be fair. Recently, the mother decided to change her mind and used the argument that because the kids are under her care, he should be picking them and dropping them. He does not agree with this and she is withholding the kids unless he agrees to the new change. What are his options and is she allowed to do this despite agreeing to equal picking earlier?
love123 - 29-Jul-18 @ 4:27 PM
I want to apply for a contact order.to see my grandchildren.how much will it cost me ?
Sue - 29-Jul-18 @ 2:14 PM
jj - Your Question:
My ex is really bugging me with contact to my child, she send me abusive messages saying im.off with other girls when im not and she is telling me I can have contact then changes it all the time she never sticks to the agreed days and I feel my life is on hold waiting for her to agree my next lot off contact. I have concerns as when I do see her she is very upset as she jasnt seen me in a while and is crying she as missed me what can I do its breaking my heart

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. The link here , will tell you all you need to know.
SeparatedDads - 20-Jul-18 @ 10:18 AM
my ex is really bugging me with contact to my child, she send me abusive messages saying im.off with other girls when im not and she is telling me i can have contact then changes it all the time she never sticks to the agreed days and i feel my life is on hold waiting for her to agree my next lot off contact. i have concerns as when i do see her she is very upset as she jasnt seen me in a while and is crying she as missed me what can i do its breaking my heart
jj - 19-Jul-18 @ 10:38 AM
Hi, My friend is currently being denied contact with his child. His partner has saved a raft of messages sent from his saying aggressive and violent things, he suffers from mental health issues and has regularly uses cannabis. She has refused the idea of a contact centre and/or MIAM meeting and has insisted things should go through the courts. He can't afford legal representation. Is this legal? And can I represent him as a McKenzie Friend. Would her solicitor only engage exclusively with my friend and not myself? Any help is appreciated.
Gaz - 26-Jun-18 @ 11:52 AM
Lew - Your Question:
My ex left me for her previous ex ive got a 2yr old son with her shes refusing to let me see him im not registered on the certificate but I was there for him till I found out and she got rid and wouldn't let me see

Our Response:
You would have to apply to court, if your ex will not consider mediation. Please see link here .
SeparatedDads - 21-Jun-18 @ 3:28 PM
My ex left me for her previous ex ive got a 2yr old son with her shes refusing to let me see him im not registered on the certificate but i was there for him till i found out and she got rid and wouldn't let me see
Lew - 21-Jun-18 @ 5:37 AM
My ex and I are separated and she constantly uses the kids against me as a wepon she previous has 2 kids from previous relationships removed from her care how can I get to see my kids without her stopping me and a contact order can I apply for one without a solicitor
Tell - 11-Jun-18 @ 5:21 PM
Shiney - Your Question:
My ex pushed me out while I worked myself into the ground. Very little help from her. We split at the time I was having problems with my business and at the same time as my parents both getting ill and then died. I was robbed of my business by my landlords and have fallen into extreme depression. I cant take any more. Solicitors just tend to drag their heels. Mediators are useless. My ex wont even reply even to tell me how the children are. Im suicidal and honestly feel that's my only way out of this.

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. If you feel suicidal, then please try to get help, as this situation will pass. You can see more via the link here and here.
SeparatedDads - 14-May-18 @ 12:52 PM
And I know this is in the wrong section. But I have finished with my in depth thinking of the past I have healed .now I focus on my business it needs all my attention its my wife my baby and my dog .thanks.
laurie - 12-May-18 @ 11:06 PM
My ex pushed me out while I worked myself into the ground. Very little help from her. We split at the time I was having problems with my business and at the same time as my parents both getting ill and then died. I was robbed of my business by my landlords and have fallen into extreme depression. I cant take any more. Solicitors just tend to drag their heels. Mediators are useless. My ex wont even reply even to tell me how the children are. Im suicidal and honestly feel that's my only way out of this.
Shiney - 12-May-18 @ 5:45 PM
Hi my ex wants to move away up north but weve already been to court and arranged the days we have the kids so can she still just mive away if we already agreed days of the week with the children?
Admm - 25-Apr-18 @ 3:41 PM
Hi, me and my partner have split, he is looking for his own place at the moment. The council have asked if I can provide a letter stating our daughter and currently unborn son will be staying at his 2-3 nights a week he is named on birth certificates. Do you have any information on how I would go about writing this letter or anywhere I can find a template or form to complete as proof?
Amy - 24-Apr-18 @ 10:16 PM
Ro - Your Question:
I am trying to make a child contact order for my daughter but I do not know the address they now live at, they were moved when I was in prison last year. I sent the application off and it was returned to me because I don't know the address my daughter lives at so the courts can send documents after the application gets submitted. The social worker isn't seeming to be much help I cannot get hold of the solicitor that my ex partner is a client to, can someone please help me ?

Our Response:
One option is to fill in a C4 form which is an application for an order for disclosure of a child's whereabouts. You fill in this form alongside your C100. It means the court can put a trace on your children to find out where they are. The address may still remain confidential - but at least it allows you to be able to bring the matter to court.
SeparatedDads - 19-Apr-18 @ 10:37 AM
I am trying to make a child contact order for my daughter but I do not know the address they now live at, they were moved when I was in prison last year. I sent the application off and it was returned to me because I don't know the address my daughter lives at so the courts can send documents after the application gets submitted. The social worker isn't seeming to be much help I cannot get hold of the solicitor that my ex partner is a client to, can someone please help me ?
Ro - 18-Apr-18 @ 5:24 PM
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
  • C.laurie
    Re: Your Separated Father's Rights
    @cherry.if mother off child reads this ?.women you stay out off my (business )you have (no control loser)if I want to be a…
    11 December 2019
  • C.laurie
    Re: Your Separated Father's Rights
    @cherryx.if the child’s mother reads this ?.i hope she does (gods truth).a word to the wise stay away from my (house and my…
    11 December 2019
  • Chris
    Re: Your Separated Father's Rights
    @cherryx.i found some peace in my life now settled down or getting older one off the two I am not sure .i am glad I signed…
    10 December 2019
  • Chris
    Re: Your Separated Father's Rights
    @cherryx.after reading your story .i am on this child’s birth certificate and she went on holiday to USA with her mother and…
    10 December 2019
  • jimbo
    Re: How Do I Find My Children's New Address?
    Fiona mcarthur fiona morgan previous marage fioba blackmore maiden name born august 66. My son is James connah…
    10 December 2019
  • jimbo
    Re: How Do I Find My Children's New Address?
    I had an acromonias devorce i was in jail and when i got out my ex wufe moved with both of my children. James…
    10 December 2019
  • Cherryx
    Re: Your Separated Father's Rights
    I’m going on holiday with my children and my parents at the end of December and have been some arguments between me and the…
    10 December 2019
  • COYD
    Re: Forum Rules and Code of Conduct
    I am really desperate for some help but just cannot register, no activation code is being sent. Any help would be very much…
    9 December 2019
  • Seany
    Re: Shared Custody of Your Children
    I am currently going through a divorce and have two children with my ex. I have them every weekend unless they are on holiday…
    9 December 2019
  • None
    Re: After the Initial Court Order
    My ex has said they are taking me to court for access. This was 2 weeks ago - how long does it take for the paperwork to come…
    8 December 2019