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How Can I Obtain a Contact Order?

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 17 Sep 2018 | 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.

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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Dave - Your Question:
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

Our Response:
Unfortunately, your only recourse is to suggest mediation and if your ex refuses, only then would you have the option to apply to court. Please see the link here, which will further answer your question.
SeparatedDads - 18-Sep-18 @ 2:27 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
love123 - Your Question:
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?

Our Response:
There is no right or wrong answer here. If the parents cannot resolve these issues between them, then mediation is the option. Please see link here.
SeparatedDads - 30-Jul-18 @ 11:47 AM
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
Gaz - Your Question:
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.

Our Response:
If you cannot afford legal represenatation in court, your friend can self-litigate, please see link here . You can see more about what McKenzie Friends can and can't do in court, please see link here. You can see more about child arrangement orders here .
SeparatedDads - 26-Jun-18 @ 3:02 PM
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
Tell - Your Question:
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

Our Response:
The links here and here can help you further. If you cannot afford legal representation, you can self-litigate, please see link here .
SeparatedDads - 12-Jun-18 @ 10:53 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
Admm - Your Question:
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?

Our Response:
If you have a contact order issued through the courts, then your ex will be in breach of the order if she plans to move away without your agreement or consent. Any changes to a contact order 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. Therefore, if your ex wishes to apply to make changes to the court order she would have to allow the court to decide what it thinks is in the best interests of your children. A solicitor's letter reminding your ex of the terms of the order may help here.
SeparatedDads - 26-Apr-18 @ 9:54 AM
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
Newshoes - Your Question:
I am seeking contact with our daughter who is 16, however our daughter does not want any contact with me directly or indirectly. She has messaged me and said she wants no contact and to leave her alone. She lives with her mum. Can I still get a child arrangements order in place to see her?

Our Response:
It is highly unlikely a court would force your daughter at aged-16 to see you if she does not wish to. At 16 her opinion would be taken into consideration by the courts. As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the child in question. The court will always put the child’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order.
SeparatedDads - 16-Apr-18 @ 3:17 PM
I amseeking contact with our daughter who is 16, however our daughter does not want any contact with me directly or indirectly. She has messaged me and said she wants no contact and to leave her alone. She lives with her mum.Can I still get a child arrangements order in place to see her?
Newshoes - 16-Apr-18 @ 1:03 PM
Me and my ex fiance were together 13 years, we split in 2012 and my daughter continued to live with me, at the time we agreed with mediation that my ex would have her weekends and half term/holidays etc. This continued as normal until this year when I sent my daughter to my ex in March he kept her told me he wasn't bringing her back, changed her school and deleted me from all social media and phones.. It is now November he has not allowed me to see or speak to her since he took her. The police cannot help, neither can social services. I miss my daughter every second of every day and just want to see her again..
Charlie - 21-Nov-17 @ 11:26 PM
Sue - Your Question:
I'm a mum of a 9yr old girl. 8 and a half years ago I ended up with postnatal depression and really bad anxiety, my partner of then told me he couldn't be with me until I got myself sorted so I moved in with my parents and he kept my daughter while I got better, when my medication started to work I went back to him. Although he had changed his mind completely so devastated me broke down and stayed with my parents. I had to look after my other daughter from a relationship 3years before hand.anyway long story short I saw her regularly but he met someone else and has now moved away I saw her less and less, then my nasty anxiety appeared again,I have phoned him messaged him but nothing. I haven't seen her in nearly a year it hurts so much. HOW CAN I SEE HER AGAIN? before she starts thinking I don't care or love her. If only I wasn't ill years ago my baby's would be together with me.

Our Response:
If your ex is denying you access, then you would have to apply to court (if he will not agree to attending mediation), please see link here . This will tell you what you should do in the circumstances. As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the child in question. The court will always put the child’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order. However, the court does want both parents to have a relationship with their child, so unless there is a justifiable reason why you shouldn't be given access then access should be reinstated. If you cannot afford legal representation, you can self litigate, please see link here .
SeparatedDads - 24-Oct-17 @ 10:06 AM
I'm a mum of a 9yr old girl. 8 and a half years ago I ended up with postnatal depression and really bad anxiety, my partner of then told me he couldn't be with me until I got myself sorted so I moved in with my parents and he kept my daughter while I got better, when my medication started to work I went back to him. Although he had changed his mind completely so devastated me broke down and stayed with my parents. I had to look after my other daughter from a relationship 3years before hand.anyway long story short I saw her regularly but he met someone else and has now moved away I saw her less and less, then my nasty anxiety appeared again,I have phoned him messaged him but nothing. I haven't seen her in nearly a year it hurts so much. HOW CAN I SEE HER AGAIN? before she starts thinking I don't care or love her. If only I wasn't ill years ago my baby's would be together with me.
Sue - 23-Oct-17 @ 3:34 PM
Hi I splitt up with my youngest daughters father a year ago.... he used to hAve my daughter every Saturday night.... until i got with my new partner he started demanding that he has her all weekend everyweekend which I don't think is fair as she's at school now and my family work and want to see her on a weekend too.... I've told him he can have her every other weekend pick her up on a Friday and drop her off sunday dinner timeso i have time to get her settled and ready for school mon but this is not good enough for him.... when he has her it's always on his terms when I get her back.... and this isn't fair.... he hasnt seen my daughter for 2 weeks now as i want legal advice on what i can do... he also sends me and my new partnet threats and abuse via text he qont attend meditation can I represent myself in court to get him access that is good for us both
Kleigh46 - 5-Oct-17 @ 3:58 PM
Gra1974 - Your Question:
Hi. I have a 5yr old daughter who I see on a very regular basis. The trouble is my ex. She loves her social life which means I have my daughter more than her which to me is a great thing. She has recently found a new partner and now she is starting to take my daughter off me for the days that I have her. As soon as I raise my concern she tells me I can’t see my daughter anymore. Seems she uses my daughter as her weapon towards me as she knows I love my daughter being with me. Recently I booked to go away and when I told my ex I couldn’t have my daughter on that particular weekend she once again said I can’t see her anymore. I cancelled my weekend (again) and within 30 mins of doing it she told me that I can see my daughter again. I can’t go on with all this and wondered what I can do? Thanks.

Our Response:
Your only recourse in situations such as this is to either agree between yourselves, consider mediation and if your ex refuses mediation you would have (as a last resort) the option to apply to court, please see link here.
SeparatedDads - 2-Oct-17 @ 10:59 AM
Hi. I have a 5yr old daughter who I see on a very regular basis. The trouble is my ex. She loves her social life which means I have my daughter more than her which to me is a great thing. She has recently found a new partner and now she is starting to take my daughter off me for the days that I have her. As soon as I raise my concern she tells me I can’t see my daughter anymore. Seems she uses my daughter as her weapon towards me as she knows I love my daughter being with me. Recently I booked to go away and when I told my ex I couldn’t have my daughter on that particular weekend she once again said I can’t see her anymore. I cancelled my weekend (again) and within 30 mins of doing it she told me that I can see my daughter again. I can’t go on with all this and wondered what I can do? Thanks.
Gra1974 - 1-Oct-17 @ 10:12 AM
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