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When Your Ex-Partner Denies You Access

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 24 Mar 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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(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
i havent been in a relationship with the mother in 7 years. she was amicable until she moved across the country with my child without my knowledge or my consent. now she refuses to let me make contact with my 9yo unless i pay her whenever she asks for money for everything even though shes with a well of man. Recently i refused the extra money as i assumed child support was enough as i also pay school fees and trips and now she refuses to allow me to speak to my child. what can i do.
Gbm - 22-Mar-19 @ 10:37 PM
The mother off my child is (bad difficult )I (shouldn’tcomplain )she is a women from talking to my mates they all been though the same with regards to seeingthere children .(without court action) .i tried with messages a different approach a calm collected daughter focus like business approach.put all my hurt and I’ll feelings I have for the mother to one side and try and find common ground where I could see my child alone .it was very hard for me to do I thought if I show kindness and respect she would allow me to see her without court .but no ha ha it was worth the effort my daughter was older enough to no I tried that makes me feel better .with the time frame now I am walking away .
Chris - 19-Mar-19 @ 6:25 PM
I am a separated dad of 3 , and living and working away from my children , and am offering as child support to my ex to pay for anything any of them need in regards to school , such as trips , dinner money , uniforms etc , I’ve been told it’s not enough by my ex , is this right or wrong , ...... neeed advice
Scrolly - 17-Mar-19 @ 9:52 AM
I lost contact with my son after my ex wife and her family decided to ask me to leave our farm. My ex wife has always been controlled by her father who at the time was a freemason for this reason I could not get help from any solicitor I contacted. I lost my son my farm and my business through that family. At the time of the separation they even had my son's school deny me access which they had no right to do. My son is 11 now and i have not seen him since he was around 3.
Lenny - 16-Mar-19 @ 5:10 PM
I think my son has been adopted without my consent..I haven't seen him for 3 years due to his mum stopping me for no real reason.. I have been depressed and very down about this,I am suffering mentally. A letter came from his school with his mums partners surname in place of his birth surname that is on his birth certificate. I was then told my son has told a family member he has been adopted. How can this happen without my consent. Pleasehelp
Mancjack30 - 16-Mar-19 @ 8:28 AM
To ‘Undefined’, please don’t do that for anyone’s sake. I can only imagine how devastating this is for you. Could you suggest a hard ‘reset’ with your ex and say you both care for your daughter and it’s not in your child’s interests for things to be the way they are? Then suggest mediation or counselling or a coffee to try to explain its your daughter’s right to have you in her life? I don’t understand why the courts are not enforcing the order or punishing her. Blocking contact with a child for no reason is punishable in extreme cases by imprisonment. We are not in a good place with my partner’s ex regarding seeing their son so you have my utmost sympathy.
Fifi - 16-Mar-19 @ 12:23 AM
Hi I haven't seen my kids for nearly 3years now as my ex has blocked me on everything. I have been so close to ending it all as I just don't know what to do anymore, as I hate asking for help.but if I don't then I will never see my kids again
Pip - 13-Mar-19 @ 1:11 PM
My ex has withheld my daughter from me for 20 months now. My daughter is now 8. I ask my ex everday to see my kid through fb messenger and she simply says to me that she has a new dad in her life and she doesn't need you anymore. I have gone to court with her about 25 times and she never follows the court order. We have had a police enforced court order and the police didn't do anything. Honestly the most frustrating thing a guy can go through is to be kept from his child just out of spite. All I want is to see my kid but I can't because she will not let me. I have gone through multiple court battles only for her to not follow them. The courts don't do anything. I have hit the point where I feel like I need to out justice in my own hands. I'm going to buy a gun and shoot her in the head and take her from her kid just as she did to me . That will prove a point. The law doesn't do anything . At this point the only justice I can get is putting a bullet in her head and taking her away from my daughter just as what she has done to me.
Undefined - 9-Mar-19 @ 8:37 PM
Hi, is there anyone on here that can help me with my situation. I have an 8 year old daughter and a 1 nearly 2 year old son. I am no longer with the motherhood hole 10 year relationship has beeterrible, but any how, I get to see my children only when I do everything she asks like for an example, I can not go out the night before I see my children on Sat and Sunday I work all week so I must stay in on the Friday aswell, also I canot speak to a girl without been threatened I can't see the kids, just basically I can't move on with my life it seems even though she is in a new relationship and is convinced she can't stand me. I was never a good boyfriend I admit that and through our many brake ups I have let the kids down by going out drinking just to get away fro all the arguing.But the last year I have tried to do best I can but she always makes it impossible sometimes to see them and I have made the mistake in doing what she says I do. I do struggle with drink especially when she doesn't let me see them. She knows how to wind me up. I just want to no do i stand a chance in court?? I'm afraid if I go to court and loose I'll never see them again by law. What do i do??
Mattwesty - 6-Mar-19 @ 6:27 PM
@mommyside.yeah I been sectioned for mental health I have schizophrenia ,bipolar ,narcissistic ,.psychopath all those disorders rolled into men my doctor said I am bad men and one word from my lips should be taking serously because I am a sick man .i told him I feel proud to have these disorders he ask why I said that means I beat (Allen the most feared member off my family )so I am the (men ).he said take pills son we don’t want any trouble or blood splatter and you don’t want to be locked with the criminally insane .my family think I am good men and turn blind eye even when kid I tried to kill my cousin and my nan said no he didn’t he is a good boy .it was a accident and just a game.
Sam watson - 11-Feb-19 @ 11:15 PM
@mommyside.from my point off view (I am ashamed off her daughter )and have ask countless times for her daughter to stop using my (surname )I don’t no if they have mental health issues or what or (don’t understand me ).but the gods truth is I want nothing to do with (them )and for the last time get off social media with my surname this is no game .and if you want to make something off my threats you have my address
Sam watson - 11-Feb-19 @ 10:08 PM
@mommyside.i said the same thing to the mother off my maybe child I said I hate you more then anyone in the whole world (I swear on the bible I mean it ).i don’t care one bit if she thinks her daughter has a right to no both parents .if I wanted to see her daughter I would have went to court for visitation 10 years ago .if she thinks I have mental health issues well good for her like I said to everyone know the truth about her .she is a ugly yellow tooth grub that thinks she is one step ahead of me ha ha what a dead set loser .
Sam Watson - 11-Feb-19 @ 8:25 PM
Hi, just from a mothers point of view. I split from my husband 3 years ago, he’s not paid child maintenance even though there is a court order in place. He hasn’t seen our children since June last. The relationship was fine until he got another woman pregnant and is lying to everyone as to why our marriage failed. He keeps threatening me with a *access* order in hope I will stop trying to get maintenance from him, but he doesn’t seem to understand that I believe children have the right to have a relationship with both parents. I only stopped him seeing his children because he told me he got sectioned under the mental health act, and he even said he hated me more then he loved his children. Men can be just as bad as women.
Mommaside - 11-Feb-19 @ 4:03 PM
Hi, just from a mothers point of view. I split from my husband 3 years ago, he’s not paid child maintenance even though there is a court order in place. He hasn’t seen our children since June last. The relationship was fine until he got another woman pregnant and is lying to everyone as to why our marriage failed. He keeps threatening me with a maintenance order in hope I will stop trying to get maintenance from him, but he doesn’t seem to understand that I believe children have the right to have a relationship with both parents. I only stopped him seeing his children because he told me he got sectioned under the mental health act, and he even said he hated me more then he loved his children. Men can be just as bad as women.
Mommaside - 11-Feb-19 @ 4:02 PM
I have a child arrangements order in place and yet my Ex won’t let me see my daughter. Aug was the last time I saw her. I’ve made evryway possible to speak to my Ex but she refuses me to see her. Before everyone says take her back to court. It’s not as black and white as that. In order to go back to court you have to pay for the privilege I simpley can’t affors it. Not only that The last time this went to court I was a litigating person and the court wasn’t interested in anything I had to say and took all my ex’s lies and believed her because she had a Solicitor I’m literally banging my head of a brick wall. Any ideas and I don’t mean well the law says this etc as in the Big Wide World it actually doesn’t work like that
Solja - 1-Feb-19 @ 7:33 PM
@dom.i don’t want to go to (mediation or court) .i am not (paralysed mate).i don’t care about her daughter because it’s been 10 years .i write in (blogs for fun) and to learn how to read and write better .truth is brother burn me you are (dead to me )that goes for anyone family or friend.
Sam - 30-Jan-19 @ 1:04 AM
In this situation do not turn up at the property that your child / children reside. It is just a way for the ex to get involvement of the police and get a non molestation order. Very important. Go straight for mediation and if there is no joy get a signature form required for c100 child arrangement order. Bide your time and think positively as you can as it is incredibly paralysing. I have had my own story to tell with 3 rounds of mediation and 3 court hearings and an enforcement order. Please feel free to ask me any questions as I want to help others in this situation. Look after yourselves.
Dom - 29-Jan-19 @ 11:47 PM
And if she wants the cold hard truth I am (sensitive )over what she done .and wont ever change that .go get a puppethe will follow you around like lost sheep .i am man and call a spade a spade.and in my ex case a whore is a whore .
Sam - 18-Jan-19 @ 2:51 AM
@pedeiro.i Feel people are reading into (posts to much )?.my ex can have her child I want nothing to do with the situation( she understands why )and understands I am different now( grown up now )and just the (thought off dealing )with the past and all the other (people involved )is just not (my thing) .weird thing is I understand everything now have clear understanding and want nothing to do with any off them .just want to live my life .she can rasie her family (the way she wants ).(if I was older when I meet my ex the gods truth is I never would have dated her let alone had a child to her ).she has my permission to change the surname if she wants .ps sorry for all the messages I weird fella at times .
Sam - 18-Jan-19 @ 1:25 AM
Hello I’m looking for some help. Since July I don’t see my 2 kids, 13 years and 5 years. They want spend time with me but my X doesn’t let my kids come with me. I pay my child maintenance every month. And I got my rights. I live with my partner now, and my kids want spend time with us and my X doesn’t let my kids come and visit me. Anyone knows who could help me in this situation.Thanks so much for reading this.
Padeiro - 17-Jan-19 @ 10:00 PM
was wondering if anyone knows if my ex can actually dictate who i can talk to on the phone whilst i have contact with my children? and whether or not she can stop me having contact with them if i speak to my new partner
andrew - 9-Jan-19 @ 7:58 PM
hi just looking for some advice for my son,he split from his partner in october last year and has been having his 11mth old son every weekend, he couldnt have him last weekend due to work so let the mother know, unfortunatly she has decided to stop access now saying that not having his son last week was not good enough and he wont be having him again, now we have tried to contact her to sort this out but she has blocked the whole family, can you advise on what to do please, thankyou (nan) hayley.
h - 9-Jan-19 @ 10:17 AM
Hi I hope you can help me in this dark situation which I don't know my correct wrights as a child father. Me and childs mother broke up ia bit 6 month ago. ..since then I've had regular consistent contact 2 days a week and I'm paying regular maintenance but now all of the sudden mother has stopped all content phone calls contact in general with me and my family.. Her words are its best if I don't contact my daughter ever again. . And now has had a police conjunction against me going near propaty and no phone contact either. .. The mother background is horrifying from having her first child taken away from her when she was younger and on the drugs she have had a police record for number of different violent offences and so does each member of her family have a police record. .. I have no record I'm a working man who pays for his child. .. Basically tell me if I got a chance of either having the chance to have my child full time custody or at least joint custody and please advise me what steps to take as I am lost and going out of my mind thinking I've most my baby for ever.
Germant92 - 6-Jan-19 @ 11:35 PM
I left my X in 2015 and my children 16 and 13 were happy to see me. As the months went on, the carpet was well and truly pulled from me.The more I tried the less I see them.It was all starting to slip away. I gave my kids my love and my money, never want for nothing and their mum continued to take my money and live in our house. I'm an idiot I now have no access, my X says the children do not want to see me, I can't see them, I can't communicate with them, they have now blocked me completely. I feel lost, helpless and frustrated that my love for my children has just been taken away because of someone who simply is angry and bitter. Your comments would be appreciated to someone who feels completely lost.
Lion - 15-Dec-18 @ 11:57 AM
Hello, I am starting the ball rolling in completing a C100 court application to arrange for me to see my daughter and have my name on the birth certificate.My question is until the court date comes through, should I block all contact from my ex?She will not be civil and my ex refused mediation and keeps making threats etc re moving abroad etc. Has anyone else had a similar situation?Any advice would be greatly appreciated, Lee
leeg - 28-Nov-18 @ 10:11 AM
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