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When Your Ex-Partner Denies You Access

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 17 Jan 2018 | 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 daughter is 2and a half her mum has stopped me.from seeing her 4or5 times now for no good reason at all.her latest reason to stop me from seeing her is she doesnt trust me because i didnt take my daughter to the hospital wen she fell over(she got a few cuts but was running playing and laughing and didnt seem tired or unwell at all)so i didnt see the need.i ask how she is all the time and if i can see her she still says my daughter will not be coming to my house with me she says i need ti build her trust again and she doesnt kno how long that will be.i pay maintenance each week and im on the birth certificate.she has recently got in tiuch with me asking me for my passport details to take my daughter abroad,she hasnt got these yet as im nit too sure i want her to go.for my daughters safety,i dont kno her mum that well as it was just a quick fling,known her for about 2 months.any help would be gratefull thanks.
Liverpool - 17-Jan-18 @ 8:40 PM
Emble - Your Question:
I am writing on behalf of a family friend. He has two sons, age 12 and 9, from a marriage that ended three years ago. He and his wife were married for 11 years. During the marriage, my friend's wife was physically and emotionally abusive to him, often threatening to take the kids away if he ever dared end the relationship. After years of depression and abuse, he then discovered that his wife had been having a long-standing affair and he made the decision to leave. My friend and his now ex-wife went through mediation to arrange access to the boys and it was agreed that he would see them every Wednesday evening (he picks them up from school and takes them to the library to do their homework) and every other weekend. However, his ex-partner frequently makes sure the boys aren't available when he arrives to collect them. She also incessantly sends him abusive text messages but often makes accusations about him being abusive towards her that are completely fabricated. Last year, it transpired that his ex-wife had fitted locks to the outside of the boys' bedrooms and that she was locking them in their rooms. My friend also discovered that his wife has a new partner who has been convicted and served a prison sentence for child sex offences against two 12-year-old girls. My friend immediately reported both the locks on the doors and his concerns about his ex's partner to social services. They interviewed my friend's ex-wife and the children and assured my friend that the locks would be removed, his ex had been instructed to attend parenting classes, and that she claimed she was no longer seeing the convicted paedophile. However, a number of people have since seen this man entering and leaving the house. When social services interviewed my friend's ex she made a number of accusations against him, which were untrue. Anyway, yesterday my friend went to collect the boys, as usual, but they had been taken from school and were not at home. My friend received a message from his ex saying that he would not be allowed to see the boys again. Several neighbours reported her and the boys leaving with the boyfriend she claimed to no longer be seeing. My friend called the police but they said there is nothing they can do to help him as he needs a court order. My friend left this relationship with extensive debts run up by his ex-wife. She has been ordered to share court costs with him and yet hasn't contributed a penny to date for legal proceedings that have happened so far. He cannot afford legal advice at the moment. He is missing his children terribly and worried about this man in their lives. His ex-wife's response was to tell him that the man had been convicted for abusing girls and that he wasn't interested in young boys, but surely, as the boys' father, he has a right to express his concerns and request that the boys are not left alone with this man. Is there anything at all he can do, both to see them and to protect them?

Our Response:
The child sex offender disclosure scheme in England and Wales (also sometimes known as “Sarah’s Law”), allows anyone to formally ask the police if someone with access to a child has a record for child sexual offences. Police will reveal details confidentially to the person most able to protect the child (usually parents, carers or guardians) if they think it is in the child’s interests, please see NSPCC link here . Your friend can also contact the NSPCC helpline for further advice and the NSPCC can contact Social Services if it thinks a child may be at risk. Also, whilst the police cannot take a child away from a parent with Parental Responsibility, they are able to intervene and remove a child/children if it is thought there may be a risk. If your friend is unsure about his rights, he can speak to his local Citizens Advice Bureau who will be able to provide him with free assistance. Court is the only way an official decision can be made regarding what is in the best interests of the children. Your friend can self-litigate if he cannot afford legal representation, please see link here. Likewise, he may be able to get free advice via a McKenzie Friend, please see link here. 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. I hope this helps.
SeparatedDads - 12-Jan-18 @ 9:38 AM
I am writing on behalf of a family friend. He has two sons, age 12 and 9, from a marriage that ended three years ago. He and his wife were married for 11 years. During the marriage, my friend's wife was physically and emotionally abusive to him, often threatening to take the kids away if he ever dared end the relationship. After years of depression and abuse, he then discovered that his wife had been having a long-standing affair and he made the decision to leave. My friend and his now ex-wife went through mediation to arrange access to the boys and it was agreed that he would see them every Wednesday evening (he picks them up from school and takes them to the library to do their homework) and every other weekend. However, his ex-partner frequently makes sure the boys aren't available when he arrives to collect them. She also incessantly sends him abusive text messages but often makes accusations about him being abusive towards her that are completely fabricated. Last year, it transpired that his ex-wife had fitted locks to the outside of the boys' bedrooms and that she was locking them in their rooms. My friend also discovered that his wife has a new partner who has been convicted and served a prison sentence for child sex offences against two 12-year-old girls. My friend immediately reported both the locks on the doors and his concerns about his ex's partner to social services. They interviewed my friend's ex-wife and the children and assured my friend that the locks would be removed, his ex had been instructed to attend parenting classes, and that she claimed she was no longer seeing the convicted paedophile. However, a number of people have since seen this man entering and leaving the house. When social services interviewed my friend's ex she made a number of accusations against him, which were untrue. Anyway, yesterday my friend went to collect the boys, as usual, but they had been taken from school and were not at home. My friend received a message from his ex saying that he would not be allowed to see the boys again. Several neighbours reported her and the boys leaving with the boyfriend she claimed to no longer be seeing. My friend called the police but they said there is nothing they can do to help him as he needs a court order. My friend left this relationship with extensive debts run up by his ex-wife. She has been ordered to share court costs with him and yet hasn't contributed a penny to date for legal proceedings that have happened so far. He cannot afford legal advice at the moment. He is missing his children terribly and worried about this man in their lives. His ex-wife's response was to tell him that the man had been convicted for abusing girls and that he wasn't interested in young boys, but surely, as the boys' father, he has a right to express his concerns and request that the boys are not left alone with this man. Is there anything at all he can do, both to see them and to protect them?
Emble - 11-Jan-18 @ 3:23 PM
Dying inside- Your Question:
I need help! I am sinking and I don’t know what to do!!! I have a son that has a 2 year old boy that he hasn’t seen in almost 3 months. He was married to her and she is narsasistic and is using him as a pon!!! He has 2 kids his daughter 6 and he was never married to her. Since his marriage is over they have teamed up and have the same lawyer. he is screwed!!! It’s not fair it is destroying our whole family! He pays child support for them both and he doesn’t deserve this! He would never hurt them babies!!! He loves his kids and is about to loose it. He has no money because he is trying to live and then paying child support! How can they do this??? We go to church never been I. Trouble. He has because she called law on him because she was beating him!!! He pushed her out the door. So he goes to jail and she didn’t! No one dies drugs and everything is just a mess!! I pray and try to hold my faith together but honestly I am falling apart!!! I am dying inside not seeing my grandson and watching them rare our family apart! It killing me!!! I have no money to help him. I don’t know where to turn or how to help my baby! I’m so scared he is going to try to kill himself because he is not eating and just fading fast!! Please if there is anyone that can help us I am begging for you to contact me! No lawyer wants payments they want money down and it’s so unfair!!! I pray and pray for God to help me and I trust he will but I’m losing it now! It reminds me of the book of Job!!! I want to be strong enough but I’m not sure I am!!!

Our Response:
If a jail sentence was involved, then there must have been more physical violence than mere pushing. That is not to blame any one person, but to establish the facts if he applies to court for access to his children, as this will be taken into consideration via Cafcass. If your son has no money to take the matter to court, then he can represent himself, please see link here . Likewise, if you have been integral to your grandchildren's lives, then you also may be able to take the matter to court and represent yourself. If you are on a low, or no income, court costs can be reduced or waived. The Citizens Advice Bureau can also give free legal advice if and where needed.
SeparatedDads - 11-Jan-18 @ 2:32 PM
I need help! I am sinking and I don’t know what to do!!! I have a son that has a 2 year old boy that he hasn’t seen in almost 3 months. He was married to her and she is narsasistic and is using him as a pon!!! He has 2 kids his daughter 6 and he was never married to her. Since his marriage is over they have teamed up and have the same lawyer...he is screwed!!!It’s not fair it is destroying our whole family!He pays child support for them both and he doesn’t deserve this!He would never hurt them babies!!!He loves his kids and is about to loose it.He has no money because he is trying to live and then paying child support!How can they do this???We go to church never been I. Trouble.He has because she called law on him because she was beating him!!! He pushed her out the door. So he goes to jail and she didn’t! No one dies drugs and everything is just a mess!! I pray and try to hold my faith together but honestly I am falling apart!!!I am dying inside not seeing my grandson and watching them rare our family apart!It killing me!!!I have no money to help him... I don’t know where to turn or how to help my baby!I’m so scared he is going to try to kill himself because he is not eating and just fading fast!!Please if there is anyone that can help us I am begging for you to contact me! No lawyer wants payments they want money down and it’s so unfair!!!I pray and pray for God to help me and I trust he will but I’m losing it now! It reminds me of the book of Job!!! I want to be strong enough but I’m not sure I am!!!
Dying inside - 10-Jan-18 @ 12:31 AM
Need help my brother in law has gone to pick his child up and his ex is point blank refusing to answer the door he can see her in the house but she won’t open the door what can he do he is on the birth certificate aswell help please
Mitch26287 - 31-Dec-17 @ 10:20 AM
Hi, I have a 6 month old son with my ex partner I have payed her by standing order £200 a month since our son was born, on top of that even tho we aren’t together she drives my car that I pay for every month, plus I still buy him nappies wipes and food on top of the money every month, I have my son ever Saturday and I’ve had him over night then I can’t have him when it suits her, she’s defiantly using him as a bargaining tool, I keep telling her your not considering your sons feeling, his face lights up when I see him and pick him up, but she punish us by stopping us bonding father and son plus my son and my side of his family miss out too, I can’t get it round my head how a women can do this and the court actually take the mums side too, the poor Dad and the child are the people being punished and for what just wanting too see each other, it’s no wonder kids these days are such a mess, it’s time things changed because fathers love their child like their mums do, I thought we was living in a country of equal rights, I’m on his birth certificate too, What do I do yes help me thank you
Jez - 30-Dec-17 @ 4:45 PM
Very long story short. I become a father in early 2010 but by mid 2010 the relationship was no more. Between myself and my ex we sorted contact and all was good until later 2010 when she dumped my little one on me saying she couldn’t cope. Then a few days later wanted us to get back together but when I said no, she hit me with a residency order which I lost even though my little one was born in the town I lived in and where mother had dumped my little one. So now fast forward 16 court hearings and trying to do all she can to have me completely out of my little ones life, we ended up where by her legal aid finished and I had every holiday and half the summer holidays ( I would just like to ad she moved 180 miles away after the split) so now fast forward to last Christmas where my not so little one had come to stay (just after Christmas because my ex has never let me have her on Christmas Day or her birthday) my little one was worried because mummy kept saying that she would be all alone and sad while my little one was with me, so half way through the stay my little one wanted to know mummy was ok and because of the worried little one my ex come and picked up and said they would never have my little one again. Now I know that my ex is in breach of the court order that was put in place but I didn’t want to rock the boat by trying to go back to court as I’m concerned that my now soon to be 8 year old would remember this happening. So I’ve just kept contact and had days out where my little one lives. Now I met someone else back in 2011 and we have married and have 3 children between us and this has never been a secret from my ex and my little one gets on very well with siblings. It has every now and again thrown a few issues with my ex but she now has a guy and you would think she would be happy, I don’t know? Sotoday’s visit where myself, my wife, our 3 little ones, her mother and father and my mother and father all went to see my eldest. We had a great day and my eldest asked when could thay come and stay? Now this was asked the last visit(and lots of times in the phone) but on the visits it was followed up with your wife doesn’t want me there because mummy says so (my eldest did refer to my wife by name) now my wife has never not shown anything but love to my eldest and again today we had a fantastic day and my eldest again is asking when can they come and stay? My response and my wife’s response (yes my little oneis also asking my wife, the so called one who doesn’t want my eldest there) is always you need to ask mummy as I never want to be seen to be coercing my eldest. So dropped off a very happy little one with Christmas gifts and 5 hours later received a text from ex saying my eldest could only see me alone and my wife is not to be there! WTF do I do??? I did back in the early court hearings have legal representation but I run out of money and to be totally honest I found I got on far better representing myself. I didn’t want to got d
8 years and still fi - 29-Dec-17 @ 10:03 PM
hi, my x has my 2 kids, 14 and 16y now. I pay her a bit more than what i was legally meant to to keep my kids safe and comfortable. Now she has moved house and blocked my number so i have no way to contact. i used to get to see my kids every alternate weekend but now she has forced them to tell me (before they moved) that don't want to see me and that way she is not breaking any law apparently. i continue to pay as i always did into her account but now have no way to know if my kids are safe and where they are or see them. Any advise please? do i have the right too force her to disclose their new address and to get to see my kids ever? many thanks for your time and advise. regards, x
desparatedad - 27-Dec-17 @ 1:58 PM
Hiya, My brother has a 9 month old son with his ex girlfriend. Undortunatley they split before he was born and she refused to put my brother on the birth certificate, along with refusing to let anyone on our side including, my brother, know he was born or his name until he was a month old. My brother bank transfers her money for his little boy every week from as soon as he found out he was born, despite being unable to see him initially. My brother is technically my 'foster' brother as he is a former Looked After Child, so we saught out the advice of his social worker, who's advice was as follows; 'If you are not on the birth certificate you shouldnt be paying, you are not legally his dad' He chose to ignore what the social worker is saying, he wants to provide his ex with money to enable his little boy to get everything he needs. So he pays, every week. His ex will also text him, 'Hiya, **** needs a new high chair' and he will go out, buy him a high chair and drop it round without question in the hope that he might get to see his son. She will sometimes text us saying we can come round to her house and see him, usually in the middle of the day, midweek when we are all working. I feel like she does this tactically as we have no choice but to decline due to work, when we decline we get a well that's when it's convient for me and my little boy, which in turn we have to respect. I say we have seen him a handful of times now which is better than none at all. My parents have pleaded with her to let them and my brother see him, on several occasions, saying it's not fair for him to grow up without a dad, especially when he has a doting dad who just needs a chance. We continue to try to make an effort with her, we buy him clothes and toiletries and leave them at her doorstep or with her on the off chance that she opens the door. Recently my mom asked her if we could pick him up and have him for a few hours at my parents house (where my brother lives) because we were having a family party and it was a perfect opportunity to finally introduce him to everyone. She declined and told us that he isn't to go anywhere without her. That we do not know his routine and do not know him. (Mind you, We have never been given a chance to know him or his routine.) and that she doesn't trust us with him (my parents are highly experienced foster carers, who get paid to care for children.) My mom explained to her that she has five other grandchildren, who she picks up from school weekly and they would love to meet him. Obviously the answer was no. We do not know where to go from here. I can see it tearing my brother and my parents apart. As he isn't on the birth certificate, we feel like we can't get anywhere legally, is this the case? Do you know what route we need to go down in order to get either supervised contact or (prefereably) ((eventually)) unsupervised contact. Thank you!
IP22 - 26-Dec-17 @ 7:34 AM
Hiya, My brother has a 9 month old son with his ex girlfriend. Undortunatley they split before he was born and she refused to put my brother on the birth certificate, along with refusing to let anyone on our side including, my brother, know he was born or his name until he was a month old. My brother bank transfers her money for his little boy every week from as soon as he found out he was born, despite being unable to see him initially. My brother is technically my 'foster' brother as he is a former Looked After Child, so we saught out the advice of his social worker, who's advice was as follows; 'If you are not on the birth certificate you shouldnt be paying, you are not legally his dad' He chose to ignore what the social worker is saying, he wants to provide his ex with money to enable his little boy to get everything he needs. So he pays, every week. His ex will also text him, 'Hiya, **** needs a new high chair' and he will go out, buy him a high chair and drop it round without question in the hope that he might get to see his son. She will sometimes text us saying we can come round to her house and see him, usually in the middle of the day, midweek when we are all working. I feel like she does this tactically as we have no choice but to decline due to work, when we decline we get a well that's when it's convient for me and my little boy, which in turn we have to respect. I say we have seen him a handful of times now which is better than none at all. My parents have pleaded with her to let them and my brother see him, on several occasions, saying it's not fair for him to grow up without a dad, especially when he has a doting dad who just needs a chance. We continue to try to make an effort with her, we buy him clothes and toiletries and leave them at her doorstep or with her on the off chance that she opens the door. Recently my mom asked her if we could pick him up and have him for a few hours at my parents house (where my brother lives) because we were having a family party and it was a perfect opportunity to finally introduce him to everyone. She declined and told us that he isn't to go anywhere without her. That we do not know his routine and do not know him. (Mind you, We have never been given a chance to know him or his routine.) and that she doesn't trust us with him (my parents are highly experienced foster carers, who get paid to care for children.) My mom explained to her that she has five other grandchildren, who she picks up from school weekly and they would love to meet him. Obviously the answer was no. We do not know where to go from here. I can see it tearing my brother and my parents apart. As he isn't on the birth certificate, we feel like we can't get anywhere legally, is this the case? Do you know what route we need to go down in order to get either supervised contact or (prefereably) ((eventually)) unsupervised contact. Thank you!
IP22 - 24-Dec-17 @ 4:38 AM
Hiya, My brother has a 9 month old son with his ex girlfriend. Undortunatley they split before he was born and she refused to put my brother on the birth certificate, along with refusing to let anyone on our side including, my brother, know he was born or his name until he was a month old. My brother bank transfers her money for his little boy every week from as soon as he found out he was born, despite being unable to see him initially. My brother is technically my 'foster' brother as he is a former Looked After Child, so we saught out the advice of his social worker, who's advice was as follows; 'If you are not on the birth certificate you shouldnt be paying, you are not legally his dad' He chose to ignore what the social worker is saying, he wants to provide his ex with money to enable his little boy to get everything he needs. So he pays, every week. His ex will also text him, 'Hiya, **** needs a new high chair' and he will go out, buy him a high chair and drop it round without question in the hope that he might get to see his son. She will sometimes text us saying we can come round to her house and see him, usually in the middle of the day, midweek when we are all working. I feel like she does this tactically as we have no choice but to decline due to work, when we decline we get a well that's when it's convient for me and my little boy, which in turn we have to respect. I say we have seen him a handful of times now which is better than none at all. My parents have pleaded with her to let them and my brother see him, on several occasions, saying it's not fair for him to grow up without a dad, especially when he has a doting dad who just needs a chance. We continue to try to make an effort with her, we buy him clothes and toiletries and leave them at her doorstep or with her on the off chance that she opens the door. Recently my mom asked her if we could pick him up and have him for a few hours at my parents house (where my brother lives) because we were having a family party and it was a perfect opportunity to finally introduce him to everyone. She declined and told us that he isn't to go anywhere without her. That we do not know his routine and do not know him. (Mind you, We have never been given a chance to know him or his routine.) and that she doesn't trust us with him (my parents are highly experienced foster carers, who get paid to care for children.) My mom explained to her that she has five other grandchildren, who she picks up from school weekly and they would love to meet him. Obviously the answer was no. We do not know where to go from here. I can see it tearing my brother and my parents apart. As he isn't on the birth certificate, we feel like we can't get anywhere legally, is this the case? Do you know what route we need to go down in order to get either supervised contact or (prefereably) ((eventually)) unsupervised contact. Thank you!
IP22 - 24-Dec-17 @ 2:54 AM
G - Your Question:
Evening,So me and the wife have now split and she is German, she is thinking about moving back and taking my son with her( bearing in mind he is now 9 and doesn’t speak a word of german) this is something that I’m massively upset about! We were married in Germany and with her being german and him being born in Germany how does this affect the situation, also if we have agreed specific time for instant 25th till the 29th December is when I will have him and she then decide not to return until new year (not agreed) what happens apart from the fact I have to look after him? Thanks for he help

Our Response:
In this case you may wish to seek some legal advice. If you (as a family) are currently living in the UK, then your ex would have to request your permission to leave the UK, please see link here . If you refuse and your ex wishes to take him abroad to live permanently, then she would have to make an application to 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. If your ex can justify the reasons for her return to Germany and she is the usual day-to-day (primary) carer of your child, there is a good chance the courts may allow this. At the same time, if your can justify why your child should not leave his school, your family and his roots and if you are the usual primary carer, you too would have a chance. However, court is always seen as the last resort and where possible you should negotiate and decide what you and your ex feel is in the best interests of your son. I realise it is very tricky and an emotional time and you can see more via the link here. I'm a bit confused about the second half of your question and the logistics of it all, therefore I cannot answer this specifically. But, I hope it works out for you.
SeparatedDads - 22-Dec-17 @ 10:33 AM
Evening, So me and the wife have now split and she is German, she is thinking about moving back and taking my son with her( bearing in mind he is now 9 and doesn’t speak a word of german) this is something that I’m massively upset about! We were married in Germany and with her being german and him being born in Germany how does this affect the situation, also if we have agreed specific time for instant 25th till the 29th December is when I will have him and she then decide not to return until new year (not agreed) what happens apart from the fact I have to look after him? Thanks for he help
G - 21-Dec-17 @ 5:13 PM
Ash - Your Question:
Hi All, so pleased I have come to this webpage. I was looking to see if anyone can help me with my issue. Me and my wife are married, and both children are registered with me being their Biological Father. Anyway married for 3 years now. And had our first child in 2015 and the second one back in 2016. She denied access to my children back in Summer after moving in with her Parents and then registering as being Seperated (we are not divorced, and I am not looking at that avenue yet). My wife, took my daughter back in 2016 Abroad for around 10 weeks, whilst she was heavily pregnant, this was without my consent. As I did not deem her fit enough to take care of our daughter in her state. But I got the law thrown at me by my Father in Law, stating that Mothers have complete right over their children. She also has been dictating, where I contact my children. for example, I do not get on with her parents, but my wife insists I visit my children there in the past. I have tried to arrange to take my children for the day or overnight without my Wife being present, but she started to accuse me of Abuse (Physical and Verbal) against her and my children. She started off with these accusations back in 2015, but I thought nothing of it. But it has now come to my attention that she was making these allegations under Legal Advice. Her first cousin is a Solicitor dealing with Family Law, and his ex wife was a Barrister and his current GirlFriend also is a Barrister dealing with Family Law. Anyway, I have got Legal Advice for free, and have been searching the internet regarding Child Access and what I am entitled to as a Father with Parental rights. It seems that most of my rights have been suppressed by her and her Family (Who are instigating this whole issue). My Children are being used as weapons against me and my Family. I have been manipulated for far too long now. I have initiated a Mutual Contact, to see if we can agree for me to take my children for the Day or overnight without her presence. But in return she is dictating the Location, and is persistent to be present whilst the contact takes place. But I do not wish her to be present, because she always ends up arguing with me, and on occasions she has physically hit me. The Allegations have now spread to my family members, before they were just against me. None of which are true. My children are living at their Maternal Grandparents address, against my will. My wife's brother is Autistic and has random violent episodes. He also has been recorded to not being able to look after himself. And my wife has been leaving the children under his care whilst she attended 2 hour driving Lessons and the Gym.*** The allegations are all fabricated *** I have never ever been reported for Domestic Abuse etc, and I am strictly against this.Anyone can give me sound advice all is appreciated, before I go down the Mediation and Court route.

Our Response:
There are no set rules. If your ex is stopping access, then you have to either discuss the matter between you, suggest mediation and/or as a last resort (if your ex continues to withhold access), take the matter to court. As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the child/children in question. The court will always put the child’s/children's best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order. The courts do want fathers to have a good relationship with their children and will put an access arrangement into place (unless there is a very good reason why). However, the main thing is not to get involved in disputes if you can. Mediation is the best suggestion where you both cannot agree. Please also see the link here, which should help you further. Perhaps, if one of you takes a different stance, then you will be setting and example which may work better for you both.
SeparatedDads - 21-Dec-17 @ 12:21 PM
Hi All, so pleased i have come to this webpage. I was looking to see if anyone can help me with my issue. Me and my wife are married, and both children are registered with me being their Biological Father. Anyway married for 3 years now. And had our first child in 2015 and the second one back in 2016. She denied access to my children back in Summer after moving in with her Parents and then registering as being Seperated (we are not divorced, and i am not looking at that avenue yet). My wife, took my daughter back in 2016 Abroad for around 10 weeks, whilst she was heavily pregnant, this was without my consent. As i did not deem her fit enough to take care of our daughter in her state. But i got the law thrown at me by my Father in Law, stating that Mothers have complete right over their children. She also has been dictating, where i contact my children. for example, i do not get on with her parents, but my wife insists i visit my children there in the past. I have tried to arrange to take my children for the day or overnight without my Wife being present, but she started to accuse me of Abuse (Physical and Verbal) against her and my children. She started off with these accusations back in 2015, but i thought nothing of it. But it has now come to my attention that she was making these allegations under Legal Advice. Her first cousin is a Solicitor dealing with Family Law, and his ex wife was a Barrister and his current GirlFriend also is a Barrister dealing with Family Law. Anyway, i have got Legal Advice for free, and have been searching the internet regarding Child Access and what I am entitled to as a Father with Parental rights. It seems that most of my rights have been suppressed by her and her Family (Who are instigating this whole issue). My Children are being used as weapons against me and my Family. I have been manipulated for far too long now. I have initiated a Mutual Contact, to see if we can agree for me to take my children for the Day or overnight without her presence. But in return she is dictating the Location, and is persistent to be present whilst the contact takes place. But i do not wish her to be present, because she always ends up arguing with me, and on occasions she has physically hit me. The Allegations have now spread to my family members, before they were just against me. None of which are true. My children are living at their Maternal Grandparents address, against my will. My wife's brother is Autistic and has random violent episodes. He also has been recorded to not being able to look after himself. And my wife has been leaving the children under his care whilst she attended 2 hour driving Lessons and the Gym. *** The allegations are all fabricated *** I have never ever been reported for Domestic Abuse etc, and I am strictly against this. Anyone can give me sound advice all is appreciated, before i go down the Mediation and Court route.
Ash - 20-Dec-17 @ 3:38 PM
If the CSA or CMS increase payments as ex is not abiding by the court order does this mean they are assisting ex to financially benefit from a criminal offence. Since breach of order is a criminal offence
Smudge - 20-Dec-17 @ 3:05 PM
@Nomad - not all mothers play the system, some are decent enough. I think I touched lucky as I've always been able to negotiate good access and financially she doesn't set out to fleece me, we work it out ourselves. I hope things work out for you.
Ben78 - 19-Dec-17 @ 3:45 PM
Jonny - Your Question:
Hi guysI won a court order a couple of years ago to see my daughters every other weekend and every other Christmas but since Easter this year my ex has prevented them coming up to stay with me, I unfortunately don't have the finances available to go to court again as it cost me over £3000 the last time. But should the court order still work in my favour when it comes to CSA payments as I'm not the one preventing my daughters coming to stay with me and it's clearly not what I want. My csa payments have went up drastically this last few months but surely the court order should stand, can you advise.Kind regards Jonny Sterritt

Our Response:
No, child maintenance payments and child access are two completely separate areas and should not be confused. Regardless of whether you see your children or not, by law you are still responsible for paying child maintenance towards your daughters' day-to-day care. If you stop paying, you may find yourself with a hefty arrears bill. If you need to take the matter to court, please see link here, and cannot afford legal fees, you can self-litigate, please see link here . However, before you do this, a solicitor's letter reminding your ex of the court order and the repercussions she may face if she does not keep to it, may help the reinstatement of access.
SeparatedDads - 18-Dec-17 @ 11:36 AM
Hi guysI won a court order a couple of years ago to see my daughters every other weekend and every other Christmas but since Easter this year my ex has prevented them coming up to stay with me, I unfortunately don't have the finances available to go to court again as it cost me over £3000 the last time. But should the court order still work in my favour when it comes to CSA payments as I'm not the one preventing my daughters coming to stay with me and it's clearly not what I want. My csa payments have went up drastically this last few months but surely the court order should stand, can you advise.Kind regards Jonny
Jonny - 15-Dec-17 @ 6:34 PM
Raj - Your Question:
HiI came home one day and found out my partner gone with all my kids.next police knocked at my door and took all her belongings.i never heard of any of social workers family workers or police nobody whatsoever.i dont know how to contact her for mediation as I dont know where she lives and am stuck here now.any advice plzz

Our Response:
You would have to apply to the court via a C100 contact order and fill in a C4 form at the same time. This is an application for an order for disclosure of a child’s whereabouts. This will allow the court to put a trace on your children to allow you to bring the matter to court for access.
SeparatedDads - 15-Dec-17 @ 3:36 PM
Hi I came home one day and found out my partner gone with all my kids.next police knocked at my door and took all her belongings.i never heard of any of social workers family workers or police nobody whatsoever.i dont know how to contact her for mediation as i dont know where she lives and am stuck here now.any advice plzz
Raj - 15-Dec-17 @ 1:03 PM
Joe - Your Question:
Hello, my Childs mother had been denying me access for the last 6 weeks, today she has let me have her for a few hour. I'm a legally entitled to now keep my daughter until a court sorts out our situation? I'm legally responsible for her by been on the birth certificate and my daughter having my last name. Thanks

Our Response:
It's never a good idea to take this approach as it can backfire. Firstly, you should always decide what you think is in the best interests of your child. A court will not condone you keeping your child without consent from the resident parent, if it is to punish the resident parent. Only if there is a valid reason such as neglect or abuse should you consider this as an option. Likewise, if you keep your child without the primary carer's consent, then any trust will be lost for good. A court is likely to hand your child back to the primary carer and this could impinge on your future access if your ex can prove this has affected your child. 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. Therefore, it is always best to put your child's feelings and emotions first, not your own. In principle, it may seem like a clever idea in order to get oneupmanship on an ex, but in practice it's rarely seen as a positive move through the courts.
SeparatedDads - 15-Dec-17 @ 10:54 AM
Hello, my Childs mother had been denying me access for the last 6 weeks, today she has let me have her for a few hour. I'm a legally entitled to now keep my daughter until a court sorts out our situation? I'm legally responsible for her by been on the birth certificate and my daughter having my last name. Thanks
Joe - 14-Dec-17 @ 2:32 PM
The family court system is beyond a Joke. Mothers play the system at will knowing that unless they are abusive, violent or intoxicated they have the upper hand. They routinely bait fathers in a power play and in more cases than not appear to have caused the separation. Even when you have spent your life savings on obtaining a court order they will proceed to whittle, change, disrespect and augment it citing, "life changes;", "relationship changes;", "aging;", and let me tell you now there is no way at time of separation you could make an order specific enough for your actual needs. Once having been through the process you know that no judge will entertain you bringing further action for a missed night or a half day change. The system has vastly improved from when most of my older peers separated, they were cut out of their kids lives entirely until the kids came looking after they had finished school. So in that respect things are better than they were but it is still a flipping joke, especially to those of us who were brought up to work at relationships. "Haven't had a dream in a long time.... See, the life I've had.... Can make a good man bad,"
Nomad - 13-Dec-17 @ 8:01 PM
@stresseddad - mediation followed by court (if your ex won't attend mediation). There is no other route mate. I hope you manage to see yoru child soon.
HoxtonBH - 11-Dec-17 @ 2:31 PM
Gmour - Your Question:
I want to ask my ex to see my two boys at 15 and 6yr old I haven't seen them in over a year. My oldest contacted me last week and said to phone his mother today but we don't speak. Am scared of being told NO

Our Response:
If you are told 'no', then your best option is to say you will take the matter further. If you have not seen your children in a year, then you have nothing to lose. As specified in the article, a solicitor's letter or a suggestion of mediation is the right course of action. Court, while is generally considered the last resort, should not be feared as the courts do want non-resident parents to have a relationship with their children. Unless your ex has a very good and provable reason to justify her 'no', then access will be awarded. The fact your eldest son is now 15 means his opinion and preference to see you will be taken account of in court. In your case, it seems you have to be brave by asking the question and if you are refused think about the end game of taking the matter to court. Also, if you cannot afford court fees then you can represent yourself in court. Many fathers are doing this with success, please see link here . Likewise, if you cannot afford court fees, if you are on a low or no income you may be able to be eligible for a reduction, please see link here. Our Separated Dads forum should also be able to help you, as many dads have been through similar issues also and are on hand to give both emotional and practical support.
SeparatedDads - 11-Dec-17 @ 9:53 AM
I want to ask my ex to see my two boys at 15 and 6yr old I haven't seen them in over a year. My oldest contacted me last week and said to phone his mother today but we don't speak. Am scared of being told NO
Gmour - 9-Dec-17 @ 5:59 PM
Tony - Your Question:
Hi I split up with my partner about a year and a half ago and my contact with my son has been off and on I have recently contacted a solicitor regarding contact with my son I claim benefits and solicitors are asking for a 200 pound fee which I cant afford can anyone give me advice on this matter many thanks

Our Response:
All the information you need to know is contained within this article. You would need to request your ex attends mediation first in order to try to resolve any issues you have. A court will not allow an application until mediation has been considered/explored, please see link here. If you cannot resolve your issues through mediation, then court is considered the last resort. If you cannot afford legal representation, you can self litigate, please see link here . You may also get a reduction in court fees, please see link here . Our Separated Dads forum can also help with guidance and advice.
SeparatedDads - 8-Dec-17 @ 11:50 AM
Hi I split up with my partner about a year and a half ago and my contact with my son has been off and on I have recently contacted a solicitor regarding contact with my son I claim benefits and solicitors are asking for a 200 pound fee which I cant afford can anyone give me advice on this matter many thanks
Tony - 7-Dec-17 @ 3:41 PM
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