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When Your Ex-Partner Denies You Access

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 13 Apr 2021 | 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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[Add a Comment]
hi there, I'm from UK from ex is from Australia my son was born there i overstayed my visa on the grounds my immigration solicitor took 45k said I had a visa at overstay to provide for my son. go back uk 1 year later with promise immigration solicitor can get me back aus. went uk see nan before she passed away. was not allowed back to our home had to send my son amd ex back to aus without me and never seen him since 2 years but also she gave birth to my second son in aus and I never had chance to meet due to visaand immigration. and covis and mum and dad falling out. can you help me reunite with them on permanent time . just to be a dad again meet my second son. nsw councillors met with me about my situation but after returning to uk nobody cares if I am with my son
dani - 13-Apr-21 @ 11:30 PM
Hi guys It deeply saddens me to say that the judicial system stinks and also cafcass are absolutely appalling My ex partner has made up evil lies around two and a half months after our separation in order to try and stop me from seeing my two beautiful children And it’s worked My elder child who is 13 years of age is desperate to tell the powers that be how it really is and everyone’s just pushing her aside She wants to have her voice heard to try and help put things right My youngest who by the way was my shadow hasn’t seen me properly now for 3 birthdays over the last 2 years I think the whole system stinks It’s just a money making scam taking advantage of desperate dads Anyhow there’s far more than the above Just wanted to give you all a snippet of my thoughts on the archaic system and the evil mothers that are out there Thanks for listening Egghead69
Egghead69 - 12-Apr-21 @ 9:13 AM
Hi my partner’s ex wife lives in America (we are in the uk). She has their now 13 year old son and my partner hasn’t seen him since he was 3. We believe she has moved states and remarried. Her family have all blocked us in the UK. The last photo we got was 3 years ago off a Facebook page of one of her family members. We have always tried to contact his son and his ex however since they have moved we don’t know what to do. We have a little girl now and want her to have a relationship with her older brother. What can we do?
Tijen - 29-Mar-21 @ 9:59 AM
My ex has just demanded I have supervised access when this pandemic lifts as I stopped physical contact due to her not following COVID rules and mixing herself and my child with other people regularly, My question is does she have any legal standing on this or is this just yet another vindictive attack against me, please help
D4ve8319 - 27-Mar-21 @ 7:19 PM
me and my baby’s dad don’t live together He sometimes dose not contact me for days at a time sometimes he ignores my calls and messages or blocks my number When he comes round to see my baby he won’t feed her changer her make any bottles clean her clothes basically doesn’t do much for her ... He now dose not want contact with me anymore and that’s fine I have offered for him to continue to come round and see her after work he works from 10am-6pm , 5 days a week he now tells me he won’t see our daughter because he dose not want to come round to my house so he’s going to take me to court , I have offered for him to have contact and he has denied it every time Will he even make it to Court ?
Mum - 24-Mar-21 @ 6:46 PM
Hi my heart goes out to you on going through a similar thing although my children are12 and14. My to be ex has behaved in the most disgusting way.Who would have thought it after 20 years I'm only just starting to recover after 7 months separation and not seeing my kids same as you not wanting to eat or sleep. Now I'm starting to feel mentally stronger and intend to fight her if necessary through every court. Think she is in a relationship and that's why she is preventing contact.God help the poor sod. Lol. Stay strong get advise from a specific family solicitor don't act on impulse as I did in grief rarely the right decision is reached. Contact social services they will point you in the right direction. One last thing that may help l have read a book by Susan j Elliott called getting past your breakup it really has helped me.I like you am in the early stages of recovery and things will get better. stay strong. Best.Andy
Andy - 23-Mar-21 @ 7:15 AM
I have not seen my baby daughter she was born in February, my ex partner left in January and last week sent divorce papers for me to sign I have reached out to her but she has changed her number. I don’t even have a picture I feel helpless she told me if I come by her house she will call the police and press charges against me I just want a relationship with my daughter I don’t even know what she looks like it’s very distressing for me I struggle to sleep or eat it’s effecting my mental health any advice or help I can get would be much appreciated thank you.
Q - 18-Mar-21 @ 11:15 PM
I applied for an enforcement order back in January. It seemed to have worked as a wake up call and things have been going well. However she just messaged me out of the blue saying "due to recent concerns I have been advised to stop contact untill further notice" I have tried to get an explanation of what these concerns are but she refuses to speak to me. My son loves me and I am utterly distraught. I don't know what to do? As I said an enforcement application is already going through the system. I speak to cafcass next month. I'm so worried about my son and his relationship with me. I can't sleep eat drink or think straight. Please can you help me understand what I should do?
Alex - 11-Mar-21 @ 8:51 AM
My ex partner makes it very difficult for me to see my son everything is on her terms she makes up lies and excuses for me not to see him and it all happened after I got a new partner she is jealous. I pay for him she just stops me from seeing him and is very evil. I did have a lawyer but with this pandemic he was useless and didn’t get in touch I’m stuck what to do I just want to see my son
Andy - 3-Mar-21 @ 3:54 PM
I am just after abit of advice really. Me and my sons dad have spilt up and we have tried to be civil and talk but all he does is argue with me and make sly remarks. I have now blocked him from contacting me. He has said that I am breaking the law by not talking to him. Is there anything what states that i am?
Steph - 25-Feb-21 @ 11:19 AM
Look we both know I am not her( biological father) thats the gods truth .and if you think I have (mental health issues) let's do a dna test ????????????.I do one any day off the week.
C laurie - 16-Jan-21 @ 2:14 AM
In joy your life in Melbourne, in reality your daughter 17 now a adult i made my choice 11 0r 12 years ago now I wanted nothing to do with your daughter .I made that choice with a( clear mind) a very long time ago .(please stop posting) and get on with your lifes life is to short to be wasting it in blogs .in reality I never should have called when she was 11 it was a (mistake a error in judgement .I am sick off explaining myself) .have a good life .goodbye
C laurie - 15-Jan-21 @ 11:36 PM
You still posting how is Melbourne?.heard your a spiritual guide now a healer .give up working in brothels or you still doing both ?you make a lot more money in the brothels in Melbourne you could read the clients palms why sucking there toes make it your speciality .
Hector - 15-Jan-21 @ 8:23 PM
Separate from my wife 3 years a go She always used children to get money off me I am in new relationships and my new partner love and care for my kids My ex wife now says I have to chose between seeing my children or leave my new partner
NBP - 15-Jan-21 @ 4:35 PM
Hi My son has split from his ex partner which was not a pleasant break. My son is in another relationship now. However his ex won’t let him see is baby boy now which has been for over 8 weeks. He has tried many times to make contact see his baby boy but the ex has simply said you can only see him if you come to my house and stay. As he is in a relationship he doesn’t feel comfortable doing this. All he want to do is have his baby boy with him. If only for the day. His boy is nearly 2 years old now, so it’s not down to anything like breast feeding etc. Is there any advise I can share with him please. Many thanks
Vince - 19-Dec-20 @ 10:33 AM
My son has been stopped from seeing his baby
Jojo - 7-Dec-20 @ 3:23 PM
My ex has moved to Scotland and she is stoping me from speaking to them seeing them and even having them if I’m right she has no doctor for them but she has put them in school do I have the right to take them out of school and bring them home
Goku - 6-Dec-20 @ 8:03 PM
Hi up till 6 weeks ago my girl friend or ex was letting me see my daughters 1 is 11 months old other is 4 she see me in her sea side town with my other children I tried to avoid her because it wasn't a contact day she did see us but we turned around went opposite way a hour later she sent a message saying go f yourself stay away from her kids she cut of all contact blocked me etc I don't understand the day before she was OK with me I've sent letters asking to see children sent Xmas presents by taxi I'm to scared go to my home its mentally getting to me I only want to be a daddy
Kitkat - 4-Dec-20 @ 5:40 PM
For the people commenting on here stating that their kids don't want to see the other parent etc. Instead of making excuses for your kids, talk to them and help them to see the other parent. One day that other parent may be you...
Dobbo86 - 20-Nov-20 @ 10:13 AM
Sorry made a few errors so I will start again. If my 13 year old son refuses to get out of my car and go with back home with his mum as he has told he wants to live with me as he is not happy there and has told me he has been thinking about this for a long time so would it be to bring him back with as all I want is the best for him and have always told him I would back him up in whatever he decides to do and will not for him to do anything he doesn’t want to do
CARING DAD - 7-Nov-20 @ 11:20 AM
If my refuses to back home with his is okay for me to bring him back home with me as he told he wants to live with me
Caring dad - 7-Nov-20 @ 11:09 AM
My children where placed with the mothers father and his wife, the court ordered a minimum of contact every month, could the children come to my mam and dads house for the court ordered contact as he is saying it’s not allowed but that’s not what I have read, please help
Shep - 4-Nov-20 @ 9:48 PM
3 weeks ago my partner left with my 9 month daughter. I have no move on address and after just 2 texts saying I can see my daughter she has blocked me so I have no contact. WhT to do?
Steve - 4-Nov-20 @ 7:42 PM
Hi. I read all the stories n i scared to go to court.So my story goes as we got married at 2016 n bought a house togheter.(Guess what i was paying every bills/mortgage).in 2018 she asked her sister to move to us for a few month till she found a place on her own.So i agree as few mnth not a biggie.in 2019 our son born n thats where the hell started.She was chking my phone/broke to my FB pick pocketing me,Checking thru all my pockets literally had no life only wrk sleep (if she let me) n had to stand all her negativ comment.She was choked me hit me slap me 3 occasion when i reached the tipping point n left...ran to my friend(i hide it so she did not know) as my family over 2500 miles away.literally she abused me over the yrs as i had no family rnd i was the perfect victim.Long story short she not let me sleep my 21 mnth old over my rent which is 25min walk from our house She refuse to buy me out n she only let me see my son at our family home n only till she wrks.if i not act as she wish she picking arguments.My family NEVER see our kid only hers but her family is the same country as mine.She refuse contact whit our children see my SIS or cousines our my father.im really lost ATM.ive got legal aid ATM as we recived UC when i left so i already sent her 3 letter via Solicitor but so far she only anwser the 2nd one n all she did in it was Mud throwing on me.im wrried to go to court as im only getting about 15 grand a yr whit full time job.i could not cover costs not to mention i have to represent myself in a diffrent country court system which is scary as hell but for my son i would do but just simply cannot live like that to wait when she will act out of the blue.When she will took our son away.She already picked Nursery whitout consulting me.. i did not knew till she told me he is in that nursery...Well any advice would be great as im clear whit my rights but lost to what would be the best step not to rip myself n my son future for a life.
Atis - 18-Oct-20 @ 7:42 PM
Me and my ex partner broke up and she ran off with my little one and will not let me see her what’s so ever and it’s coming up to her first birthday what can I do
Steve - 17-Oct-20 @ 10:22 AM
My son was born prematurely last Christmas and he had to fight for his life as soon as he was delivered. He had hydrops fetalis and had to have 100% support from a ventilator immediately after his delivery. We had to sit there on Christmas day 2019 in NICU being told by Doctors they don't know how the next 5 day's is going to go...it was a very tough time. I asked a reverend if she could bless and anoint him on Christmas day which she did and praise the lord my son pulled through and he is good he came home on valentine's day 2020 . I was told by his mother's malicious ex that his mother was going to use me for a child just two weeks into the relationship with his mother. I just passed this off as her ex trying just another low ball move because he was hurting over there relationship ending. Oh my don'tI wish I listened! I started to see her ups and downs whilst living together. She confided in me about her struggles with mental health, self harm, suicide attempts and abandonment issues because of her abusive parents which in turn have made her the person and gave her the personality which she now lives with today. She buttered me up, love bombed me made me believe she was the one but now seems she was just doing what her ex implied to me. She started causing arguments with me for no reason whatsoever. Guilt tripping me and making me feel bad for feeling bad. Gaslighting me. Covertly being narcissistic behind closed doors. My rational mind couldn't figure out why she was hurting me when all I ever did was fully support her and our son. She had told me a lot of negative things about her past how her mother is a narcissist and her older half sister is her mother's prodigy and they are bullies and think they are better then everyone else when they are actually failures. They tried to make my childs mother miscarry whilst she was pregnant subjected her to somewhat unhealthy amounts of stress. Raised concerns to the community mental health team counsellor she was under who then raised concerns to the midwifery team which then made referrals to the social services. A assessment was carried out throughout the pregnancy and the case was closed immediately. I talked to my son's mother about this and she agreed that she thinks it would be best to not have any contact with them and keep them out of our new family. Explained and told this to the social services during the assessment. So everything is going fantastic. Our son is home it would seem we was happy but then her family got involved with her again I don't know when or how this happened but it was something that wasn't discussed with me. Our son was struggling to breathe in June he was rushed to hospital one parent policy because of covid situation and safeguarding protocol was carried out and our son is being temporarily held under a interim care order whilst the investigations are being done. She stayed in a relationship for four weeks with me after we lost our son. Then she decided to
N - 17-Oct-20 @ 9:58 AM
My kids don't want to see their father, they haven't seen him since before lockdown because they refused so i had to make excuses for them-it caused a full blown melt down for both of them, lockdown happened and their father didn't contact me from march to end of august about them at all and even then it was to demand contact not to ask about them, i didn't reply because i was unsure what to say and now i have had a threatening email stating that he will take me back to court and ensure i suffer full legal ramifications for keeping him and the kids apart-i can't stand the man yet i haven't done anything to stop the contact with the kids they have stopped the contact themselves, i am worried and scared
Penguin - 13-Oct-20 @ 2:37 PM
I have not seen my grandson for nearly 18 months now and neither has my son. My son and his wife split and are now at the end of a bitter divorce. Unfortunately she was greatly influenced by her father who told her the best way to hurt my son was to stop him seeing his children. Her parents live up North over 250 miles away and she took my Grandson overnight to stay with her parents who he did not know at all and away from the only family he has ever known. My ex-daughter in law did not get on with her parents and she was very close to us as was my grandson. He had loving cousins who he saw everyweekend but she snatched him away to cause nothing but pain and misery especially for the son - my grandson. Cutting a long story short she told terrible lie upon terrible and laughable lie and has fought tooth and nail to stop any of us seeing my grandson. The Social Sevices were lazy, incompetent and pathetic believing every word she said without even a cursory check with anyone else. For example my wife was supposed to have tried to kidnap my grandson snatching him up and running away with him despite her just having a knee operation and registered disabled. This was done so she could claim legal aid for abuse victims despite there not being one jot of evidence. She was given financial support because of the so called 'abuse' but it cost my son over £50,000 and got himself into debt as he just wanted to see his son. He offered his wife everything the house financial support everything but she threw it all away simply to hurt him and his family. After dreadful heartache and pain caused by the disfunctional Family Court system she finally received a Court Order telling her she must allow child access as my son posed no threat whatsoever but she was granted contact centre to 'humour' her. She has ignored every communication attempt and simply ignores the Court Order. My son has been told he will have to go back to Court to get her to comply with even more costs which he simply cannot afford is there any other way?
Sad Grandfather - 12-Oct-20 @ 1:26 PM
My son hasn’t seen his daughter Victoria, in over a year.Her mother Cristina has an attorney who is keeping Daniel my son, away from her.It looks like Cristina’s attorney giving him even more problems concerning monetary, which we can’t afford this any longer, howcan we possibly see Daniel’s daughter and my my grand daughter again without money involved. Victoria has been diagnosed of depression but we never heard until now how she’s doing. We are very much concerned.Daniel pays child support and Cristina claim child abuse without any proof. And the courtfound him innocent of 3 different allegation. We need your help and your professional assistance. This case is in Illinois. Thank in advance. Yours sincerely Fely Kear
Faye - 7-Oct-20 @ 9:29 PM
Hi I’m Victim of DV and I have one child 3 year who is traumatic of his father behaviour, his father apply for child arrangement order to stay with his father on the weekend days but I am afraid leave my child with him because he has given the knife to my child play with It and my child puts in the mouth , do you think he can have a child during the nights with him or no?Thanks
Helena - 7-Oct-20 @ 7:58 PM
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