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When Your Ex-Partner Denies You Access

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 20 Jul 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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[Add a Comment]
@dalla .well he as[ very right] to take the matter to court to see his daughter .i think its best to go though the courts when there is[ high conflict] because there is no right or wrong answer .but every mother and father have a right to see there child .i didn't go though the courts and i regret it i wish i did for visitation and for a [dna test] i was young and foolish back then full of piss and vinegar .but i will get to see her one day when is away from her mother she will work it out for herself when she is older .i have found peace within me from the past have job training again and[ enjoying it ]even went on a dinner date at the pub comedy night had good laugh and sleep over .
laurie - 20-Jul-18 @ 6:19 PM
Hi my x put me in court bcz our daughter refuse to see him, after a scandal took place he came to pick her up she refuse to go, he grabbed her throw her in his car and drove off. he even hit my mom cz he was swinging every where, and i went to the police they still advice that i leave her with him so things can go back to normal. it got worse she refuse to see him or talk about him shes been beging me not to let her go now he put me in court claiming i deny him access bcz i did not force her to go with him what do i do???
Dalla - 20-Jul-18 @ 12:53 PM
If you are a farther you have no right in the uk save your self the pain and false hope that You will get to see your kid best thing to do is walk away keep paying your child maintenance and try to rebuild your live and hope one day your kids will come and find you
Ryan - 17-Jul-18 @ 11:21 PM
Scotty - Your Question:
My ex partner will not let me see our child. I haven't seen her since she was 6 months old. What can I do to get access to see her?

Our Response:
The article answers this question, as does the link here.
SeparatedDads - 9-Jul-18 @ 3:29 PM
Mr Shahzad - Your Question:
Hi as I’m new here at this web I’m just looking any good advice to have my children contact as we did separate in Feb 2015 and I did apply for my child contact in March 2016 after two years Long court process the Family Court judge refused to have my any sort of contact with my both kids just to send them Birthday Cards Or New Years wishing cards etc.Now I’m so much upset shall what I can do as my second baby is going to be 3 years coming month and he didn’t see his dad at all.i do appreciate if I can get any legal advice regarding this case to have contact with my kids.Thanks

Our Response:
Unfortunately, unless there is a change in circumstance the court will not allow you to apply to vary the original court order. If you were stopped from seeing your children, it was because the court deemed it was in your children's best interests which is rare, as usually a court will grant access. There must have been a significant reason why the courts would not allow access at the time.
SeparatedDads - 9-Jul-18 @ 2:12 PM
My ex partner will not let me see our child. I haven't seen her since she was 6 months old. What can I do to get access to see her?
Scotty - 9-Jul-18 @ 11:47 AM
Hi as I’m new here at this web I’m just looking any good advice to have my children contact as we did separate in Feb 2015 and I did apply for my child contact in March 2016 after two years Long court process the Family Court judge refused to have my any sort of contact with my both kids just to send them Birthday Cards Or New Years wishing cards etc.Now I’m so much upset shall what I can do as my second baby is going to be 3 years coming month and he didn’t see his dad at all.i do appreciate if I can get any legal advice regarding this case to have contact with my kids. Thanks
Mr Shahzad - 8-Jul-18 @ 5:41 PM
Jay - Your Question:
I have a boy 19 months old I pay money into her bank an every weekend it’s ment to be my weekend she kicks off An stops me having him, I’ve knocked at the door to collect him an she’s attacked me an slammed the door then she dumped him with I dunno who An went out an called me from a club an said happy Father’s Day you c@-*. An I didn’t see my boy on Father’s Day it’s been a month this weekend since I’ve seen him

Our Response:
You would have to go through the process laid out in this article and via the link here.
SeparatedDads - 6-Jul-18 @ 9:52 AM
I have a boy 19 months old I pay money into her bank an every weekend it’s ment to be my weekend she kicks off An stops me having him, I’ve knocked at the door to collect him an she’s attacked me an slammed the door then she dumped him with I dunno who An went out an called me from a club an said happy Father’s Day you c@-*. An I didn’t see my boy on Father’s Day it’s been a month this weekend since I’ve seen him
Jay - 5-Jul-18 @ 1:20 AM
Dooley - Your Question:
Hi my x has stopped me seeing my kids now and I can't afford legal aid and court costs what's the best thing I can do plz because I haven't seen them for months and can't take any more of this

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. You can self-litigate, please see link here, which should help you further. As will our Separated Dads forum.
SeparatedDads - 2-Jul-18 @ 12:18 PM
daddy11 - Your Question:
I want to go to court to get access to my daughter which has recently been stopped for no reason. im short on funds do you advise me representing myself in court or struggling to pay a solicitor?

Our Response:
We cannot make individual recommendations. However, we can say that if you do represent yourself in court (which will save you money) ensure that you do as much research as you can in order to give you a well-rounded knowledge of what the courts need to see when applying for access. The most important point to remember, is that the court case will not be about you or your ex, but what is in the best interests of your child. As your child is the most important person in any decision made. You can see more via the link here and here
SeparatedDads - 2-Jul-18 @ 11:57 AM
Hi my x has stopped me seeing my kids now and I can't afford legal aid and court costs what's the best thing I can do plz because I haven't seen them for months and can't take any more of this
Dooley - 1-Jul-18 @ 11:34 PM
i want to go to court to get access to my daughter which has recently been stopped for no reason. im short on funds do you advise me representing myself in court or struggling to pay a solicitor?
daddy11 - 1-Jul-18 @ 8:38 PM
@Dave - that is controllling, but what can you do? if you refuse then you'll end up in court because she will stop access and deep down it sounds as though she really wants to make it as difficult for you so she can stop access. You could do all she asks and keep it yourself for evidence of her controlling attitude if you ever need it in court. The main thing is to begin a pattern of having your child overnight. This way, once you have established a routine if you ever have to take it to court if she stops access you'll be in a better position to get access re-established.
JiMB - 29-Jun-18 @ 11:57 AM
Hi I'm looking for peoples opinion on my situation. Me and my partner broke up 7 months ago we have a child of 17months. I have regularly picked my son up since we broke up but have never had him stay with me over night this week is supposed to be the first time but I am now being told I can't have him as I refuse to send pictures of his room I have set up with his cot and stair gate all sorted I have said to his mother she is welcome to come and have a look at it which she has refused. I also have to fill in a diary every time I have him stating what he has eaten drank how many nappies and naps etc is this controlling and over the top or am I being unreasonable in thinking it is?
Dave - 28-Jun-18 @ 8:15 PM
HallieB - Your Question:
Hard situation for me. The father of my baby did emotionally abuse me, in the end after years of horrendous backlash from him I did react during pregnancy. To which he absolutely loved of course as sort of man to try build up untrue characteristics of myself. The issue is despite offering full contact agreeing to his solicitors letter he has denied our baby. I turned up to mediation and he didn’t again game tactics. My baby is my world and can’t stand the fact the father is very manipulating but more sontowards using my son now I see as a mother who cares a safeguarding issue. Debating a non molestation order he’s stopped all contact and I’m still sat on egg shells wondering what his next move will be and I want to nip it in the bud now to prevent anything going forward.

Our Response:
You cannot prevent the father of your child applying to go to mediation. A court will not allow him to apply unless mediation has been tried and failed.
SeparatedDads - 28-Jun-18 @ 3:13 PM
@Alroy - The courts are accustomed to dealing with and exposing lies. You'll be surprised how much the courts wants dads to have a relationship with their child. It doesn't always go in the mother's favour. Best of luck - this is not about you or your ex, but about your child. Don't slag off your ex and keep your kids interests in mind and you will be FINE!
SamH - 26-Jun-18 @ 3:44 PM
Hard situation for me. The father of my baby did emotionally abuse me, in the end after years of horrendous backlash from him I did react during pregnancy. To which he absolutely loved of course as sort of man to try build up untrue characteristics of myself. The issue is despite offering full contact agreeing to his solicitors letter he has denied our baby. I turned up to mediation and he didn’t again game tactics. My baby is my world and can’t stand the fact the father is very manipulating but more sontowards using my son now I see as a mother who cares a safeguarding issue. Debating a non molestation order he’s stopped all contact and I’m still sat on egg shells wondering what his next move will be and I want to nip it in the bud now to prevent anything going forward.
HallieB - 26-Jun-18 @ 1:19 PM
My ex got pregnant after a bad relationship where she would emotionally abuse me. She told me to get a stir done and blocked me from all contact. She made up lies and painted me out to be a bad man. She is keeping me away from my daughter to who I've never met because of her actions. I have to go to court tomorrow while she has lied badly to cafcass saying I made threats to burn her house down to what I never said. There was no harm made by me only telling her I'm taking her to court to see my baby girl. I'm scared I will lose and the court will believe her vile lies.... What can I do..
Alroy - 26-Jun-18 @ 12:09 PM
Jack - Your Question:
My eldest son had not seen his son in months, him n ex partner has really never seen eye to eye.i feel so sad as thats hurting him so badly I think that there both very volitile together. so best thing was to split. There back and forwards to court bren going on now atleast 3 years hes my only grandson. is there any way I can help sort this out as a grandmother? I have tried being in contact with my sons ex but all I got back was none of my business and abuse not nice.

Our Response:
I think if you have had a response from your son's ex to that level, then you need to leave it alone. Your son would have to try to resolve the issues as outlined in the link here .
SeparatedDads - 26-Jun-18 @ 11:05 AM
Fathers rights - Your Question:
Hi me and my ex partner have a baby that came home oxygen. After getting him home shes saying im not allowed to see my son or take him out. Now her family are getting involved making it 10 times harder for me to see my boy. What should I do and where do I stand.

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. However, if your child is needing care, you may have to be supportive for a while. Please see the link here , which will tell you all you need to know.
SeparatedDads - 25-Jun-18 @ 3:04 PM
My eldest son had not seen his son in months, him n ex partner has really never seen eye to eye...i feel so sad as thats hurting him so badly i think that there both very volitile together.. so best thing was to split. There back and forwards to court bren going on now atleast 3 years hes my only grandson.. is there any way i can help sort this out as a grandmother? I have triedbeing in contact with my sons ex but all i got back was none of my business and abuse not nice..
Jack - 25-Jun-18 @ 9:43 AM
Left my long term partner from an extremely unhappy relationship 8 weeks ago. This was my decision and although the relationship was bad with faithfulness on both parts it came as a massive shock to her. We have 6 children together( although our son oscar passed away from got death at 6 months old 4 years ago). I am currently being denied any access to the children from her and just dont know where to turn. At first she allowed me to see the kids a couple days a week but due to herself getting into a lot of trouble with the police, which she blames myself as its acts of violence towards myself and freinds of mine she has decided the best way to get back at me is to stop me seeing or speaking to them. Shes extremely manipulative and has managed to convince everyone close to her that I dont want ananything to do my children and that I'm some sort of monster that was abusive towards her and that shes too scared for the kids safety around me ect. Therefore trying to talk to her is impossible and no chance to mediate things at all. She is now threatening to leave the area with the kids and change there surnames so I will never find them.... although I think this unlikely still distressing to hear. Going through the courts seems to be my only option but although I work full time financially things are very tight so don't know how to afford it all. I'm still giving her money plus my own rent and bills living very tight. If anyone can help or point me in the right direction would be great. Thanks. Jay.
Jay - 24-Jun-18 @ 11:54 PM
Hi me and my ex partner have a baby that came home oxygen. After getting him home shes saying im not allowed to see my son or take him out. Now her family are getting involved making it 10 times harder for me to see my boy. What should i do and where do i stand.
Fathers rights - 23-Jun-18 @ 12:34 PM
Kate - Your Question:
I have a friend who has been battling with courts and solicitors for 3 years to see his 3 year old child who he is still yet to meet. All he has is photos.She is a very nasty, bitter and spiteful person and has managed to convince the courts all her lies are true leaving him still with no access, not even supervised visits. Where is the justice? How is this best for the child? Every child should have the right to 2 parents shouldn't they??He is desperate to meet his child and have regular contact but he is getting nowhere, just costing him thousands of pounds and getting nothing.He has to pay maintenance which he accepts as it's his child too but how is it fair she can take his money and deny access.What are his actual rights??

Our Response:
It is rare that a court would not allow any visits unless something provable had happened such as domestic violence to warrant this. The courts do want non-resident parents to have a relationship with their children and are accustomed to seeing through the lies of resident parents who cannot prove their accusations. Has the court denied access or even supervised visits? If the court has ruled that no access is allowed it it very difficult to overturn such a decision when the decision has been made.
SeparatedDads - 21-Jun-18 @ 11:06 AM
I have a friend who has been battling with courts and solicitors for 3 years to see his 3 year old child who he is still yet to meet. All he has is photos. She is a very nasty, bitter and spiteful person and has managed to convince the courts all her lies are true leaving him still with no access, not even supervised visits. Where is the justice? How is this best for the child? Every child should have the right to 2 parents shouldn't they?? He is desperate to meet his child and have regular contact but he is getting nowhere, just costing him thousands of pounds and getting nothing. He has to pay maintenance which he accepts as it's his child too but how is it fair she can take his money and deny access. What are his actual rights??
Kate - 20-Jun-18 @ 1:04 PM
Bonnie - Your Question:
My partner who is illegal was in a relationship with a girl who got pregnant. She had problems and social services had been involved with her for a number of years. Their son was born with a heart defect. There was a lot of opposition to the relationship as he is Muslim, this caused lots of fighting between them and she was often abusive towards him. He was banned from the hospital and not allowed to see his son, I advised him to go to citizens advice which he did. He informed the social worker who asked for a meeting, when he arrived he was arrested for harassment and threatening behaviour. For nearly ten months he has been trying to see his son who is nearly two years old. Finally he has been told he won't be charged, but because his name is not on birth certificate and the mother says he can't have any information social services will not help him. He is so traumatized by it all. All he wants is contact with his son. Social services have been awful throughout all of this. Particularly the girls social worker. Advice please Bonnie 15 June 2018

Our Response:
The main problem your partner has is his immigration status which will prove difficult if he applies to court. Given that his only recourse is to apply to court (if his ex refuses access), he would have to seek some professional legal advice, the Citizens Advice Bureau may help, please see link here .
SeparatedDads - 19-Jun-18 @ 2:00 PM
Col, ki & Hads - Your Question:
Since February 2016 I have not had access to having my 2 son's every other weekend. This was due to my ex taking me to the csa and being told I needed to pay a lot less than the amicable arrangement we had set out back in October 2013. We spoke at the end of 2015 about reducing the amount due to financial difficulties on my behalf but was told basically don't pay you don't see. never mind I was also paying towards clothes, school dinners , weekend activities as well. My ex has had her new partner acting as her voice since 2016 to which I have been more than tolerant when I have a person who has no children telling me I basically can't see my boy's. Has the partner got legal right's in doing this? Also like many dad's on here I was just last week served a court order to appear for a non molestation application by the ex. This was denied by the judge but I still had a 1 yr order served to have no sort of malicious contact with the ex. Considering we have had no contact since February 2016. I have asked for a c100 application through mediation attended by just myself. My ex proclaimed it's not a good time. I want to defend myself if possible in court to try to see my son's and let them decide without emotional blackmail being a big player for them. I respect their feelings and would just want them to both know my door will always be open. Can anyone tell me if that's possible?

Our Response:
You may wish to join the Separated Dads forum, as our dads who have been through similar previously should be able to advise. However, child maintenance and child access have no bearing on each other and should not stop you applying for access. You can self-litigate, please see link here . You neither have to wait until your ex feels it is a good time to apply to court.
SeparatedDads - 19-Jun-18 @ 11:10 AM
JKDAVIES - Your Question:
My wife and I separated 15 months ago. We were on talking terms until I got myself into a new relationship. I am partly to blame for the communication breakdown as I went around it the wrong way but since then she won't allow me to see my two children. I explained that I would take her to mediation or court but her reply was that she won't show up. If she didn't turn up is there anything else I can do?

Our Response:
If your ex refuses to show up, the court can decide in her absence. You might want to warn the court in advance. If you have evidence i.e text message/email etc, then this will help.
SeparatedDads - 18-Jun-18 @ 11:42 AM
Stevemb - Your Question:
I was married and my wife cheated and left me we have a child together wand she had another child from before who I raised as my own I’m now in a new relationship and my stepson is constantly having issues with her children she doesn’t want him around them as he has hit out and told people they are horrible children My ex says if he doesn’t go to her house my daughter isn’t allowed eitherCan she stop me seeeing my daughter??

Our Response:
If your ex does stop you seeing yoru daughter, then as specified in the article you would have to try to either try to solve your issues via mediation, or if your ex refuses apply to court. Please see more via the link here.
SeparatedDads - 18-Jun-18 @ 10:27 AM
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