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When Your Ex-Partner Denies You Access

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 6 Aug 2020 | 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]
My ex has stopped me seey my daughter and we have a court order saying I see her every week end and she's stopped blocked me on everything and I don't no wat to do I have got forms for a motion of contempt and sent them to court and I'm waiting
Dreas - 6-Aug-20 @ 9:19 PM
I broke up with my ex girlfriend before the birth of our son, since she gave birth I was never allowed to see or do anything for our son. After birth i tried to contact her & she never wanted to hear a word from me. She even changed her number & since i moved from Mpumalanga to Limpopo im scared to show up without informing her as that can make her feel uncomfortable. I really need to father my son. I grew up without a father & i don't want my son to go through that.
BOVA - 4-Aug-20 @ 10:57 PM
I just split up with my ex. She had 2 children that I bonded with for 8 yrs. One of them since she was 6 weeks old. Now she won't let me see or talk to them. Its crushing me. Do I have any rights to them?
Timbo - 31-Jul-20 @ 5:37 PM
Hi, I'm after a bit of advice, my ex kicked me out just over 2 months ago, for 5 or 6 weeks before that I was sleeping on the sofa and we weren't really together for quite a while before that, since she kicked me out I've met someone, not intending to, I wasn't looking for anyone but it's just happened, in this time she has stopped me seeing my girl because I wanted to see her more and she said no so I said about mediation and that's it I can't even contact her now. I just want advise on wether I should let her know I've met someone or not before mediation contact her! I think I should so there is no lies and she then can't stop me again when she finds out
Tel - 23-Jul-20 @ 12:44 PM
I have 18yrs son who is severely autistic and non verbal His mum is his power of attorney.i have Been to the solicitors and citizen advise and there’s nothing they can do because of his ageit’s up to his mum .I have not seen my son for very long time .I ended up in a mental health hospital for 4 months and still in there care (outpatient) .Breaks my heart everyday .I send cards and Christmas cards but never nothing back
Phil - 21-Jul-20 @ 5:07 PM
@carlos.if the child’s mother reads this sorry for threatening you and for causing trouble with my messages I can guarantee it will never happen again .i Pulled myself together now got the help I needed and on the right( meds and seeing a psychologist every week).now I have a fully understanding of the situation and realise now finally that I never had a (child in reality it’s was imaginary ).the messages I sent you are nothing but( rubbish) I was (very ill mentally) when I was sending them .so sorry for that .and to this site sorry for all the messages I am not even father in reality so sorry for taking up space when it could be used for someone who really needs this site .i guarantee and give my word this is my final post .god bless
C w laurie - 17-Jun-20 @ 1:30 AM
@carlos.i even apologised to my uncle and told him like it’s ok if the child is yours you should go see her if you want .and I would apologise to the child’s mother for threatening her .now I am on (my pills) I have a (firm grip on reality) and now can finally move on properly .and don’t blame myself anymore because the child is not mine i don’t need to do anything expect move on with my life .
C w laurie - 16-Jun-20 @ 10:15 PM
@carlos.i lost the plot there for while but have finally found my feet again .and made the decision to let the child and mother get on with there life .i sat and thought about my situation and realised( I am not a father and didn’t have any rights to lose in the first place and worked myself up over nothing) .after my (mental breakdown i realised how sick I was )I wasn’t even in a relationship with this women she was in relationship with my uncle .and I feel so ashamed of myself for bothering them but hey I am not perfect and can guarantee it will never happen again .(now it’s time to get on with my life) .if the child’s mother reads this hey sorry for bothing you and best of luck in the future for your family.Take care and god bless .
C w laurie - 16-Jun-20 @ 9:31 PM
This is the 21st century and it is time for equality in being a parent was made a legal right. If not then things will just get worse for our sons. I am beginning the battle for my son to have a balanced upbringing for the current time but also for if he has to go through the same process when he has is own family. Stopping contact is child abuse and coercive control and needs to be consider such in Law. Right to your MP’s today.
Carlos - 16-Jun-20 @ 6:23 AM
My ex says I can only see my child at her house and not aloud to take her out .there are no drug or violence issues .surely this isn't right
Kiki - 12-Jun-20 @ 9:03 AM
So recently my ex partner has stopped me from seeing my son because she got a new boyfriend that nobody like him and she got him around my kids and and my ex partner made up a plan for agreement to stick with I stuck with the agreements she didn't it says on the agreements that she will never introduce another man to the boys and less she is serious in a relationship and I will have to meet them first I said I don't want to meet none of her boyfriend because I won't like it and but my ex does what ever she like because it all a one way road with my ex i can't see my son because she showing off because every time i go to her house she call the police on me or get someone to send me saying if i go down there i will go prison all because i don't here new james around my boy or trying to play step roll to my son. My said to me that we have the rights but i dont have the right to see my son my also said i can't see my son son unit i got to mediation when i did go to mediation she i want to go court so I'm going to court on the 25th on june hopefully i will see my boy.
Jerome - 17-May-20 @ 5:32 PM
My partner has a child with an ex 5 year only little boy we have him every weekend ( supposed to) me and my partner are now expecting our first child together. She has threatened me and the baby and wont allow us to see his son through being spiteful it has been going on for years and seeing my partner so broke when things dont go her way it's always your not seeing your son! We just want our weekends back and for him to know his little brother. Uploading things on how lovely she is and being fake when she has videos of her little boy swearing and her laughing he sleeps on the sofa and not the bed his dad brought him staying up past midnight and waking up at 1 in the afternoon going on sleep overs when on lock down.. all we want is our weekends back so we get to spend time with him on days out and making memories.
Amy - 15-May-20 @ 3:00 PM
All this business with solicitors, intermediates and courts cost money. I have none... because of the C19. Is there any financial help.
HelpIfICan - 14-May-20 @ 10:53 AM
@dannyo.last thing my split was (not amicable) we got on like (Israel and Palestine and it will alwaysbe that way to my death bed )I won’t change or ever bow to that women stuff that I look down on this women in all honesty she was a bit of fun in my early 20s like A toy once you had enough of the new toy you throw it away .get another new toy to play with a younger and prettier toy there are so many toys in the world don’t limit yourself to a old used up second hand toy I like young fresh toys .
Chris - 28-Apr-20 @ 10:03 PM
@dannyo.(LET IT GO MATE)you are the exactly the same as my (uncle) .and it (wears me down )when he comes around me .like I have said to him you are not the only one mate and he sees his children every other weekend and (still complains ).that he’s ex has turned the children against him .i guess I am different I don’t care what the child mother says about me (I look down them )and I challengedthem to (fight )guess what no one turned up like (95 percent of the population cowards) .or what they like say is new age modern.(like I said to my uncle men up mate are you a laurie or mouse ?)i always realised he was a (bit off) always trying to fit in he’s brothers big shoes and always (fell short) that’s my opinion.
Chris - 28-Apr-20 @ 9:17 PM
I split with my wife 2 years ago. I moved out. It was all quite amicable. I had both my kids every other weekend and kept paying my ex over the amount in child support I was meant to. Then this bolt out of nowhere. I got a text from my ex whom I have been with for 20 years. While I was with her I fell out with her years before but Stayed with her because of the kids. So a lot of arguing etcI went out with my mates to the pub instead of spending time with her and my kids. I had them both every 2 weeks all was good then all of a sudden my daughter didn’t want to come over.My son still does.But my ex has now said I can’t have my Daughter because I drink to much. I’ll go out with the lads but I don’t drink around my kids.She lets me have my son after school on a Tuesday but not over the weekend she hasn’t let me even talk to my daughter since NovemberI wrote a letter to my daughter saying I love her etc but I think my daughter who is only 10 has been painted a picture of me being a monster. I love both my kids and this has been hell over the last few months.My ex is bitter,she blocks me in anyway to talk to her or my kids.I had to buy my son a phone just so I can talk to him. She’s not being reasonable at all.All I want is to be able to have my kids over the weekend every other weekend.I understand my daughter is getting older now so might not want to which is fine but how do I get that in place for ever other weekend and also be able to speak to my daughter who is listening to everything my ex says about me and is taking on all the anger my wife has about me leaving.My ex is a compulsive liar and I think as issues Thanks
Dannyo - 28-Apr-20 @ 1:48 PM
Please can you advise me if my partners ex can stop him from seeing his son. He has been paying maintenance in guidance with CMS but like a lot of people he is now unemployed and is now having to claim Universal Credit due Covid 19. He informed CMS of this, they have got evidence from DWP of his claim and amount. The CMS have contacted the mother by letter to say he is not paying maintenance due to lack of income...CMS decision not his. She is now demanding money of him claiming he is laying and told him as of now he cannot see his son. Help please?
Dotty - 24-Apr-20 @ 12:44 PM
@samuelk.i myself use to ask that question .i know in my heart I will( pass 100 percentwithout a doubt)and neverget to see (my daughter again ).and it really (bothered me )but now I have come to terms with it and at (peace) with it .(it is what it is )there are millions off us (ex fathers) out there that will( pass )before ever getting to see our child or children again .it is just (life brother) my advise is (find peace) and Make the most off what life you have left .with the (big picture bro )they probably don’t even care for us anyway in reality so it’s not worth worrying about .(make the most off your life and let it go bro ).its there (loss not our loss) love the people in your life (not strangers who don’t care about us ).(this is just my thoughts bro and what I believe in and stand bye ).
C.laurie - 19-Apr-20 @ 10:03 PM
Never seen my children in 17 years. Horrible evil mother the like of which i have never known. I wonder if i will see.my children again before i pass everyday i ask that question . Can anybody advise
Samuelk - 19-Apr-20 @ 8:16 AM
Hi I need help please. I have been seeing my kids every 2 weeks and been paying for hotels to spend time with with them for a year and a half now. Also I have been paying for the house every month for the same time frame. Now my divorce and court order has take affect I have told me ex she will no longer get this money only child benefit, which was on the court order. So since cv19 she has said she is in lock down and I can't see kids because she doesn't want children to get ill. Also on top of that she has now said as I'm not paying all this extra money to her she is no letter me contact kids. This is putting slot of stress on me and new partner. My ex has no respect for me and says child maintenance does not cover child care, also says I should continue to pay for the house as our kids live there. I really don't know what to do next
Bajj1331 - 10-Apr-20 @ 10:58 AM
My ex wife and I separated nearly coming up to a year ago, at that time our daughter was turning 1 year old, everything was great with access with my daughter at first then the ex decided to log into my Facebook messages and found some messages that had been sent back and forth by me and a lady friend, this was 2 months after we split up by the request of my ex wife. I had a load of abuse which I can totally understand, she was hurt and angry, what I really don’t understand is that she sent all the conversation and graphic pics to my sister and brother!!! Then stopped me seeing my daughter, telling me she would see me in court. I decided to try the mediation way first suggested by my solicitor which she refused to attend, I have tried sending a message asking about our daughter but I get a sarky comment back, I miss my daughter so much and I cannot see no other way other than court to resolve this issue. Is there anyone who has been through this process? How long does it normally take, it’s my daughters birthday tomorrow and my sister isn’t even allowed to drop off my present to her because her mum said no. Thank you
Yoyo - 9-Apr-20 @ 1:38 PM
My ex wife and I separated nearly coming up to a year ago, at that time our daughter was turning 1 year old, everything was great with access with my daughter at first then the ex decided to log into my Facebook messages and found some messages that had been sent back and forth by me and a lady friend, this was 2 months after we split up by the request of my ex wife. I had a load of abuse which I can totally understand, she was hurt and angry, what I really don’t understand is that she sent all the conversation and graphic pics to my sister and brother!!! Then stopped me seeing my daughter, telling me she would see me in court. I decided to try the mediation way first suggested by my solicitor which she refused to attend, I have tried sending a message asking about our daughter but I get a sarky comment back, I miss my daughter so much and I cannot see no other way other than court to resolve this issue. Is there anyone who has been through this process? How long does it normally take, it’s my daughters birthday tomorrow and my sister isn’t even allowed to drop off my present to her because her mum said no. Thank you
Yoyo - 9-Apr-20 @ 1:36 PM
This is my final post .thanks for your blog it was very educational on fathers rights.i wish I discovered a website like this 13 years ago my situation would off been a lot different.but on the bright side off things I only have to wait a couple more years to the child is a adult .and her mother will have zero power then and I honestly believe with all my heart once she meets me and I explain the situation.she will drop her mother like a hot potato .
C.laurie - 4-Apr-20 @ 11:37 PM
@lost.to be honest it doesn’t really matter in my situation because I haven’t had contact with my daughter in (13 years) so it doesn’t (bother me )waiting a couple more years to she is 18 before I meet her in fact that would be a better time to meet with how this are atm .and that way she is legal and I can shout her pub meal and beer without her mother(“ trying “)to control the situation and that way I won’t be in front off the (magistrate) again .the way I see it let them play happy family’s I see my daughter at (18 only two more years) bye then this virus be gone and everything open again back to (“normality “)that’s my plan .goodbye and god bless .
C.laurie - 4-Apr-20 @ 9:42 PM
@lost.i was like you once wanted to see (my daughter ).now with the world the way it is I think it’s best for the child to stay with the mother and keep the same routine .i have no job now construction sites I was working closed down and I don’t no for how long I was told to we get a vaccine for this virus .and how have to go on benefits .but our crew we registered with a big mining company that is still operational and hiring fingers crossed we all get put on and if we do we must stay on the mine site and not come home to this virus goes away or we have a vaccine .so yeah my daughter has to stay with the mother .hey in the future maybe when the pubs open up again I will shout my daughter big mixed grill at the pub and have press .
Found - 3-Apr-20 @ 9:53 PM
Hi guys, I am looking for some advice, I am divorced from my ex and part of that was the custody agreement for my son which my ex has broken several times. Since Covid-19 started becoming an issue I’ve not been able to see my son since the beginning of March. And now she has stopped all communication with him between myself and my parents. I have got in touch with my lawyer but haven’t had a response from her yet. What can I do to see my son? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
Lost - 2-Apr-20 @ 12:30 PM
I wish to face time my son.His mother is not being forthcoming and is being obstructive.The separation from wider family due to CV19 has already affected him in the form of a stammer.Now contact with his father is being threatened also. How do I ensure some contact with my boy? Just to know his Dad has called is healthy for him.
G - 31-Mar-20 @ 7:44 AM
I would like to see my daughter regularly At this moment my partner is not let me see her as much as I would like to see her she just want to take money off me But not let me see her
Ziggy - 29-Mar-20 @ 9:45 PM
I have had to take the mother of my child to court twice with a order put in place both times I was meant to have my daughter this weekend but the day after court she emailed me saying her family have to self isolate as off the Corona virus I have been informed that they are not self isolating and that they have gone to a party today and that is the reason I was not aloud to have my daughter even though the court order has stated it was my day should I take her back to court for breach of the order
Andy m - 21-Mar-20 @ 10:34 AM
Hi, I'm helping my partner take steps towards seeing hes kids as he has been denied access. Has anyone sent a letter to their ex about contact? As a mother of 3 I truly believe that each parent has the same amout of rights. It takes 2 people to produce a child. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated as he is just starting out on this process. Thank you
Linz83 - 2-Mar-20 @ 7:35 PM
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