My child’s other parent is not giving me contact with my child

Co-parenting can be difficult at the best of times – and the current situation has made it harder. If your child’s other parent is not allowing normal contact arrangements, here are some tips.

A parent holds a young child in their arms

Talk to the other parent

  • Are you able to talk to the co-parent about why they are not allowing contact with your children? This is an emotional conversation so you need to handle it calmly. If you feel you can’t do this face to face, try doing it by text or email.
  • Focus on how you can work together to overcome any issues or concerns for the wellbeing of your child.
  • Can you work together to create a child contact plan?
  • Make sure you don’t have these conversations in front of your child. You don’t want to involve them in the conflict as it is upsetting and can make them worried.

Mediation – helping to resolve the issue

  • If you can’t reach a decision by talking, mediation is a great way to reach an agreement.
  • A professional will support you. They do not offer legal advice or counselling but can help to mediate to ensure both of your voices are heard.
  • Mediation does not work for everyone and may not be ideal if you have experienced any form of abuse.
  • Some services offer shuttle mediation. This means you and the co-parent are not in the same room together.
  • Find out more about family mediation on the Child Law Advice website.
  • You can attend the Separated Parents Information Programme (SPIP). This is a course which helps you understand how to put your children first while you are separating. The programme addresses communication and supporting your child in the middle of conflict.

Legal support

  • If you have a legal arrangement, you will need to seek legal advice. You can do this via a local solicitor or contact Child Law Advice who are able to offer free legal advice.
  • You may also be entitled to Legal Aid to support with the cost of legal support and attended court. However, funding is limited and subject to criteria.

Keeping in touch with your child

If the other co-parent is refusing contact and you are waiting for legal action, there are still ways to keep in touch with your child:

  • You could phone, text or have video calls with them. You can also try emailing them or writing letters. This obviously does not replace the face-to-face contact you want. But it will show your child that you are trying to keep in touch. It is a chance for you to show you are interested in what they are doing.
  • Remember to not show your anger at the other parent or bring up your conflict. This could make your child feel stuck in the middle and upset them.

Other help

There are lots of other charities and organisations who can help you:

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