There are lots of reasons why some parents are not in contact with their children – for example, relocation, or for safety reasons.

But if communication about your children has broken down completely between you and your ex-partner, or you’re not getting a response from them at all, it may be time to seek professional advice from a mediator or a solicitor in regards to your rights to see your child.

In UK law there is no such thing as a “right” to see your child. Instead, the law refers to parental responsibility laws. However, having parental responsibility gives you the right to contribute to decision-making about your child’s life, such as:

  • giving consent to medical treatment
  • choosing their school
  • deciding how they should be brought up
  • choosing their name
  • choosing their religion

If arrangements for your children under a court order are not working out, either parent may apply to the court for the order to be changed, revoked, or enforced.

Deliberate refusal to obey a court order is contempt of court, and the court has powers to enforce orders if it considers it would help resolve the situation. You may want to get legal advice if you believe an existing court order needs to be enforced or see if a mediator can help you and your ex-partner agree how to best carry out the court order.

Where can I go next?

  • Families need Fathers - contact

    Information about the different types of contact arrangements from Families need Fathers.

  • The centre for separated families logo
    Centre for Separated Families - being prevented

    Practical advice from the Centre for Separated Families, a national charity that works with everyone affected by family separation to bring about better outcomes for children

  • Civil Legal Advice

    Civil Legal Advice is an adviceline for England and Wales, funded by legal aid. If you are eligible, you can get specialist family advice online and by telephone by calling 0845 345 4 345. Or they can help you find local legal aid advice or a mediation service.