What choices do I have if my child’s mother refuses to let me see them?

Divorce proceedings and their aftermath may be highly emotional experiences for separated spouses. It is a major, life-altering choice that often entails intense emotions and sensations. Unfortunately, this may lead to unpleasant situations in which former partners cannot find a way to go ahead amicably. Whether you are at the beginning of your divorce, in the midst of a separation, or have been separated for a long time, it is usual for mediators to address situations in which one spouse does not let the children to spend time with the other parent. Mediation Scotland is the way forward.

This blog’s title is derived from one of the most often asked topics at DMS. Frequently, the father will inform us that the mother is denying him visitation rights. It should be mentioned that it is not always the mother; it may also be the father. Simply stated, it is more normal for the mother to be the main carer and thus be able to permit or prohibit contact at any time. This site may assist you as well, as we have dealt with similar situations with moms seeking mediation.

Some authors on this subject mention a phenomenon known as “malicious parent syndrome.” This is based on psychological theory and explains a behaviour related with divorce proceeds that some parents use in divorce procedures to exact vengeance on the other parent through the children. https://albion-mediation.co.uk/contact-glasgow/

The psychologist hypothesises that during the divorce processes, the “malicious parent” may do a variety of things, including:

  1.   As a kind of punishment, the children are prohibited from spending time with the other parent
  2.   Prevent the children from communicating with the other parent in any way, including indirect contact such as text messages and FaceTime.

Tell the children untrue things about you in an attempt to turn them against you.

The phrase “malicious parent syndrome” is obsolete and is not used by mediators. Instead, we call this phenomenon “parental estrangement.” This is consistent with the preceding idea. It is something that brings both parents and children a great deal of anguish and suffering. Unfortunately, it may be a regular occurrence throughout a divorce, and it’s one that we often deal with in mediation. We have already written on how to have an amiable divorce and the advantages of doing so for you and your family; thus, we propose reading this blog article as a means of starting your separation graciously. Amicable divorce processes help avoid parental alienation at the present and in the future by emphasising the need of coparenting and working together to achieve good results for the whole family; nevertheless, we acknowledge that amicable divorces are not always achievable.

Why does parental alienation occur and what is it?

Parent estrangement also isn’t defined by law, but it is the word that the court to characterize a scenario in which your children are averse to seeing you for reasons that seem to be their own, but are really the result of the other parent’s manipulation. This is something that is notoriously difficult to establish, but CAFCASS will examine it during court proceedings if you believe it exists. Parental alienation is often characterised by one or both parents disparaging the other in front of the children and restricting contact whenever feasible. This places youngsters in a challenging circumstance that they should not have to handle.

There is not always an obvious explanation for parental estrangement. Occasionally, this occurs because one parent is attempting to use the children as a bargaining or negotiating tool in the court system. For instance, some parents come to us and claim that the other parent is “using the children as pawns.” As previously said, another cause might be that the other parent is using the children as a kind of punishment throughout the divorce process. Regardless of the cause, denying touch is very tough for all parties involved.

What should I do?

Your immediate impulse may be to file a petition with the court in order to spend time with your children. Nonetheless, this should be your last option. You should first attempt to address this problem among yourself. Some individuals elect to write a letter to the other parent requesting that communication be re-established. This should be sent through recorded delivery so that you have evidence of postage.

If you are unable to resolve the situation on your own, you should pursue family mediation. You will first be required to attend a Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting (MIAM). This is a private appointment with a certified family mediator in which you will get further information about mediation and the procedure so that you may decide whether or not to mediate, and the mediator will evaluate the case’s fitness for further action. Attending an MIAM is required prior to submitting a court application, unless you are exempt. Here is a complete list of exemptions.

Family counselling

After your MIAM, the mediator will extend an invitation to the other parent to attend mediation. Depending on the contact information you provide, DMS’s administrative staff will handle this on your behalf by SMS, email, and mail. If either parent accepts the offer, they can complete your individual MIAM, and if the case is suitable, you will go on with family mediation.

The ideal way for settling family problems, such as when one parent denies you access to your children, is family mediation. At mediation, your certified family mediator will facilitate a dialogue between you and your spouse about the arrangements for your children. So that your children may spend meaningful time with both parents, your mediator will enable talks about the difficulties at hand, your hopes, and what can be done to move ahead.

You may anticipate to be in control of making decisions about the care of your children during mediation. Your mediator will not make choices; rather, they will enable you as parents to make decisions that are in your children’s best interests. In effective mediation proceedings, the mediators will prepare whatever is called as a Written Agreement, that will cover all aspects of your children’s upbringing, including where they reside, with whom they spend time, their schooling, and any Christmas or other religious holiday arrangements. If you so want, you may transform this Plan For the child into a legally binding contract after arbitration. Mediation enables the continuation of an amicable agreement.


Unfortunately, mediation does not always go according to plan. It is possible that the other parent does not accept the request to mediate at the start, or that the mediation process fails while you are involved. In such a case, your mediator will issue you with an MIAM certificate, which you may use to file a court application.

To file an application with the court, you must complete Form C100 and request a Child Arrangements Order. You may get an Interim Contact Order so that your children can spend time with you while the Child Arrangements Order is being finalised. The Interim Contact Order is established between the hearing for directions and the final hearing. When an Interim Contact Order is obtained, the Court (depending on the circumstances) may permit some contact prior to making a final determination. Typically, this does not include overnight contact unless the other parent consents. This is crucial to keep in mind, since the other parent may only be receptive to supervised contact, for example through a contact centre.

The Court will reach a judgement about the Child Arrangements Order at the final hearing. This will be determined based on the requests you made in your first C100 application. A report prepared by the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service will be one of the court’s key considerations for reaching a conclusion (CAFCASS). A CAFCASS officer conducted observations and/or interviews to compile this report. In general, the Court bases its rulings on this report. You may contest the contents of the report, but you must have a compelling basis to do so. Here you may learn more about CAFCASS.

The Child Arrangements Order that is issued will be legally binding. If another parent doesn’t really comply with the terms of the order in the future, you may return to court and get an enforcement order. At this point, you should return to step 1 and try family mediation again, using the same procedure.

What am I to do next?

Without a doubt, this scenario is very distressing and aggravating for parents who are denied access to their children. If you find yourself in a situation similar to that described in this article, know that there are actions you can do. If you would like to talk with a member of our team regarding family mediation, please contact us; we would be glad to assist you.

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