Published on March 20, 2023

This is clearly a difficult question to answer as it depends upon the reasons as to why the child or children do not want to see their Dad. Children should be encouraged by their Mother to see their Dad if it is a safe and loving environment.

Photo by Jordan Whitt on Unsplash

The starting point is that children should grow up knowing both their parents. If there is an issue as to why they do not wish to go to see their Dad then that needs to be explored and resolved. Sometimes it has to be resolved using professionals whether that be medical professionals or legal professionals.

If you are a Dad whose children are indicating that they do not wish to see you, it is important to act quickly as any delay is likely to be prejudicial to you

It is important that children are not ignored. When children reach a certain age and understanding their wishes and feelings will be taken into account. The legislation that deals with children matters is the Children Act 1989 and the Courts paramount consideration is always the child’s welfare. The Court also considers the welfare checklist (a set list of factors) in deciding what is best for the child (see article here for further information on welfare checklist).

You should try and resolve any dispute regarding contact with each other first. You could use mediation to assist you in doing this which could include the children if they are old enough and understand the situation. You can find mediators near you here.

If you cannot resolve the matters then Court proceedings may have to be issued but this should only be seen as a last resort. Many people believe that going to Court will resolve their problems but in my experience whilst the Court can make Orders in respect of arrangements for children, those issues still need to be resolved so that they do not occur again.

If you are a Dad whose children are indicating that they do not wish to see you, it is important to act quickly as any delay is likely to be prejudicial to you. If Court proceedings have to be issued then those proceedings will not be resolved overnight they can take months to resolve and important time will be lost if you do not take action.

There are many solicitors out there that will be able to assist Dads in this situation usually by offering a free initial appointment. My advice is to look for a Resolution Member as they adhere to a code of conduct so that your matter can be dealt with constructively and in a non-confrontational way. This will assist in avoiding the situation getting worse.

Signposting to additional support and relevant organisations can be found in this link.

Postscript. Issues arising out of divorce or separation can often prove stressful for the couple and other family members. This article written by Dylan Watkins GP offers a useful overview for those who may be struggling.

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The Impact On Children

It is so easy to be told that you need to put your children first when we are separating, but what does it actually mean? When your life is turmoil and emotions are running high this can feel daunting when there are so many things to think about. If you have a child with someone, then regardless of whatever you think of them or whatever they might have done, they will still have an important role to play in the life of your child. Exceptions to this are rare. Possessive language that excludes or minimises the role of the other parent can negatively impact the relationship between that parent and the child and can increase conflict and make it more difficult to co-parent. We know that conflict and/or parental absence in particular has a negative impact on children.

Parents need to create the right conditions for children to thrive.

For children, whilst separation will bring inevitable feelings of loss and change, they can still thrive if their parents work in partnership to create the right conditions. We know that children are more likely to adapt with fewer problems, and less emotional distress, when parents are able to part with compassion and continue to work together in partnership even when they are not together. On this hub you will find lots of article and tips on how to minimise the impact on children. For example; how do you set up two homes? How do you co-parent well? What does it mean to put your children first? How do you tell your child you are separating? What do I tell the school? What about holidays? And much more...

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