What can I do if my partner won’t let me see my child?

4. Go to court to change your agreement or order

Your partner might continue to refuse to let you have or visits with your child even if you have tried talking to them about it. You might have even tried to get help from a family law professional.

You have to start a family court case if:

  • you don't have a
  • you have a or that you want to change

If you have a final court order and need to change it, you can bring a motion to change.

Going to court can be a complicated process and it can take a lot of time. It can be stressful and expensive, but it is sometimes necessary to decide your issues. This family law court process flowchart explains each step in a family law court case.

Judges look at all the evidence and use a legal test called the to decide and parenting time. These used to be called and access.

The judge will also want to know:

  • how the parenting time plan you have is not working
  • your suggestions on what changes to parenting time would work better for your child

You can ask the court to make an order that:

  • sets out a specific parenting time schedule with times and days
  • says when you and your partner can call the child, so that your partner doesn't call when you're spending time with your child
  • says that if you or your partner are late in exchanging a child, that a make-up time is given to the other parent
  • says who is responsible for picking up and dropping off your child
  • says where the child will be picked up and dropped off
  • allows the police to help enforce the parenting time plan

You can talk to a lawyer who can help you understand what the law says about decision-making responsibility and parenting time.

If you can't afford to hire a lawyer for your whole case, some lawyers provide “unbundled services” or “limited scope retainer” services. This means you pay them to help you with part of your case.

If you can't afford to hire a lawyer at all, you may be able to find legal help in other places.

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