Unfortunately, some parents undergoing a divorce use their children as pawns. Denying your partner access to their offspring or putting restrictions on the activities they can enjoy together can be manipulative and distressing. It can even also be even illegal. If you’ve ever wondered "Can a mother refuse to let a dad see the kids?" (or vice versa), here’s what our Family Lawyers have to say.

Can a mother refuse to let a dad see the kids if he doesn’t pay child support?

Generally speaking, lack of child support, lateness with child pickups and drop-offs, and even absent parenting are insufficient reasons to deny a parent access. For this reason, a mother can not simply refuse to let a father who does not financially provide enough for his children stop seeing them.

The valid reasons for denying child access rights

A parent can take measures to limit or deny access to their former partner’s right to see his or her children. This applies in instances where they are concerned that their child may be in psychological or physical danger. However, the success of an order of this nature is dependent on the proof that the child requires protection from these abuses.

Will a court find in favour of these requests?

According to the Family Law Act 1975, Family Law Courts in Australia highly prioritise the importance of relationship between child and parent. For this reason, judges will seek solutions that protect a child's wellbeing - without completely denying a parent access.

A blanket "no"  to the question, "Can a mother refuse to let a dad see the kids?" does not apply.  Instead, some of these options may include:

  • Supervised contact
  • Contact at a distance (such as communication via email, phone or Zoom)
  • Creative measures (a court order compelling the parent to adjust their behaviours in the presence of their child).

New South Lawyers’ communications are intended to provide commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this communication.

To find out more, chat with a member of New South Lawyers' Family Law Team today.