Hi, this is Jim, thank you very much for the question - I will resolve this for you today.
Yes, indeed you do. You have a right to regular contact with your children.
As their Father you have a right to see them regularly and the family court will encourage this and for you to have an active part in their upbringing. The court will order arrangements for you to see them on specified days and for how long if you cannot agree this with your ex partner. You can also ask for joint custody so they live with you for part of the week if you wish.
If custody is to be considered then the welfare checklist of the child is relevant : www.inbrief.co.uk/child-law/child-welfare-checklist
You need to contact your ex and say you will have to apply for a child arrangements order and if you are successful then you will ask the court to order she pays the cost. Give your ex 7 days to confirm their stance.
If she continues to refuse to allow you more contact, you need to contact a mediator as the court will want to know whether you have attended mediation first before involving the court - the mediator will contact your ex and if she refuses to attend then you are free to make the application to the court. This is called “MIAM”, or a mediation assessment.
To find a mediator in your local area, use this site : www.familymediationcouncil.org.uk/find-local-mediator
In order to apply to the court, you will need to fill out and send form C100 (copy attached) with a cheque of £215 payable to HMCTS to your local family court centre. The form can also be found here:
Or you can ring the court and pay over the phone (or pay in person if you go directly to the court and pay at the counter). If you are on low income/have low savings you can apply for a fee exemption here: www.gov.uk/get-help-with-court-fees
Once you apply the court will list a hearing where you and your ex attends. There will be a family advisor there too (from Cafcass) and if arrangements can be agreed then an order will be drawn up. If nothing can be agreed then the judge will make an order which is then binding on you both.
I hope this helps - please feel free to ask me anything else.
Have a good day,