Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act is followed in Tennessee for child custody. According to the act, joint custody and visitation rights to grandparents are allowed in Tennessee.
Child custody laws in Tennessee emphasize more on child’s own choices and preferences when making child custody decision. In case parents cannot agree to a mutual child custody agreement, family courts of Tennessee hold the authority to decide on child custody, care and control. The court can award the “custody” to any of the parent or to both parents. However, to make any decision, child’s best of interests will be the prime consideration. The court also require, in writing,why physical custody is in best of child’s interests.
Child’s decision on Custody:
The child custody laws in Tennessee statute states that the courts consider child’s preference over the issues of custody, if the child is over the age of 12.
Besides, the court also considers factors including:
- Relationship of each parent with the child
- Which parent is primary caregiver to daily developmental needs of child
- Which parent facilitates and supports healthy relationship of child with other parent
- Each parent’s history and ability to provide accommodation, food, clothes, health, education and emotional support to the child
- Each parent’s history of any emotional or physical abuse
- Character of any other person residing in the parent’s home
Rights of non-custodial parent
Following are some of the rights of a non-custodial parent in Tennessee
- At least two unrestricted phone calls in a week
- Contact via mail, which other parent may not censor
- Right to be informed as soon as possible (within 24 hours) in emergency cases like serious illness, accident, or hospitalization
- Direct access to child’s school records
- Right to get informed about medical records
- Right to receive detailed itinerary in case the other parent along with the child is leaving the state for more than 2 days
- Access and right to participation in child’s educational and other related activities