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Tennessee Child Custody Laws

Child custody laws are very similar among different U.S. states. This is not surprising as  nearly every state has adopted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). However, there are slight variations in child custody laws and one area that differs is the terminology.

Tennessee child custody laws allow for joint custody and grandparents' visitation rights while taking into account the child's own wishes when considering custody decisions. In fact, Tennessee courts are required to state, in writing, why ordering joint or sole legal custody is in the best interest of the child.

This article provides a brief overview of child custody laws in the state of Tennessee.

Tennessee Child Custody Laws at a Glance

While an attorney's contributions to understanding the law can't be ignored, it's certainly useful to read a plain language reference. The chart below provides a summary of child custody laws in Tennessee.


§ 36-6-106 et seq. of the Tennessee Code Annotated

Year Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Was Adopted


Joint Custody an Option?

Yes, § 36-6-106

Grandparent Visitation Rights Recognized?

Yes, § 36-6-306

Children's Own Wishes Considered?

Yes, ages 12 and older

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Tennessee Child Custody Laws: Related Resources

Get Professional Legal Help With Your Tennessee Custody Case

Child custody proceedings are usually quite emotional and difficult for parents and they require legal know-how and an understanding of how to negotiate with opposing counsel. Don't leave such an important decision up to chance. If you're involved in a custody case in Tennessee, reach out to an experienced child custody lawyer near you.

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  • Custody & child visitation cases are emotional, and a lawyer can seek the best outcome
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