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Tennessee Child Custody and Support Guidelines


Tennessee Child Custody and Support Guidelines:

The court may award custody to either parent, or to both parents in the case of joint custody or shared parenting based on the best interests of the child, taking the following factors into consideration:

  • The emotional ties, love, and affection between the parents and the child;
  • The ability of the parents to provide adequately for the child;
  • The quality of the child's adjustment to the child's present environment, including the home, school, and community, provided there is no evidence of child abuse;
  • The stability of the family unit, as well as the mental and physical health of the parents;
  • The preference of the child if 12 years of age or older. The court may also hear the preference of a younger child upon request, but it will not be given as much weight as that of an older child;
  • Evidence of abuse to the child, the other parent, or any other person;
  • The character of any other person who resides with or frequently interacts with the child;
  • The parenting abilities of each parent, including their willingness to encourage a close and continuing relationship between the child and the other parent.

[Based on Tennessee Code - Title 36, Sections 36-6-106]


Child support in Tennessee is based on the "Income Shares" Model, and the provisions are outlined in the following Tennessee child support guidelines. The court may require health insurance coverage for each child of the marriage, with either party to pay all, or each party to pay a pro rata share of, the health care costs not paid by insurance proceeds. [Based on Tennessee Code - Title 36, Sections 36-5-501]

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