Here’s an informative piece for the men of Tennessee. It’s a blog post by Tennessee attorney Kent T. Jones about how unmarried fathers are treated by the state’s family laws and how unmarried mothers are. It’s not a pretty picture.
The Tennessee child custody statutes support the mother in cases where the parents of a child are not married. An unmarried mother’s name on a child’s birth certificate is sufficient proof of her custodial rights; however, it is not the same for an unmarried father. Even if he’s named on the birth certificate, this only proves his relationship to the child; it does not assign any custody rights. A mother’s right to custody is automatic under Tennessee law, whereas the unmarried father must initiate juvenile court proceedings in order to gain custody rights.