PARENTAGE, PATERNITY AND LEGITIMIZATION

If a child is born out of wedlock in the State of Tennessee, who has custody?  Under Tennessee law, only the Mother has custody of a child born out of wedlock and Fathers have no rights to custody and/or visitation until/unless a court grants those rights.  What if I “sign” the birth certificate?  Do I not then become the legal Father?  What if my name is “listed as Father” on the birth certificate? But I signed a “Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity”?  The answer is simple:  no, no, no and no.  According to the Tennessee Court of Appeals, signing a VAP only provides the Father with child support obligations and notice of litigation regarding the child.

Absent a court order, a child born out of wedlock in Tennessee is in the sole custody of the Mother.  TCA 36-2-302.

We can assist you with these issues.  Please call Greta Locklear 423-436-1529.  Thank you.

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