Looking for Tennessee‘s rules on marriage, divorce, child custody, and child support? Want to find Tennessee‘s state court forms and instructions and local court websites? Here’s where to start. For a wide range of other articles on family law in Tennessee, see the Resources by State section on this site.
Requirements: No blood test required. You must be of the age of consent, not be too closely related to your intended spouse, not be married to anyone else, and have sufficient mental capacity, meaning you understand what you are doing when you marry. You can marry immediately after your marriage license is issued, and your license is good for 30 days. For more details, check your county clerk’s office.
Common law marriage: No.
Community property: No.
Same-sex marriage: No.
Grounds for divorce: Fault or no-fault grounds are allowed, or you can base your divorce on the fact that you’ve been separated from your spouse for at least two years.
Residency requirement: At least one spouse must be a resident of Tennessee for six months before filing for divorce.
How property is divided: Equitable division.
Child custody guidelines: Tennessee courts begin with a presumption that it’s best for a child to have frequent and continuing contact with both parents after a divorce. If possible, judges want to support joint custody arrangements.
Child support guidelines: Tennessee requires all parents to support their children. The amount of child support depends primarily on each parent’s income and other resources and how much time each parent spends with the children.
Child support calculators to determine state guidelines: www.alllaw.com/calculators/childsupport/tennessee.
State child support enforcement agency: Department of Human Services—Child Support Services, http://state.tn.us/humanserv/cs/cs_main.html.
Tennessee court information and family law forms: www.tsc.state.tn.us.
Family services section of Tennessee website: www.state.tn.us/humanserv/adfam/afs_index.html.