It is not wrong to presume that Tennessee is a mother state. The child custody laws are in favor of the mother when she is unmarried. The rights a mother gets are different from that of the father. Just having the mother’s name on the birth certificate of the newborn child provides a definite proof that she is the legal custodian. However, when the father has his name on the birth certificate, it only proves that the two have a relationship. It does not give the father any legal standing as a custodian.

According to Legalzoom, when a woman is unmarried, she automatically gets the custodial rights to her child. An unmarried father, on the other hand, does not receive any possible rights of custodial ownership. For an unmarried man to win any visitation or custodial rights, they need to make a petition to the Tennessee Juvenile courts. When a father files an appeal in a juvenile court, he first needs to establish paternity by providing a set of hospital documents or by taking a genetic test. Once paternity is created, the court evaluates the situation and determines the child’s custody depending on the best interest of the child. Justia indicates that some of the factors that a judge in Tennessee evaluates before giving the father custody are their mental, physical, health, and financial ability to provide for the child, and the relationship they have with the child. They also check if the father had been into any child abuse or domestic abuse cases.

When the child is 12 years or older, they may listen to what they have to say about who they would like to stay. Even with a father’s petition for custody, it is on rare occasions that the court decides to take care away from the mother. Some of the most successful custodial battles involve a father receiving visitation rights.