Tennessee Code Annotated

Title 36: Domestic Relations

Chapter 6: Child Custody and Visitation

Part 1: General Custody Provisions

TCA 36-6-113: Temporary modification of decree for child custody or visitation for children of mobilized parent.

(a) As used in this section:

(1) "Armed forces" means the national guard and the reserve components of the armed forces, the United States army, the United States navy, the United States marine corps, the United States coast guard, and the United States air force, and any other branch of the military and naval forces or auxiliaries of the United States or this state; and

(2) "Mobilized parent" means a parent who:

(A) Is a member of the armed forces; and

(B) Is called to active duty or receives orders for duty that is outside the state or country.

(b) A court shall not permanently modify a decree for child custody or visitation solely on the basis that one (1) of the parents is a mobilized parent.

(c) (1) A court of competent jurisdiction shall determine whether a temporary modification to a decree for child custody or visitation is appropriate for a child or children of a mobilized parent and, if appropriate, hold an expedited hearing if the exigencies of the mobilized parent's out-of-state assignment require immediate attention.

(2) The determination under subdivision (c)(1) includes consideration of any and all circumstances that are necessary to maximize the mobilized parent's time and contact with the parent's child that are consistent with the best interest of the child, including, but not limited to:

(A) The ordered length of the mobilized parent's call to active duty;

(B) The mobilized parent's duty station or stations;

(C) The opportunity that the mobilized parent will have for contact with the child through a leave, a pass or other authorized absence from duty;

(D) The contact that the mobilized parent has had with the child before the call to active military duty;

(E) The nature of the military mission, if known; and

(F) Any other factor that the court deems appropriate under the circumstances.

(3) The court shall allow for testimony to be given to the court by electronic means while the military parent is absent from the state if necessary.

(d) Any court-ordered modification of a child custody decree based on the active duty of a mobilized parent shall be temporary and shall revert back to the previous child custody decree at the end of the deployment, as appropriate.

(e) This section shall not limit the power of a court of competent jurisdiction to permanently modify a decree of child custody or visitation in the event that a parent volunteers for successive or frequent duties that remove the parent from the state and that make the parent unavailable to effectively supervise and care for a child.

History: Acts 2008, ch. 793, SC 1; 2011, ch. 86, SCSC 1, 2.