If you are an unmarried father, you still have the right to be a parent to your child. However, the process of establishing paternity along with visitation can potentially be more challenging.
If you are not sure where to begin in regard to gaining custody of your child in Tennessee, it is a good idea to first research the ways to establish paternity.
How to establish paternity
The complicated aspect of being an unmarried father is that paternity is not automatically assumed under the law, even if you were in a serious relationship with the mother of the child at the time. The mother of the child could voluntarily choose to put your name on the birth certificate of the child. However, if the mother refuses to do this, you may need to take a paternity test. If the mother will not participate in making this possible, you can request a court order.
Getting custody rights of your child
After you have successfully established paternity of your child, it can then be possible to file for custody rights. In order to be successful in this endeavor, you should be able to show that you can provide a safe and supportive environment for your child. For example, if you would like your child to stay overnight at your home, you should be able to show that you have a room with an age-appropriate bed and any equipment that might be necessary for caring for the child.
If you are struggling to establish paternity or gain custody of your child, it is important that you stand up for your rights as a father.