2017 Tennessee Code
Title 36 - Domestic Relations
Chapter 6 - Child Custody and Visitation
Part 2 - Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act
§ 36-6-216. Jurisdiction to make custody determination.

Universal Citation: TN Code § 36-6-216 (2017)
  • (a) Except as otherwise provided in § 36-6-219, a court of this state has jurisdiction to make an initial child custody determination only if:
    • (1) This state is the home state of the child on the date of the commencement of the proceeding, or was the home state of the child within six (6) months before the commencement of the proceeding and the child is absent from this state but a parent or person acting as a parent continues to live in this state;
    • (2) A court of another state does not have jurisdiction under subdivision (a)(1), or a court of the home state of the child has declined to exercise jurisdiction on the ground that this state is the more appropriate forum under §§ 36-6-221 or 36-6-222, and:
      • (A) The child and the child's parents, or the child and at least one (1) parent or a person acting as a parent, have a significant connection with this state other than mere physical presence; and
      • (B) Substantial evidence is available in this state concerning the child's care, protection, training, and personal relationships;
    • (3) All courts having jurisdiction under subdivision (a)(1) or (a)(2) have declined to exercise jurisdiction on the ground that a court of this state is the more appropriate forum to determine the custody of the child under §§ 36-6-221 or 36-6-222; or
    • (4) No court of any other state would have jurisdiction under the criteria specified in subdivision (a)(1), (a)(2), or (a)(3).
  • (b) Subsection (a) is the exclusive jurisdictional basis for making a child-custody determination by a court of this state.
  • (c) Physical presence of, or personal jurisdiction over, a party or a child is not necessary or sufficient to make a child-custody determination.
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