2019 Tennessee Code
Title 36 - Domestic Relations
Chapter 2 - Parentage
Part 3 - Parentage and Legitimation
§ 36-2-305. Agreement to establish parentage -- Complaint to establish parentage -- Parties -- When action may be brought -- Order of protection.
(a) The court may enter an order of parentage upon the agreement of the mother and father unless the court on its own motion orders genetic testing. In any such agreement, the mother and father must affirmatively acknowledge their parentage of the child. Any agreement under this part shall comply with the requirements of § 36-2-311.
(1) Absent an agreement or an acknowledgement of parentage as prescribed by § 68-3-203(g), § 68-3-302, or § 68-3-305(b), a complaint to establish parentage may be filed. Except as hereinafter provided, Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure shall govern all actions under this subsection (b).
(2) A complaint to establish parentage of a child may be filed by:
(A) The child, if the child has reached the age of majority, or if the child is a minor, the child through a guardian or next friend;
(B) The child's mother, or if the mother is a minor, the mother's personal representative, parent, or guardian;
(C) A man claiming to be the child's father, or if the man is a minor, the man's parent, guardian, or personal representative;
(D) The department of human services or its contractor.
(3) One (1) man or several men may be named as the father. The naming of one (1) man as father does not preclude a later suit against another man if the court finds that the first man is not the father of the child.
(4) If an action under this section is brought before the birth of the child, all proceedings may be stayed until after the birth, except service of process, the taking of depositions to preserve testimony, and the performance of genetic testing.
(5) If the alleged father threatens or attempts to harm the complainant in any manner, the court may enter an order of protection pursuant to chapter 3, part 6 of this title. Nothing in this subsection (b) shall be construed to alter or increase the jurisdiction of the juvenile courts to issue orders of protection except when the parties are before the court in connection with a complaint filed pursuant to this chapter.
(6) The action may be commenced by service of a summons as in civil cases and tried as a civil action. In the alternative, notice of the filing of the complaint shall be delivered to the defendant or the defendant's representative or shall be sent to the defendant at the defendant's last known address. If the defendant fails to make an appearance or file an answer to the complaint, the court may proceed as in civil cases or may issue a warrant for the apprehension of the defendant, directed to any officer in this state authorized to execute warrants, commanding such officer without delay to apprehend the defendant and bring the defendant before the court for the purpose of having an adjudication as to the paternity of the child, and such warrant may be issued to any county of this state.