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Legal Information: Tennessee


October 6, 2020

If a temporary order is issued during a parent’s military duty, what happens when the parent returns from deployment?

An order granting custody or custodial responsibility during a parent’s deployment is temporary (unless it says otherwise). The court cannot issue a permanent custodial responsibility order without the consent of the deploying parent.1 Once the deployed parent returns, the temporary order ends (unless a court order has already terminated the custodial rights and responsibilities before s/he returns).2 A non-parent who is granted any caretaking or decision-making responsibilities has the right to continue to seek that those rights be enforced until the order is terminated by a court or terminated upon the deployed parent’s return.3

1 TN ST § 36-7-302(a)
2 TN ST § 36-7-307(a)
3 TN ST §§ 36-7-307(b); 36-7-401