Guardianship | Tennessee Center for Decision-Making Support

Guardianship

What is it?

Parents are legally responsible for all decisions for their children until the child turns 18. A court can appoint a person to be a child’s guardian.

What does Tennessee law say?

Guardianship is defined in Tennessee Code Annotated Title 34 Chapter 1 Section 101 Chapter 1-3 definitions (9 (TCA 34-1-101).). You can look up Tennessee Code Annotated here: https://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/tncode/.

By law, biological or adoptive parents have legal guardianship or decision-making authority over their own minor children (“minor” means younger than 18 years old), unless a court removes it.

If the biological or adoptive parents are for any reason removed as the legal guardian, Tennessee law says that a court can appoint a person or persons to provide partial or full supervision, protection and assistance of the person or property, or both, of a minor as their “guardian”.

How do I learn more?

You may need a lawyer to seek guardianship of a minor if you are not the biological or adoptive parent. If you would like more information or want to talk to a lawyer contact Disability Rights Tennessee call 1(800) 342-1660