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TENNESSEE COMPILATION OF SELECTED LAWS ON CHILDREN, YOUTH AND FAMILIES, 2011 EDITION

TENNESSEE CODE ANNOTATED

Title 36 Domestic Relations

Chapter 6 Child Custody and Visitation

Part 1 General Custody Provisions

36-6-107. Mediation in cases involving domestic abuse.

(a) In any proceeding concerning the custody of a child, if an order of protection issued in or recognized by this state is in effect or if there is a court finding of domestic abuse or any criminal conviction involving domestic abuse within the marriage that is the subject of the proceeding for divorce or separate support and maintenance, the court may order mediation or refer either party to mediation only if:

(1) Mediation is agreed to by the victim of the alleged domestic or family violence;

(2) Mediation is provided by a certified mediator who is trained in domestic and family violence in a specialized manner that protects the safety of the victim; and

(3) The victim is permitted to have in attendance at mediation a supporting person of the victim's choice, including, but not limited to, an attorney or advocate. No victim may provide monetary compensation to a non-attorney advocate for attendance at mediation.

(b) Where the court makes findings of child abuse or child sexual abuse under § 36-6-106(a)(8), the court may only award visitation under circumstances that guarantee the safety of the child. In order to guarantee the safety of the child, the court may order:

(1) That all visits be supervised by a responsible adult or agency, the costs to be primarily borne by the perpetrating parent;

(2) That the perpetrating parent attend and complete a program of counseling or other intervention as a precondition to visitation;

(3) That overnight visitation be prohibited until such time that the perpetrating parent has completed court ordered counseling or intervention, or otherwise demonstrated a change in circumstances that guarantees the safety of the child;

(4) That the address of the child and the non-perpetrating parent be kept confidential; and

(5) Any other conditions the court deems necessary and proper to guarantee the safety of the child.

Acts 1997, ch. 350, § 2; 1998, ch. 1095, § 4.

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