Automatic full custody for mothers is a thing of the past in Tennessee. Rather than automatically preferring the mother or the father, the courts tend to consider the best interest of the child. This often results in what you might think of as joint custody: Shared time and responsibilities between both parents.
You and your spouse would probably be on even ground to start. Instead of considering your parental role, the court would consider various other factors.
Your child’s wishes
FindLaw provides a good overview of child custody laws in Tennessee. One of the main points in the article is that the court considers the best interest of the child as the sole factor in custody.
The court might ask your child directly. Of course, it is often necessary to provide detailed evidence from many sources to determine your child’s interests.
Your home situation
Apart from your child’s statements, your home situation would probably be a factor. How healthy is your domestic environment, or the one you intend to enter? How stable is your child’s life in the current situation? How well would your child adjust to a new environment? These are the types of questions the court might ask.
Your parenting ability
The court is also likely to consider your ability, resources and skills as a parent. Even if you do not currently have a large source of income, you might be able to point to your social support system, government assistance, child support and so on to help your case in this regard.
Most current divorces result in shared parenting responsibilities. However, it is certainly possible to have children visiting or living permanently with fathers, rather than with mothers. It would all depend on how the court views your specific situation.