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Questions Answered by Leonard Robert Grefseng
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Q: My (step) dad bought me a house from my early inheritance. His name and my name are the Only names on all paperwork.

He passed away in May without a will and now my mom thinks she is the owner. The tax office placed "etux" behind his name on the tax papers. Is that only for survivorship if I were to pass away or does she now legally own half? I want to sell and move but she is refusing me to have the money from... Read more »

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Jan 10, 2020

the tax records are irrelevant- you must look at the DEED. That is the document that determines ownership. If half passed to your mother upon your fathers death, then you can still force a sale of the property through a "partition lawsuit." Consult an experienced real estate lawyer to assist you.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Tennessee on
Q: how to get a copy of a court order
Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Jan 9, 2020

You must go to the office of the court clerk- there will be a charge of the copy and an extra charge if you want the copy to be "certified" ( verified as accurate). You will need the exact names of the people/entities involve in the case or the case number to assist the clerk in finding the case... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Tennessee on
Q: My mother passed away in Tenn and she was not married and I'm the only child and no will. Bank account money.
Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Jan 9, 2020

There is a "small estate" procedure which you may qualify for- depending on the amount of money in the Bank account. No personal property? No vehicle?

There is also a statute which allows banks to release up to $15,000 after 30 days of the date of death to the next of kin. You will need the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Tennessee on
Q: My granddaughter will turn twelve in 2020 and is living with her mother who slaps her in the mouth when angry.

Food is not available for her on a regular basis and I have had her every weekend since she was three months old. She is wanting to live with me full time, is this a possibility for her?

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Dec 13, 2019

It is certainly possible, but VERY difficult to say probable. It is very difficult for a non-parent to prevail over a parent in a custody case. Tennessee courts follow a principle called the "superior rights" doctrine, which as the name implies, states that the parents' right to raise their... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Contracts and Legal Malpractice for Tennessee on
Q: negligence, malpractice, breach of contract. unresponsive causing life issues

what do I do if an firm is holding money owed to me in a IOLTA and refuses to give info or release funds. The attorney who represented me now has his own firm and they have shut him out and will not provide him info after promising to release monies owed to me. I have been in this battle for over 1... Read more »

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Dec 5, 2019

Contact the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility ( this is the board that governs lawyers). This office can assist you with complaint or disputes with your attorney.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Tennessee on
Q: My stepmother moved out the house where she had a life estate. If we now sell property, does she get any of the money.
Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Dec 4, 2019

Most likely - yes, and perhaps more importantly, it's unclear whether you can sell the property without her signature/consent.This is hard to answer without actually seeing the document that created the life estate. I do not think simply "moving out" of the premises is enough to terminate the life... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Civil Litigation for Tennessee on
Q: My wife had an incident regarding her child. The people, who never spoke to her, told the police and court she was drunk

She was not intoxicated. This could severely affect her and her son. Is this slander or defamation of character?

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Dec 2, 2019

No, statements made in court are generally not actionable as defamation.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: How do i get my daughters Name changed in tn.the mother passed away and she was married.im the childs biological father.

Her husband has been out of the picture for 17 yrs.He said he will sign whatever i need signed.I have the Power of Attorney for care of a minor child form.But i am having a hard time with getting an audience with a judge.How do we go about being seen by a judge?So that he can officially sign off on... Read more »

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Nov 27, 2019

A request to change a surname is a court proceeding: you have to file a written petition ( also called a "complaint" under the rules of procedure) and give notice of that filing to any persons or entities that my be affected by your petition ( and in your case, there may not be anyone else). Giving... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: If my ex (which is the primary parent) has additional children, would that affect my cuild support payments?

If my ex ( who is the custodial parent) has additional children in a new relationship, would that affect my child support obligation?

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Nov 26, 2019

Yes- under the guidelines, if either parent has additional children in their home ( or other children outside their home for which they are paying support) this is a factor in the calculation of support.

2 Answers | Asked in Business Law for Tennessee on
Q: I am 49% owner can a 51% partner force me to disolve our LLC and keep using our business name for themselves?
Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Nov 19, 2019

Probably yes, but this will depend on the wording of your operating agreement. He will also be required to pay for the use of the business name, but putting a value on this and other aspects of the "good will" of the business can be difficult.

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: I live with my partner (not married) I have lived here for 3 yrs. He owns the house, I have no lease can he kick me out?

We own a business together

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Nov 19, 2019

yes- but that does not affect your ownership or the management of the business.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Q: Not by my choice, My 2 stepdaughters and i now own 1/3 each of the house that i have lived in for 30 thirty yrs...

I am wanting to downsize and sale. Are they legally bound to accept 1/3 of the agreed on selling price less their contribution expenses for the last 12 years since their father..my husband passed?

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Nov 18, 2019

Yes and No- your question is complicated. As to the sale of the property, yes, you can force them to sell and they will be entitled to one third of the net sale proceeds if your husband/their father died without a will. the more difficult part of the question is the part about deducting their... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Tennessee on
Q: My granddaughter is living in filth and is being made to share her room with my daughter’s boyfriend’s son

The boyfriend has been charged several times with abusing women including my daughter and doesn’t work. What can I do????

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Nov 12, 2019

If you have evidence ( proof for court, not just suspicions) that a child is being abused, you can file a petition ( a written request explaining your reasons and your proof) in Juvenile Court and a hearing will be scheduled where you can present the proof to the Judge. If you convinced the Judge... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: I want to get an annulment

I got married 1 Nov 19 and now I want an annulment

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Nov 11, 2019

Contrary to popular belief, under Tennessee law, the short duration of a marriage is not grounds ( a legal reason) for an annulment. An annulment is the procedure for having a marriage declared void/invalid because of some DEFECT in the marriage itself ( for example, underage parties, fraud or... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Divorce for Tennessee on
Q: I have been estranged from my wife for 17 years and need a divorce.

She took off 17 years ago and I haven't really seen her since. She has a minor child from another man long after she left. I have a child she is not the mother of. Can I file a simple/uncontested in TN

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Nov 7, 2019

Probably not- you surely need a divorce, the problem is that in order for it to be "simple and uncontested" your wife must AGREE and sign paperwork. Your question says your haven't seen her in some time, so to get her to sign, you will have to find her and communicate. It's likely she will also... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Tennessee on
Q: What is the percentage of child support in Tennessee on 2 kids?
Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Oct 31, 2019

Child support is no longer figured by a strict percentage of your income. Child support is now based on the monthly gross income of BOTH parents AND the number of days set forth in the parenting plan. There are other factors but the number of days and the parties' income are the most significant.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Tennessee on
Q: Can I apply for an agreed divorce if I have 160$ on my personal 401 k
Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Oct 29, 2019

yes, I assume you a re talking about the forms put out by the Supreme court that say they ( the forms) can't be used if you have retirement benefits. The retirement benefits are not the problem, the problem is that dividing the benefits usually requires complicated court orders called QDROs (... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Tennessee on
Q: I let my ex wife move in to my spare room in hard times. How can I evict her?

My ex wife was going through a rough time and I let her move in to help. Since she moved in I have holes in the walls my personal property has been getting damaged and of course we have been arguing to the point of having the law called on more than one occasion. She has been threatening me with... Read more »

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Oct 28, 2019

In Tennessee, the procedure is to give her written notice to get out. If she was supposed to pay rent, she has 15 days to catch up the rent. Then you file in general session court a "detainer warrant" ( the court clerk will have a form for you to fill out). Actually, it sounds like she is not... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Q: If two people formed an LLC, to own a rental property, can one of them choose to sell if the other is unresponsive?

My wife and her friend, who lives in Kenya, created an LLC to purchase a rental property in Memphis. The LLC is listed as the owner on the title document. The friend paid the initial deposit and has been collecting all of the revenue from payments made by tenants. My wife agreed to partner with... Read more »

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Oct 24, 2019

If the property is owned by the LLC, the "operating agreement" of the LLC controls resolution of any dispute among the owners/members of the LLC. If there is no "operating agreement," there are state statutes which control the dissolution of the LLC. It is unclear what you mean when you say the... Read more »

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