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Questions Answered by Leonard Robert Grefseng
1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Tennessee on
Q: my childs father and I are not married. So paternity form will be filled out. Will he have to go get rights and pay

He thinks he gets out free and visits whenever. Is this true or does he have to go get rights and will they put him on child support.

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Oct 16, 2019

A child born to unmarried parents is, by statute, in the custody of the mother. To assert any parental rights, the father must file a paternity ( now called parentage) action, get DNA testing done to confirm paternity and have the Court/Judge establish the legal relationship. This means the father... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Collections and Contracts for Tennessee on
Q: Customer won't pay for work/parts he authorized abandoned car won't take our call authorized work/parts = 1600 Car = 300

We have an electronic record showing he authorized the work, parts and the costs. He only paid $500 for it and appears to have been trying to "flip" it for profit. It seems he's trying to cut his losses leaving us with labor and parts already paid out on his authorization.

I know how to... Read more »

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Oct 8, 2019

Under Tennessee law, a repair service has a possessory lien on the vehicle for the cost of repairs- you can retain the vehicle until he pays for the work. At some point, you will need to file suit to collect the debt, and once you have a judgment, you can have the sheriff's office sell the vehicle... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Collections for Tennessee on
Q: Would I have to pay for an almost 10 year old water bill, that isn't even on my credit report?
Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Oct 4, 2019

The failure to list or report the debt to a credit reporting agency is irrelevant, the real issue is the statute of limitations: the legal deadline for filing suit. Beware; Local utility services are often non-profit agencies, and some have policies against allowing new services to individuals who... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: Should I file for an agreed divorce and get the stay away injunction or just file for an order of protection? He threate

He threatens me and my pets and destroys my property or gives it away he refuses to help me pay bills and e just keeps me in a state of fear

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Oct 3, 2019

divorce has significant emotional and financial consequences. It sounds like you need to file ( forget asking for an "agreed divorce" - if he has treated you so badly, you don't need his agreement, you have grounds to dissolve the marriage even if he disagrees). The order of protection can also be... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Tennessee on
Q: Considering divorce.. If I hold bank accounts with our Daughter, and with my Mother, is he entitled to those funds?

He is not an authorized signer/owner on either account.

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

Impossible to answer without additional information; in a divorce in Tennessee, the judge is not bound by the labels or designations on title certificates, or deeds or signature cards on banks accounts. The classification of an asset as either "marital property" or "separate property" requires the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Q: Can a husband take any of the property if the title is in my name and it was paid for with my inheritance
Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Sep 24, 2019

This is too complicate to answer in this simple question/answer format. if I understand what you are asking- it certainly sounds like it would be unlikely that a judge would award any of this property to your husband in a divorce situation. However, that are many other factors the Judge MUST... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Family Law and Child Custody for Tennessee on
Q: Hi, How do I file a petition to modify my parenting plan without a lawyer?
Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Sep 24, 2019

Sorry, but there is no "easy answer" to this: If you needed surgery, would you attempt to do it to yourself? Almost everyone says no, they would hire a professional to perform this service. However, rather than hire a lawyer, people will attempt complicated procedures and risk unfortunate... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Tennessee on
Q: Lost my job, Childs Mother offered to put child on her insurance if I paid the difference. I was told an inaccurate

total. She waited two years in inform that me that I've underpaid. I will pay the corrected total going forward. Am I obliged to reimburse?

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

If it was her mistake in telling you the wrong amount, I would say "No." It also sounds like the mistake should have been discovered much sooner, ( somebody was paying the bill or it was coming out as a deduction on a paycheck). However, to be 100% sure, all of the wording or your divorce decree... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Tennessee on
Q: Landlord is selling house we lease in Tennessee. Will our lease remain intact?

There is no clause in our lease regarding this.

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

Yes, if the new owner tries to evict or raise the rent, the prior owner will be in breach of your lease. The purchaser is buying the property "subject to" the contract ( your lease) already in existence, but only for the remaining term of the lease.

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: Can I get an Agreed Divorce in TN with no lawyer, if I own a home only in my name and my husband does NOT want it?

In Tennessee, you can get a simple agreed divorce, if you meet the requirements. One of the requirements is as follows:

•You don’t own buildings or land or a business together or have retirement benefits;

We meet all of the other requirements, but I'm not sure about this one. I... Read more »

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Sep 17, 2019

Yes, you can get an agreed divorce without a lawyer, even if you own real property, but this is almost always an area of dispute ( since it is usually the parties biggest investment). Although your husband may not want the house, he may change his mind if he finds out he might be entitled to some... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Tennessee on
Q: My tenant’s AC stopped working one evening. I missed her calls and she called repair man herself.

She got it fixed and texted me she would just deduct from rent. I know this isn’t legal but what is Landlords recourse? Can I withhold deposit for the repairs? It was a matter of a few hours, not even 24hrs to remedy on my pair.

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

If she doesn't pay the correct amount of rent- that is a breach of the lease. She can only withhold rent in very limited circumstances, and as you say, it does not appear that she gave you enough advance notice or time to perform any repairs ( this assumes you are located in an area covered by the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: How do I gain guardianship of my mother with Alzheimer's and dementia?

My mother does not have a p.o.a. shes recently been diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer's. Her bills are not getting paid. She's not eating. She refuses help and meals on wheels. I don't have the income to pay for court costs, how do I take over so she's financially safe and gets the care she... Read more »

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

You do not have to spend your money- the cost of a "conservatorship" should be paid from her assets. You will need a sworn statement/affidavit from her doctor confirming the diagnosis of dementia but also stating the doctor's opinion as to whether she can manage her own affairs ( do this first... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Tennessee on
Q: Does the wife, in Tennessee, automatically get her diceased husband's personal property by law if he has no will?

My husband is "too busy right now" to draw up a will. We moved to Tennessee from Florida in Sept 2018 and bought a house with a mortgage. He has two daughters with families in Colorado. I am their step-mother. If he dies, does his personal property automatically go to me, his wife, by Tennessee law?

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

A surviving spouse is entitled to certain household goods and the family automobile if the deceased spouses dies without a will. Review Tennessee Code Section 30-2-101. The surviving spouse has other entitlements ( a homestead allowance and a "years support, etc ) but all of these are NOT... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: I turn 18 in october, but i’m still in high school. Can i legally move out in the state of Tennessee when i turn 18?
Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Sep 10, 2019

At age 18, any person is considered an adult in Tennessee ( except for the purchase or consumption of alcohol, for which the minimum age is 21).

The real issue, which is not stated in your question, is whether you should move out: do you have the maturity and resources to live...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Banking, Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Q: My grandfather passed away and left his estate in my name. My grandmother is still alive and the bank is threatening

foreclosure, because they owe $27,000. As the property owner what are my options?

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Sep 9, 2019

If the bank is threatening foreclosure- that usually means they have a lien on the property, and if you acquired that property by inheritance, you acquired the property SUBJECT to the Banks lien: this means that if you want to keep the property, you will have to pay the loan. You don't owe the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Tennessee on
Q: Do you have to pay back rent if the owner sold the property and gave no notice of selling?
Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Sep 9, 2019

you owe rent for the entire time you occupy the premises- either to the new owner or, if "back rent" probably to the previous owner.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Tennessee on
Q: My landlord wants me to pay to get a water damaged countertop replaced in my kitchen, but I was not negligent.

They cited improper wiping, but I know I did not expose the area to water beyond normal use. I strongly suspect the problem is due to the laminate countertop not being properly installed and/or sealed where the countertop meets the backsplash piece. What recourse do I have?

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Sep 9, 2019

If you refuse to pay, the landlord is likely to try to evict you. Ultimately, you could go to court and let a Judge decide what caused the damage.

If they evict you, the landlord will try to withhold your security deposit.

I would not agree to pay for damages I did not cause, but...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: Is a 17 year old in Tennessee allowed to leave home against his parents wishes? Not moving out, just visiting friends.
Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Sep 9, 2019

No, until a minor reaches the age of majority ( 18) they are subject to parental authority.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: Can I move my daughter out of state? I am unmarried and recently split with my boyfriend/her father. There was no prenup

I have no support and no family in Tennessee. My nearest family is in Indiana. I want to leave but he threatens to report me for kidnapping. What should I do

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

If there has never been a formal court action to confirm paternity, you, as the mother have sole custody. It is not 'kidnapping" to relocate, but I suggest you check with a lawyer in both Indiana and Tennessee first: you need to collect child support for this child so you need legal advice to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Q: i am loaning money for a house flip. I will have a promissory note. Is that enough to protect my investment?

The house is to be short term leased from the current owner during the renovation, so the person I am loaning to won't own the property until the day before it is re-sold.

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

NO- if I were you, I would not loan money on real estate without a lien on that real estate. If the deal goes bad, you want to be able to force a sale of the property to get your money back. The current owner will need to sign the note and a deed of trust/mortgage.

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