DAVID PISARRA

Posts Tagged ‘home’

Fathers Should Not Leave Family Home

In child custody, Child Custody Issues, Child Support, Domestic Violence, Parental Alienation, Paternity Issues on August 2, 2010 at 10:35 pm

This week my column in the Santa Monica Daily Press deals with the issue of whether or not fathers should leave the family home. Doing so is a big mistake in child custody cases. It sets the mother up as the de facto Primary Custodian, which is why most men never get the custody that they so desperately want. Child Custody battles are largely fought and won, LONG before the court even looks at the case.

Here’s my column on the subject of Dads leaving home, as it originally was posted in my column, What’s The Point?

Sitting before me is a man, a father, a provider of love to his children. He has soothed scraped knees, taught bike riding, and changed wet bed sheets at 3 a.m. He is fighting back tears because we are not close enough yet for him to let me see the hurt. I know he needs to let the pain out, I know how to say just the right thing to make him feel comfortable, and his defenses crumble. For the first time in two months, he allows himself to feel the loss of his family.

I’m a divorce attorney. I’m one of those people that helps others through an incredibly difficult period of their life. I have to deliver bad news regularly. Some days it feels like that’s all I do. I specialize in helping men; fathers and husbands who are entering a minefield, financially and emotionally, through what is arguably one of the most difficult and treacherous periods of their life.

Frequently a man comes to my office having already left the family home and the first thing he says is, “I don’t care about the house, I just want to see my kids.” What he doesn’t know, and what I have to tell him, is that he has already lost the war for custody.

He and his wife were not getting along, they were bickering and fighting in front of the kids, she kept telling him to “get out, just leave!” He thought it was best for the kids — that if he moved out the fighting would stop.

Big mistake. Huge. Tremendously bad move.
The only time that I tell a man to leave the home is if there is physical violence, or she’s mean enough to lie about being abused to get a restraining order. Other than that, moving out is the single worst thing a man can do in a divorce, financially, emotionally, and if he moves out, he has to get an apartment, which takes money. It increases the financial strain on the couple, who are already low on money, and now he has to buy furnishings, dishes, pots and pans, etc. for his apartment, plus anything the kids need is duplicated. As the money gets tighter, they are going to fight more, and if he’s not living with the family, soon enough she’ll be after him for child support, which will only put more strain on him.

When he moves out, the little communication that was happening between him and her usually gets worse. Frequently it stops altogether, and the reasons for the breakup never get talked about, or worse, he now gets blamed for “leaving.” Which makes him feel guilty, trapped in a “Catch-22” situation and he just wants to give up and run away.

Lastly, and the worst part of this tragedy, is that moving out has created a “status quo” as far as the courts are concerned in regards to the children. Since dad left the kids with mom, the court thinks that they should be with her, and that’s what is most likely going to happen. He will see them every other weekend and a weeknight dinner. This is the bad news I have to deliver to the man who sits in front of me in tears.

He didn’t know that was going to happen. He didn’t think he’d lose seeing his kids all the time. He doesn’t care about the house, the furniture, the only thing he wants is to be a dad, and now he’s a weekend dad. All it took was for her to push him out of the house.

Simply because he left, he’s now a part-time parent. He did it to create peace, which didn’t happen. He did it to make his relationship with his kids better — that certainly wont happen. He did it because he thought he’d get a 50/50 custody deal, which is a pipe dream, while her child support is tied to how much time she has the kids versus him.

Men are hugely uneducated about what happens in a divorce or a child custody battle. We don’t talk about it with each other. We don’t share how to plot, strategize and set up the situation to our advantage, which is our own undoing.

Fathers shouldn’t leave until they have to. Fathers need to talk to each other to find out what to do. Men use coaches in sports, and mentors in business and they need to rely on each other to get through life’s challenges, and to keep what is theirs: their children.

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“I spent a hundred grand, now I’m broke, and still not divorced!”

In child custody, Child Custody Issues, Child Support, Parental Alienation, Paternity Issues, Perjury, Property Issues, Spousal Support, Strategy Issues on June 3, 2010 at 9:17 pm

If I had a buck for every time I’ve heard this same sad line, I’d have a TON of money.

When people are going through a divorce they are in a hightened emotional state and there are many, many MANY lawyers out there who know it, and take gross advantage of their clients. These are the “Sharks” the “powerhouse law firms”, the people who advertise themselves as ‘The Firm to Beat!” I call BULLSHIT.

In eleven years of practicing, I have seen exactly ONE case I can point to where a client REALLY NEEDED TO SPEND six figures. She came to me and said her husband had hidden 12 million dollars in the Bahamas, and the truth was he had.

Most of the cases where people are spending such large amounts of money it has NOTHING TO DO with the case, but with the amount of money the lawyers can talk the clients in to spending. I’ve gone up against the biggest law firms in town and frankly, at the end of the day, the results are the same, only my clients still have the bulk of their money in tact.

A client needs to have clear, simple, direct advice from their lawyers. I can generally tell you in the first 15 minutes of an interview what the most likely result of a case is going to be, and what is the most practical course of action. If you don’t get a simple, direct answer from your lawyer, odds are, you’re going to get a really large bill, and when you’re out of money, and they’ve dropped you.

When that happens, you’ll end up in my office saying something like, “I spent a hundred grand, now I’m broke, and still not divorced! can you get this over with?” Yes, yes, we can.

GEORGIA DIVORCE ATTORNEY QUOTES ME!

In Child Support, Property Issues, Spousal Support, Strategy Issues on July 23, 2009 at 10:54 am

That article on 8 budgeting tips is getting picked up ! Alexandra Waddington posted it on her blog :

http://www.augustagadivorcelawyer.com/2009/07/augusta-ga-divorce-lawyer-8-budgeting.html

Keeping things neat and clean is crucial for divorcing couples. “Make copies of everything related to financial issues,” said Santa Monica, Calif.-based family law attorney David Pisarra. “When couples split up, bills are no longer jointly paid so if you are contemplating a divorce it’s critical to acknowledge the financial components that come along with it.”

How To Pay For An Attorney When You’re Strapped For Cash

In Child Custody Issues, Child Support, Property Issues, Spousal Support, Strategy Issues on September 19, 2008 at 5:46 am

We all know the joke about why divorce is so expensive – because it’s worth it. 

Living in Los Angeles, everything is expensive, and these days cash is getting tight for many people. As the cash crunch gets tighter more relationships are breaking up. When couples start fighting over money, usually the lack of it, the divorce is not far off.

It is at this critical time that you most need to have the advice and counsel of a good lawyer, one who is experienced and knows the courts, which means they are going to charge for their time. Time is how an attorney charges for their knowledge. 

In California clients can hire family law attorneys and give them what is called the Family Law Attorneys Real Property Lien. This is a way for you to access your home’s equity, without having to put out too much of your cash today. Frequently lawyers will take a case with a smaller retainer, if they have the protection of the Family Law Attorneys Real Property Lien.

Think of it like a home equity line for your defense. It’s a way for you to get the representation you need today, to make sure you have something left tomorrow. The way it works is you and your attorney agree that they will be paid out of your half of the community property equity in the home, if you don’t pay your bill otherwise.

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FINANCE ADVICE FOR DIVORCING MEN

In Property Issues, Strategy Issues on September 9, 2008 at 1:52 pm

In these times of financial uncertainty, when a couple goes through a divorce the few assets that most people have need to be divided as fairly as possible. Most men tend to want “out” quicker than they want to protect themselves. Men tend to believe, perhaps rightly so, that they can recover financially quickly, and while that may be true, there is no reason for a man to take more of a financial hit than his soon to be Ex.

I wrote in my column for Divorce360.com, THE MEN’S ROOM:

Homes have historically always gained in value, and momentarily ignoring the temporary ups and downs of today’s market, always will. A home is generally the largest investment that two married people have, as such there is frequently a great deal of equity, and more importantly, future equity, in that asset.             

A boat on the other hand, as the old joke goes, is a hole in the water, into which you throw money. Boats are without a doubt the single worst asset a man can take away from a marriage. And they do it all the time.             

They are bad because they are dead weight on someone’s financial wellbeing. Boats have ongoing costs to maintain them, like slip fees, scraping and engine maintenance. They lose value each month and very quickly become of no value, and you have to pay to have them scrapped.   

 I believe men should not take a long term loss (Giving up the house) for a short term gain (Getting out quickly) it doesn’t make sense financially or strategically.

A home is the biggest negotiating chip you have, use it wisely, remembering that it is only going to appreciate in value over the long term.