DAVID PISARRA

Posts Tagged ‘visitation’

Divorce and Child Custody Video – Parody? Kinda, sorta, not really.

In child custody, Child Custody Issues, Child Support, Domestic Violence, Gay, Parental Alienation, Paternity Issues, Perjury, Prenuptial Agreements, Property Issues, Restraining Orders, Spousal Support, Strategy Issues, Uncategorized on August 6, 2010 at 11:02 pm

Okay, so, this video deals with a man after a divorce, and whether or not he’s still a dad, and what his child custody and visitation is going to be like. I like it because it’s kinda funny, but I’m also really touched by it, because it’s also WAY  too true of what many men and fathers feel like after going through a divorce and child custody battle, especially when they are unprepared or representing themselves.

I really want you to watch it, remember, DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU !!

Call me. Write me. Let me help you.


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Fighting for Child Custody? How not to lose the battle.

In child custody, Child Custody Issues, Child Support, Domestic Violence, Gay, Parental Alienation, Paternity Issues, Strategy Issues on July 23, 2010 at 9:14 am

Most of the men fighting for Child Custody I represent would do ANYTHING FOR THEIR CHILDREN. It’s one of the reasons they work so hard, which tragically, becomes the millstone around their necks that the ex-wife uses. I address the strategic issue of whether to move or not in this article posted at The Good Men Project.

Short Version – NEVER LEAVE THE HOUSE UNLESS YOU HAVE TO.

child custody battle over visitation

Child being torn between mother and father.

A Father’s Best Weapon In A Child Custody Battle

In child custody, Child Custody Issues, Child Support, Parental Alienation, Paternity Issues, Perjury, Property Issues on July 15, 2010 at 6:49 am

Here’s a video I did, talking about Child Custody and Child Support battles with RJ Jaramillo from www.SingleDad.Com, where I’m the legal expert. I tell guys the tools I need to win their child custody case and track the child support so they can prove they’ve paid it.

There are more videos on the MensFamilyLaw channel at Youtube.com.

Father’s Day Special: On Fatherhood and Raising Men

In child custody, Child Custody Issues, Child Support, Parental Alienation, Paternity Issues, Uncategorized on June 17, 2010 at 9:22 am

I never really knew my father. Well, let me be clearer. I know who he was, he lived with me until I was 12, and then I lived with him on summer vacations and such. I have memories of going fishing once or twice with him. I recall fighting with him as a teenager, and the weekend before he died we had a great conversation, but I was 19 and in Boston for the summer.

My father was a World War 2 vet, but the way he told it, he was on an island in the pacific resupplying ships and it was a blast. He went to college on the GI bill and was salesman. He sold printing presses, then life insurance, and then funeral plans.

He was the 13th child born and the 11th child to live in his family. He was the baby who was raised by his sisters. Which partly explains his life skills, or lack thereof. Alcoholism took a hold of him fiercely, and it effected my family dramatically.

I am the baby in my family. I was the third son born, my parents were in their mid 40’s and by the time I came along, alcoholism was in full bloom and its effects were being felt throughout the family. My parents fought bitterly and viciously. My brothers, who were 16 and 14 years older than me, had more fully seen the terrors that I felt the repercussions of as a child.

So when my parents finally divorced, it brought peace to the household, but there was a cost. My father became sober soon afterwards, but I was a pre-teen, and parenting a pre-teen from afar is nigh on impossible. The job fell to my older brother Chris.

He was an island of calm, mostly, in a household of alcoholism and anxiety. For even though my parents had divorced, the long term negative effects of their marriage remained. My mother was struggling to make it financially, and battling with the bottle herself. My brother Chris took up the responsibility for being a father figure in my life and though he did a great job, and I love and respect him for it, he was only 28, and he had my father as his father. He was denied a good father just as much as I was, probably more.

When I look at my father’s life, I see the pattern of my life. I see how he was raised by his siblings, I see the lack of strong male figures to teach the hard lessons in life.

It is perhaps one of the reasons why I am attracted to the work I do.

As much as a mother can nurture a child, she cannot teach a boy how to be a man. Young boys need their mothers, but the more I think about it, and the more I learn about the way men develop, I believe it is the men who teach boys how to be men.

In the ancient Grecian state of Sparta, boys were raised by their mothers until they were 7 when there were sent to be raised by men. The understanding of boys and men, the ways in which we think and act, versus the manner in which we should act, these are lessons that need to be taught by men because we speak a common language.

Only another man intuitively understands my impulses towards anger, aggression, and sex. Only older, wiser men have been able to show me a better way of dealing with those topics.

Fathers, and father figures, are vitally important to the upbringing of boys. It is a crime in our country that so many men are sidelined by the courts, and their exs, when it comes to the raising of the children. It is the future men who are being denied vital life lessons, and it is our society that will pay the price.

The conventional wisdom that the mother is the better parent in all things is as absurd as hiring a plumber to fix a soufflé. Mothers are vitally important at certain times, just as fathers are vitally important at others, to idolize one, and ignore the other is philosophically imbalanced and illogical.

This Father’s Day I’d like to see an awareness of the important role that men play in raising boys, who in turn become fathers. Father’s Day is a day honoring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society, but to do that, we first have to really understand what they do. It’s about more than just paying child support and every other weekend.

At least, it should be.

“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.

DADS SHOULD BE ACCOUNTABLE

In child custody, Child Custody Issues, Child Support, Parental Alienation, Paternity Issues, Strategy Issues, Uncategorized on October 15, 2009 at 5:59 am

Here’s a great, and I MEAN GREAT article on holding Dads accountable! It’s the best way to increase the rights of fathers and protect fathers interests in raising their children. When more people hold fathers responsible, more fathers will BE EXPECTED to step up, and that will make it easier for all fathers to exercise their rights.

Dads, This Is Your Challenge To Step Up

Child Support Help for Unemployed Dads Accused of Sexually Molesting

In child custody, Child Custody Issues, Child Support, Parental Alienation, Paternity Issues, Strategy Issues, Uncategorized on July 29, 2009 at 6:15 am

Parenting has become war for some people. It’s a shame that some people use their children as a means to help make ends meet. I know the custodial parent will say that raising a child costs more than they will ever receive in child support and they are right. But that doesn’t stop some custodial parents from trying to increase their support any way they can.

For others it’s a matter of control. They hate the father. There’s a variety of reasons, from “it was just a one night affair – why wont he go away” to “he’s a low-life scum and I KNOW he’s molesting my baby.”

When a father is accused of sexually molesting a  child, it triggers a whole host of problems. Depending on who did the reporting, when it gets investigated by Child Protective Services, the case will either be closed for lack of grounds (this frequently happens when the reporter is the Mom and she is doing it only to cause problems or lay the foundation for Parental Alienation) or investigated further. If a mandatory reporter (doctor, therapist, psychologist, school counselor etc ) does the reporting there is a much greater chance of a full blown investigation because usually the child has said something that has triggered the investigation.

An unemployed dad, who is accused of sexually molesting his child, and who has to pay child support, needs help, badly. The first thing any father who is unemployed should do, is file a Motion to Reduce the Child Support he owes. In California it is called an Order To Show Cause, basically it’s an application for the order, and a declaration under penalty of perjury that your income has dropped and the child support needs to be recalculated.

This is important to do as soon as possible, so that you can get a court date and reserve what is called Retroactivity. That means the court can modify the amount of child support you owe going back to the date you filed – that’s called Retroactive Child Support Modification. This is important because you may not be in front of a judge for 3 months.

You need to do this, because if you are unemployed and facing sexual molestation charges, you need an attorney who specializes in that area, and they will need to be paid up front. This is a VERY very VERY serious matter. I call it the Nuclear Option and more and more moms are using against dads.

Justice calls for an end to quickie divorces

In child custody, Child Custody Issues, Child Support, Parental Alienation, Paternity Issues on July 2, 2009 at 9:47 am

Check out this article, she writes about how her brother killed himself, but was a great dad, and maybe the costs of being away from his kids lead to the depression.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/07/02/sears.family.divorce/index.html

FATHERHOOD DENIED – The REAL Cause of a Father’s Pain

In child custody, Child Custody Issues, Child Support, Parental Alienation, Paternity Issues, Strategy Issues, Uncategorized on April 29, 2009 at 9:54 am

      I was walking my dog in the park last week, when I struck up a conversation with one of the city workers. He’s a young man who was so happy and proud that he just landed a full time position with the Parks and Recreation department. Now he could support his children better. He’s a young man with a couple of kids that he raises with his ex-girlfriend. Together they have worked out a system for childcare and sharing the responsibilities of parenting. It was a pleasant change from what I normally see.
      I was reminded of a day when I had two separate appointments with men, who were trying to work our co-parenting problems with their exes, and were coming to me after the fact to learn the effects of what they had done.
      One man was an older gentleman who’d raised his first son by himself. In this latest marriage the child was conceived by in vitro fertilization, in the first months, after his wife had left him once and returned, because she wanted a baby, and he thought that would fix their problems. As soon as she was definitely pregnant, she left him for good. It was eleven months into the marriage.
      The second man was a youngster, who was in his early 30s and had just been informed by his non-live-in girlfriend that she was pregnant. She told him that she didn’t really want him to be an active father. She did expect him to pay child support, but didn’t think he should have much to do with the pregnancy or the child afterwards. Though she was fine with him paying for her pregnancy classes.
      Neither of these men were stupid, teenagers or generally impulsive. Both seemed like genuinely decent guys who were just caught up in a relationship dynamic that caused them pain. Neither of them thought they had made a mistake, and both men genuinely wanted to be fathers. The younger one, was actually quite excited to be a father, as it would be his first child.
      I think I understand what drove these women to pick these men. Both were intelligent and good looking. One had a good history as a father and was a strong earner. The other was a good genetic catch in his physicality and emotional makeup.
      Each of these men will eventually get to see their children every other weekend, and once or twice a week for dinners. They might get to share holidays and every other birthday.
      If they pay their child support on time, they can avoid being on the latest Lifetime reality show, “Deadbeat Dads.” A show that is under fire from many quarters for its depiction of dads as uncaring and selfish.
      From where I sit, these guys are getting the short end of the stick. They were used as sperm donors and are now being used as ATM’s. But they don’t see it that way. They see that they are being denied the opportunity to be an active participant in their children’s lives; that they are being denied the rights of fathers for millennia to raise their children. They are cut out of their role as father, and then blamed for not being there.
      Which is a crying shame, because both of them would make great dads given half a chance for more interaction with their children.
      It’s ironic that men like these are the ones who are called selfish and uncaring, because it strikes me that the mothers who deny these men the pleasures of fatherhood, also deny their children the benefits of having a devoted and loving father in their lives. It is those women who so desperately want a child that they will deceive a man into impregnating them, without thinking that he might actually want to be a father, that are the most selfish.
      Which is not to say that there aren’t men who want nothing to do with their children, there are. But for those men who actually want to be a father, and there are a lot of them, when they are used as sperm donors, it’s really painful, and selfish. And the crime of it all, is that the child is the one who loses the most in that situation.

David Pisarra is a Divorce Attorney who specializes in Father’s Rights and Men’s Issues with the firm of Pisarra & Grist in Santa Monica. He can be reached at dpisarra@pisarra.com or 310/664-9969.

CHILD CUSTODY RULES FOR FATHERS

In child custody, Child Custody Issues, Child Support, Parental Alienation, Paternity Issues, Strategy Issues on April 8, 2009 at 6:50 am

In August of last year I wrote about my belief that parents should be forced to take an equal division of time in their children’s care. I don’t think it’s fair or equitable that the lion’s share of child rearing falls to the mother. Fathers should be required by law to take their children 50% of the time.

Those Republican poster-children, Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston had a child out of wedlock, and are now going through the negotiation process of how much access Levi is to be allowed to his son. He says that Bristol, she of the “Family Values” family, wont let him take his son. We see this type of controlling behavior is all too often in our practice, and it is a detriment to the father/child bonding.

I understand that the Johnston child is only a few months old, but that is no excuse in this day and age for a father to be denied solo parenting time. Frequently the mom claims that the father is not a good parent, or too immature, or too uneducated on how to provide for a newborn. I think those are weak arguments at best and disingenuous at worst. If a man is old enough to father a child, to be required to pay child support, then he should be old enough to take up the mantel of parenting.

Today, as it stands, fathers who want to obtain, or increase, their visitation and custody orders need to keep in mind the following: Proximity, Paperwork and Persistence. They can make or break your chances of getting the orders issued by the judge. Most fathers start out a custody case at a disadvantage. When dad moves out, the children are left with mom, and that becomes the way the court is inclined to keep the situation. The moment that dad moves out of the family home, is the moment that mom gains an advantage in child custody hearings.

Here’s why, the courts don’t want to upset the children’s living environment. They focus on keeping the child stable, and that means in their historical home.

So how then does a man recover from the mistake of moving out of the house? He must show to the court that he can effectively parent the child, with as little disruption to the child’s routine as possible.

PROXIMITY

This means how far or close dad lives to the child’s home and school. This is a major factor in increasing, or acquiring, custody and visitation. The closer dad is to the home and school, the more easily he can be present for the child, and the courts give this great weight. If the choice is for a child to be in a car for five minutes getting from mom’s home to school or a 25 minute drive from dad’s home, the court is going to prefer mom’s home. It is also more likely that the child’s friends and social network are close to the school they attend, which is a factor for the court.

PAPERWORK

Cases are won or lost on documentation. Dads should keep a Calendar or a diary of all the time that they are with their child. In any contested case, mom has something that she will use to show the court how little time dad spends with the kids.

A simple calendar which shows the days that dad took his child, and what they did on those days can make all the difference for a change in custody. If dad keeps the receipts for what he did with his child, it will allow his lawyer to prove that he took the child to see the movie Cars on a day when mom says he didn’t visit. This is a crucial credibility issue, and one that with a little bit of work by dad, can yield big gains. The court will see that dad is truthful, and he’s come a long way towards winning the credibility wars, and that can lead to more time with his child.

PERSISTENCE

The biggest factor that effects whether or not a dad will win more visitation or even equal custody, is his ability to come back, time and time again. The successful dad in family court, is the dad who never gave up, and was willing to do whatever it takes, no matter how difficult it was, or how long it took, to prove to the court that he wants and is capable of being a loving, attentive and present father.

The successful dad who wants to increase his custody and visitation, will live close to his child, keep good records, and never give up when dealt a bad hand.