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David Pisarra received his undergraduate degree from St. John’s College in Annapolis Maryland, graduating in 1989 with a double major in Philosophy and Mathematics, with minors in French and Attic Greek. Upon Graduation, David relocated to Los Angeles in order to work for his brother and to learn the law business. As office manager and head paralegal for the Law Offices of Richard Pisarra, his duties included marketing, accounting, new client development, legal research and estate plan drafting.
After four years he applied to, and was accepted at University of West Los Angeles where he specialized in Family Law, graduating in 1995. He specializes in the field of Father’s and Men’s rights in Family Law cases.
Men’s Family Law, was created to provide support, information and representation to men in an effort to help them better navigate the tumultuous waters of divorce.
MO: Did you always have an interest in representing men and helping them navigate the process of divorce or has this niche evolved out of a clear client need over the years?
David: My focus on men in family court evolved out of the clear need of me to have someone be a straight shooter and tell them the facts. Because they don’t socialize around their children at the playground, they don’t know what they don’t know about the strategy that is necessary to achieve an equitable result in divorce court.
MO: Why do you think that men are so underserved during divorce and custody proceedings?
David: Men tend to go into a divorce and learn afterwards what they need to know. Women learn what they need to know and then file for a divorce after having set up the assets and child custody to their own likings. Men need a champion to tell them the rules of the game BEFORE they enter the game – that’s what I hope to accomplish.
MO: What are the three P’s of child custody?
David: Paperwork, Proximity and Persistence. For men, they need the paperwork to prove how good a father they are, how attentive, how involved and how dedicated they are to their children – we do that with calendars and papers that show dad at school, sports and taking an active role.
Proximity is important for fathers, for as the non-custodial parent oftentimes they need to do the driving, the closer they are to the child’s school and sports life, the easier it is to convince a judge that a father can make time for his children.
Persistence is a matter of having the inner fortitude to keep at the battle to get equal time with the children. It is a painful, time consuming and emotionally draining experience, and the persistent dad is the one who gets equal time.
MO: For anyone about thinking about a divorce or starting the process of one, do you have any advice to help them navigate the system? Are there any basic rules in Divorce 101?
David: Men should review my blog and learn about what they need to prepare their finances, and more importantly, their future child custody cases, to achieve the most equal result. The basic rule of divorce is that it is always easier to give something back than to ask for it back. That’s why wives often times max out credit lines on the home, grab all the liquid assets and take the children by making the husband move out of the house.
MO: You’ve published 4 books on family law. Where do you find the time to write while managing a thriving legal practice and do you think that you’ll find the time and inspiration to write a 5th?
David: I am one of those early to bed, early to rise people. I’m useless at 9 p.m. but at 4 a.m. I can work on a chapter in peace and quiet without the phone going off. I learned the discipline of writing in high school journalism and even today I have a weekly column in the Santa Monica Daily Press that keeps me in line with writing. My 5th book is already in the works…
MO: How do you manage to stay calm in emotionally charged situations? Have you always possessed a level composure of has this skill been cultivated over the years?
David: Remaining calm is often a matter of reminding myself that I am but a cog in an entire legal system. My ability to remain calm is something that I have always had, but over the years I have certainly developed additional skills at dealing with emotionally charged people. I work hard to remember that my goal is to drive the ball down the field, and that if I lose my cool I am not going to achieve my long term goal.
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