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  • Writer's pictureHector Perez

Three Things to Better Understand Family Law

1. What is Family Law?

Family Law encompasses many different situations. It establishes legal rights and responsibilities for a family member who is in need of support. It also determines who has legal and/or physical custody following a divorce, child abduction, or adoption. Family law also deals with marriage, divorce, adoption, foster care, child abuse/neglect, and elder abuse/exploitation. Family laws differ from state to state, but certain principles apply nationally. Hector is also a single parent, so he empathizes with his clients.

2. Child Custody: Parenting Plans

  • A parenting plan sets an agreement about a timeshare, which is when the children will be present with each parent, and decision making, meaning how decisions are made about health, education, and more. This can be done by a court order or through a mutual agreement between the parties.

  • When you first file a Request for Order (RFO), the court is going to give you a day to go to mediation that will occur at some point before the day that you go in front of the judge that is assigned to hear your case.

  • Many of these matters can be expensive, time consuming and contentious - but they don't have to be. If you and your ex want to save money, speed up your case, and keep an amicable relationship with each other for the sake of your children, you may be able to make a parenting plan in mediation, before the court gets involved. If you and your ex can go to mediation and come to an agreement, you can save a substantial amount of money in court costs and attorney fees because you can do this before the court takes action.

  • Parents should consider the best route in meeting your child’s needs of love, protection, and guidance while also keeping in mind their personalities and abilities. Rightfully adjust the plan as your child develops and matures!

  • Generally, parenting plans deal with physical custody, like where they live and how they spend their time. This includes custody during the week versus weekends, specific holidays/summer vacations, leisurely activities/sports, and the transportation of your child. They also deal with legal custody, meaning who makes the decisions about school, daycare, religion, healthcare, jobs, and driving.

3. Child Support

  • Child support is the amount of money a parent(s) must pay every month to help support the child and their living expenses. It may follow as part of a divorce (married parents), a petition to establish parental relationship (unmarried parents), a domestic violence restraining order, or a petition for custody and support of minor children.

  • California has a “guideline” formula to figure out how much child support will be. It is calculated based on: how much the parents earn, how many children they have together, timeshare, health insurance expenses, cost of daycare, and many other factors. It can require parents to share costs for transportation (from 1 parent to another), the child’s educational needs, and special needs.

  • Interest will be charged if a parent falls behind in child support payments, and not paying can possibly result in jail time!

  • Child support ends when the child turns 18 years old or he or she graduates high school. It also ends if he or she: marries, joins the military, is emancipated, or dies.

If you have any questions or concerns pertaining to family law, or any practices we offer at the law offices of Hector C. Perez, please reach out at or

(562) 484 - 7009

We are happy to help!

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