Tucson Child Custody Lawyer

Divorce can have a lasting effect on the lives of children. Keeping your children safe and healthy both physically and emotionally is a key priority to me in any family law case.

I am attorney Riisa Petersen Mandel, founder of the Petersen Law Firm PLLC in Tucson, Arizona. I represent parents who are divorced or divorcing, as well as unmarried parents in a wide range of custody issues. I can help you if you are involved in a dispute with your ex over custody, visitation, relocation, child support or another parenting issue.

Who Will Have Custody Of My Children?

In the past, Arizona was described as a mothers’ rights state. Mothers could usually obtain primary physical custody of children and receive a majority of parenting time after divorce. This is no longer the case. Arizona’s child custody and visitation laws become more gender neutral.

If you are a father, you have a right to be just as involved in the lives of your children as the mother. As your lawyer, I am willing to fight for your rights to equal parenting time.

Arizona courts will award substantial, meaningful and frequent amounts of parenting time, unless there are issues such as domestic violence, mental health issues, or alcohol or drug abuse by a parent. The safety of your kids always comes first.

Child Custody And Child Support

Arizona uses a formula to determine who should pay child support and how much that support should be. The formula considers factors such as:

  • The incomes of both parents
  • How much parenting time each parent has
  • Child expenses such as day care and health coverage

Whether you receive or pay child support, it can be a significant part of your monthly budget. As your attorney, I will ensure it is calculated accurately.

Modifications To Child Custody And Support

Child custody, visitation and support can be modified if there is a major change in your family’s circumstances. It is important to modify your court order rather than rely on an informal agreement with your ex. Only a court order is enforceable.


  • Riisa is a very knowledgeable/trustworthy lawyer and has been very responsive and has kept me well informed. Without her expertise during my hearing, i would not have won my child custody case! Keep up the good work Riisa!!

  • I had Riisa Petersen for child custody case, she kept me updated on all events and was good council on what I needed to do, all paper work was sumited and revied in a timely manner. She presented her self in a perfical manner. She also kept after me when I needed to get paper work in on time and helped me in all areas that I needed help in. I would recommend her.

  • I am very pleased with her work.
    Riisa Petersen is tough. My ex wife and her attorney certainly share that opinion. Tough but fair. She negotiated a divorce settlement that was equitable, because she researched the facts of the case and I will be able to pay for my obligations to my ex and the kids and still have a life for myself.

  • I felt very supported and protected by Riisa through a challenging and charged custody process with my ex. I was grateful for Riisa’s empathy in the journey. We got the desired outcome which was a tremendous relief.

  • Divorce is an extremely difficult time to say the least, and having an experienced attorney can make all the difference. Riisa Peterson is not only experienced but amazing at trial. I would highly recommend her for any family law case needed! Not only did she handle my case aggressively but with compassion towards me as her client. Don’t be fooled by gimmicky commercials she is simply the best!

  • “I highly recommend Mrs. Riisa Petersen Mandel from Petersen Lawfirm PLLC in Tucson, AZ. She was able to take on my child custody case after attempting to represent myself in court. She took on my case and immediately was able to help facilitate and agreement between myself and my son’s father and his lawyer. Mrs. Petersen was extremely knowledgeable about custody law and went above and beyond to help me make logical and rational decisions regarding our child. Most importantly, Mrs. Petersen was accessible either via email, phone or in person which in my opinion was the most important factor in my particular case. Every email and phone call was returned promptly in a timely fashion. I felt very protected by her representation in court and also felt she always had the best interest of my child and myself in mind, which helped us come to a very fair agreement in court.”

    Nubia, Tucson, AZ
  • “I worked with Riisa while going through a tough divorce with my wife, unfortunately it had a lot to do with getting equal parenting time for our two girls. Riisa was not only patient and understanding, but also very clear on what was realistic. She was amazing when it came to working after hours to prepare for our trial, and went above and beyond with being there to answer silly questions that I may have had due to my lack of experience and understanding with the process. In trial, Riisa was amazing as well, and helped keep me calm and comfortable during a very emotional experience. Can’t thank her enough!!”

    Tim, Tucson, AZ
  • “Riisa has been involved in my child visitation and custody proceedings for the past several months. I could not be more pleased with here professional demeanor, knowledge, and performance. She has made what is a difficult situation at best, into an opportunity to spend more quality time with my son. I could not recommend her more enthusiastically.”

    Sean, Tucson
  • “Riisa was available for my questions, concerns, and issues at any point that was within reason. She responded to emails, texts, and phone calls in a manner where timely seems like it is underwhelming. She was quick to both act and react. She stayed current and familiar with my case to a degree which made any and all of our interactions quick, efficient, and calming.”

    Leif, Tucson, AZ

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