Child Custody

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 daycare 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.