Family Law

At Scott Emerson P.A., our goal in family law cases is to help our clients put themselves in the best light possible.  For divorce and child custody cases, there are several things to keep in mind.  In Arkansas, there are no jury trials; judges make all of the decisions.  Judges are human and decide cases, either consciously or subconsciously, based upon whom they like the best and whom they feel is the most reasonable. 

We encourage our clients to fight only the battles they can win.  Arguing something that is too much of a long shot can harm credibility and the rest of the case.  The judge is more likely to use his or her discretion and find the person unfair and unreasonable.  This can result in the judge deciding against our client on all of the legal issues, including the ones he or she should win. 

Mr. Emerson is committed to being both a zealous advocate, fighting for our clients in and out of the courtroom, and being an honest confidant and friend.  He is not afraid to tell clients when they are wrong, and he will not sugarcoat the expectations in a case.

Advice for Separations

It may be difficult, especially when you are going through a difficult and emotional separation, but it is important to do the right thing, including:

  • Do not take more than one half of any financial account. 
  • Always leave a paper trail.  The unexplained disappearance of money can make you look like you are stealing, and it can have a negative affect on the way the judge views you. 
  • If you take any money, keep in mind that you may have to give it back. 
  • Do not take more than one half of the personal property.

Advice in Divorce and Child Custody Cases

The following are things that parents should avoid doing in a divorce or custody case:

  • Never say anything in an e-mail, text message, or on a social networking website that you would not want the judge in your case to see.  This includes communications with your spouse (or soon-to-be ex), your new significant other, or anyone else.  It is important to remember that e-mails stay on a computer's hard drive forever and can be recovered, even after they have been deleted.
  • Never say anything mean, sarcastic, or stupid during a telephone call with your spouse, as you could be recorded.  These recordings can be played back in open court, and this can negatively impact your case. 
  • Avoid having numerous cell phone calls and text messages to a member of the opposite sex, as this will raise suspicion that you are having an affair.  Adultery can be proved with circumstantial evidence.
  • Never play tug-of-war with the children.  It hurts the children, and could make you look petty.
  • Never use the children as bargaining chips to obtain an advantage regarding support, alimony, or property. 
  • Never say disparaging or mean things about your spouse or your ex to, or in front of, your children.  It is the wrong thing to do and it could affect your relationship with your children.   
  • Be flexible regarding changes in your ex's or your children's schedule.  Likewise, if you are going to be late exchanging the children, it is important to let your spouse know about the delay.  A parent being late does not void the entire visitation session with the children. 

Advice to Parents Who Already Have Custody (and Would Like to Keep It)

Even if the judge has already awarded you custody, there are several things to keep in mind to help ensure you can keep custody and avoid further disputes with your ex-spouse.  These include:

  • Act appropriately and within the custody arrangement, even if your ex-spouse is not.  He or she is trying to upset the status quo to try to show you unfit or incapable of raising your children.  This is often done by eliciting a reaction from you that when viewed alone appears petty and alarming to a judge.
  • Put aside your differences with your ex and put your children???s lives first.
  • Always keep your ex apprised of what is going on in the children's lives, including medical conditions and treatments, school functions and events, opportunities for school pictures, sporting events, and other activities.
  • Avoid having adult overnight guests of the opposite sex to whom you are not related by blood or marriage while the children are in your custody. 
  • Avoid excessive alcohol consumption in the presence of the children.
  • Do not smoke around the children. 

Seek Experienced Legal Representation

Regardless of your legal situation, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced family law attorney who can advise you of your legal rights and fight to protect them.  To discuss your situation with an attorney who has more than 25 years of experience, contact Scott Emerson P.A. today for a consultation. 



Scott Emerson P.A.
Attorney at Law

111 E. Huntington, Suite B, P.O. Box 1872
Jonesboro, Arkansas 72401
(Craighead Co.)

Tel: 870-275-4230

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