Having a criminal record can cause many issues in your life. It can make getting a job more difficult and sometimes prevent you from living in specific areas.
A criminal record may also impact your child custody case. According to the Pennsylvania General Assembly, the court will consider your criminal history and whether it will have an impact on your ability to parent the child and on the child’s safety and well-being.
In most cases, the criminal charges that will cause more scrutiny by the court include those that are violent in nature. Sexual offenses also will cause the court to do more investigation.
Charges involving minors are another set of convictions that the court will look over. If you have charges related to substance abuse, including drinking and driving, the court must consider those as well.
Some criminal convictions will automatically require the court to rule against you in any custody case. Some sexual offenses and all murder convictions require the judge under the law to not award you custody of a child.
For murder convictions where the victim was a child or the parent of the child for whom you wish to receive custody, you can have no custody rights at all under a court order.
For sexual offenses, if the child in question is a result of a sexual assault, you have no custody rights.
In most cases, it is up to the judge to consider your criminal history and if it will impact your ability to parent the child in a safe manner.