- 5329. Consideration of criminal conviction.
(a) Offenses.–Where a party seeks any form of custody, the court shall consider whether that party or member of that party’s household has been convicted of or has pleaded guilty or no contest to any of the offenses in this section or an offense in another jurisdiction substantially equivalent to any of the offenses in this section. The court shall consider such conduct and determine that the party does not pose a threat of harm to the child before making any order of custody to that party when considering the following offenses:
23 Pa. C.S.A. § 5329 and § 5330 address a number of criminal offenses that may give rise to additional custody proceedings under certain circumstances in addition to participation in a custody conference. Those enumerated offenses, in addition to an involvement with a County Children and Youth Agency or the Protection From Abuse (PFA) system, are required to be addressed under PA law prior to a Court entering a Custody Order. Many County Courts have struggled with the best way to address this requirement when considering the timeliness of custody decisions, the cost of prolonged litigation, the additional strain on the calendars and resources of the Court system and, most importantly, the effect on children and families.