Criminal records or convictions are a well-known obstacle to establishing a secure future, no matter how long ago the crime happened or what it was for. It’s a given that criminal records can have a stark effect on finding employment, securing loans or getting a college education or professional certification. A more unexplored aspect of criminal records is how they can hurt your personal life and impact your personal relationships.
Finding a romantic partner can prove difficult today, but if you have a criminal record, your chances of finding someone to share your love life with can become an even more challenging land. Criminal records are often a source of embarrassment, and can be extremely hard to decide when to discuss with someone that you’re considering dating.
Since criminal convictions are extremely personal in nature, you do not necessarily want to divulge that information to someone that you might not have a possible future with, but they can then also become more difficult to discuss as the relationship progresses. A fear of rejection after disclosing your criminal record could lead to not discussing it, and if your partner finds out later, it could cause massive trust issues between the two of you. Despite how long ago the crime happened, there are individuals that simply won’t consider dating someone with a criminal conviction.
Family relationships can also be drastically altered by a criminal conviction. If you do partner with someone and hope to adopt children or open your home to foster children, you may not be able to due to a criminal conviction. A criminal conviction could be a large factor in deciding on whether to pursue a personal relationship with someone if the desire to adopt children or even volunteer at your child’s school is important, since most schools request background checks of parents coming into classrooms, so there is also a distinct negative effect on relationships with your child if you cannot be active in their school activities as they would like.
Criminal convictions can also hurt your personal life by having a bearing on future legal proceedings that you might go through that aren’t due to a criminal charge or crime committed by you. These type of legal proceedings could include divorce cases, child custody cases or business differences that end up within a courtroom. Having a criminal record can add a dark cloud above you in these type of proceedings, despite what the crimes were for or how you’ve changed your life since they charges took place.
Even finding new friends can be a challenge if you have a criminal conviction. Opening up and sharing your past with others can lead to them making judgments about you that could negatively impact your friendship, as well as lead to hurt feelings, gossip and broken trust.
The bottom line is that having a criminal record is a reality that many people actually do have, but that it can negatively impact your future, your personal relationships in addition to your professional ones.