The criminal history is a juvy record and should not even be seen by the judge so that should not be taken into consideration at all.
Just as an FYI . . . when it comes to adoption (and that would be what would have to happen – Emma would have to adopt Henry even though she is his biological mother) there is no such thing as a juvy record not being taken into consideration. Every member of a household that an adopted child will be living in must undergo a criminal background check – including minors (over the age of 12 I believe – age may vary by state), and ALL criminal history must be disclosed. It’s been awhile since I went through all of this but I believe they even get into whether you have ever been arrested for something regardless of whether you were convicted. So if Emma is still living with MM, MM will have to undergo a criminal background check including fingerprints, etc. and she would have to disclose that she was arrested for murder.
Also as far as I can tell I don’t believe MM’s apartment meets the requirement for suitable housing for a child. There are square footage requirements which I’m guessing they would meet but I don’t think they have any actual bedrooms. A bedroom would be required for Henry, especially since MM lives there. No way is a social worker allowing a male child to sleep out in the open with a non-family member of the opposite sex present (because they wouldn’t know she really is a family member).
It’s amazing the hoops you have to jump through for adoption. We were adopting from a foreign country and they have body weight limits so that people who are overweight can’t adopt. You also have to go through physical exams and they are very picky about any kind of medical conditions and medications that are taken. If you are taking an anti-depressant, even if you have a note from a physician saying your depression is completely under control, you are out of luck – there is no way you can adopt from many foreign countries.
You also need to have at least 3 personal references from non-family members who have known you for a certain amount of time (in our state I think it was 5 years). Given Emma’s history of not putting down roots and not making friends I doubt she could come up with these.
Just a gut feeling I’m sure they’ll make it difficult for Emma to get custody but I don’t think those steps make for very good television so I’m guessing will see a simplified process. There’s plenty of other ways to make it difficult for Emma that’ll be more entertaining. I’m sure they’ll bring up the Julie record and MMs arrest but something’s gonna happen to accelerate the process. I’m thinking memories will start coming back before the custody war gets settled