An international child custody dispute involving a Frankfort man, his 15-year-old son and the boy's mother, as reported by the Southtown Star, has few easy answers.
The state of Illinois wants Gerardo Serrano to pay back child support in honor of a Polish court order, but he insists that his son was kidnapped a decade ago and that he is the custodial parent of the child.
Making matters even more confusing, the father has Cook County court orders saying his son was "unlawfully removed" by his mother and that he does not owe child support.
One of Gerardo Serrano's Illinois family law attorneys, Matt Arnoux, was expectedly critical of the state's attempt at honoring the Polish court order:
"They're following a foreign order when they really shouldn't. I don't know anybody else in Mr. Serrano's predicament. They should not be using their resources on a case like this."
Adding insult to injury, according to Gerardo Serrano, the Illinois Dept. of Healthcare and Family Services froze his bank account and garnished 25 percent of a federal payment he receives for the death of his first wife in a car accident.
On top of that, he said he was not allowed to have a hearing to state his case before the actions were taken.
Gerardo did not surrender his parental custody rights during his child custody fight with the boy's mother, who eventually fled to her home country of Poland with their son, Mycah. Gerardo Serrano visited his son, but a Polish court order gave the mother full custody and didn't allow him to visit with him alone.
He also suspects that his son's mother has been turning the child against him, also known as parental alienation.
Gerardo Serrano's Illinois family law attorneys were able to pressure the Division of Child Support Enforcement into scheduling an administrative hearing on August 4, but he has been told the matter likely will end up in court.
What Legal Remedies are Available if a Parent Abducts a Child? (FindLaw ABA Family Legal Guide)
Contact a Divorce Attorney in Chicago (FindLaw)
Court Tackles Parental Child Abduction Case (FindLaw Supreme Court of the United State Summaries Blog)