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Joe Walsh, ex-wife squabble over child support

Joe Walsh  | Richard A. Chapman~Sun-Times

Joe Walsh | Richard A. Chapman~Sun-Times

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Updated: May 1, 2013 2:14PM

Former U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh visited a Cook County courtroom Wednesday as lawyers for the fiery Tea Party Republican and his ex-wife continue to sort out his final few months of child-support payments before their youngest child graduates high school.

The Sun-Times first reported in 2011 that Walsh’s ex-wife had sought more than $100,000 in child support from him. The couple later settled, but the dispute became a significant issue in the campaign he lost in November to U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.).

Duckworth ran ads calling Walsh “Deadbeat Joe,” and Walsh called a press conference where his children called on Duckworth to stop.

Walsh insisted after Wednesday’s hearing that his wife has continued to receive 20 percent of his net income since he left Congress. He said he’s been making his money in radio and consulting.

Among the remaining issues for the couple, according to Walsh and his ex-wife’s attorney, is how much Walsh owed in January when he spent just a few days as a congressman before his term ended. Walsh said he paid 20 percent of the small paycheck he received then.

But Jack Coladarci, a lawyer for Walsh’s ex-wife, said outside the Daley Center courtroom that Walsh should have paid in January the same amount he paid in previous months.

Walsh filed a petition in February to modify his child support obligations — which the former congressman said was required by law — but Coladarci said that came too late to affect his January payment.

Lawyers for both sides set up a meeting later this month with the judge to try to sort the issues out. Walsh’s youngest child graduates from high school May 25.

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