A Cook County judge said 8th District Rep. Joe Walsh must "show cause" explaining why his ex-wife says he owes $99,480 in child support, before interest.
Judge Raul Vega also questioned why Walsh, of McHenry, wasn't in court in Chicago Wednesday alongside his attorney, Janet Boyle, his ex-wife, Laura Walsh, and her attorney, Jack Coladarci.
Boyle told the judge Walsh was absent because the congressman is in session in Washington.
"Well, he's no different than anyone else," the judge replied.
Walsh's attorney described Vega's order as a "legal technicality" that the congressman was "very satisfied with."
In a statement, Boyle cut at media reports of the hearing, and said Walsh has "asked for the ability to file new pleadings which I expect will fully set forth Rep. Walsh's responses to the allegations of his former wife."
Laura Walsh filed the child support claim against her ex-husband Dec. 6.
The filing contends that Walsh, a McHenry tea partyer, is in contempt for "failure and refusal" to pay full child support from November 2005 through December 2010 for his three children, ages 23, 20 and 16. With interest, those payments total $117,437, Laura Walsh says.
Walsh makes $174,000 a year as a congressman.
Right now, $2,136 in child support is being taken every month from Walsh's congressional paychecks.
The child-support suit "totally came out of left field to me," Walsh told the Daily Herald last month. "It was totally unexpected, and (now) for eight months we've been trying to sit down and get it resolved. I'm going to continue to do that," he said.
The next court date is scheduled for November.
•Daily Herald news services contributed.