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Article updated: 2/11/2013 10:11 PM

Citing job loss, Walsh seeks child support change

By Barbara Vitello

The child support issues that dogged former Congressman Joe Walsh throughout his failed bid for re-election resurfaced Monday.

Jack Coladarci, attorney for Walsh's ex-wife, Laura Walsh, said that the McHenry Republican -- citing current unemployment -- is not complying with his support agreement.

Walsh's attorneys filed a motion in Cook County circuit court on Feb. 1 to "terminate" his current child support obligation.

In the motion, Walsh's attorneys indicated that the former congressman's "employment has been terminated through no voluntary act of his own and he is without sufficient income or assets with which to continue to pay his support obligation."

Walsh, however, said he has "no intention of stopping support."

Walsh, who lost the newly redrawn 8th District seat to Hoffman Estates Democrat Tammy Duckworth in November, is seeking to modify his child support obligation "to equal to 20 percent of his net income" until his youngest son graduates from high school in May.

"Thousands of fathers do what I do when their employment changes," the Tea Partyer said. "Every time an employment situation changes, a new order is filed."

Coladarci agrees that is often the case, but he said Walsh knew he would not be returning to Congress and should have planned accordingly to fulfill his obligations.

"Our position is that this is something that was foreseen and could have been planned for," said Coladarci, who said that neither he nor his client had any notice -- prior to the filing -- of any changes in child support.

Coladarci confirms that Walsh had been up to date on monthly child support payments of $2,134 through December but said the former congressman did not pay child support for January or February.

Walsh denied that is the case.

"There's been no interruption of support and there won't be." insisted Walsh, who said he paid his ex-wife 20 percent of the $800 or so salary he earned for three days in January.

That's not how the court order works, Coladarci said. If Walsh sent 20 percent of the approximately $800, "he is not in compliance," Coladarci said. "$2,134 is the amount he has to pay until a judge says differently," Coladarci said.

Walsh's ex-wife has sued him in the past for late child support payments, and Duckworth made it an issue during their often-bitter campaign.

As for the future, Walsh said, he will be looking at several sources of income over the next four months.

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