Former U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) has filed papers in court asking to have his child support payments readjusted. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the one-term congressman is currently unable to make payments to his ex-wife and children because he is unemployed.
Walsh says he is trying to wrangle a deal for his own radio show and organizing a super PAC, but the outspoken critic of the Obama administration is currently unemployed and has no salary, and has therefore asked to be exempted from his monthly $2,134 child support payment. Walsh requested that his divorce settlement be rewritten so as to reset his child support payments at 20 percent of his income.
Since Walsh, who lost his congressional seat to Iraq War veteran Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D) in November, does not have an income, this would obligate him to pay nothing at present. But, he insisted to the Sun-Times, “That could change.”
Walsh faced charges that he was a “deadbeat dad” when, shortly after taking office, his ex-wife sued him for more than $100,000 in unpaid child support. Jack Coladarci, an attorney for the former Mrs. Walsh told the Sun-Times that Walsh hasn’t paid any child support so far in 2013.
Coladarci also said that the new filing took Walsh’s ex-wife by surprise, that the first she heard of the matter was when she received notice in the mail.
“This is the first communication we’ve received from the congressman; she had no information prior to receiving this filing in the mail that he was going to seek,” Coladarci said.
The lawyer also noted that it’s not up to Walsh when he stops making child support payments. “You still have to keep paying until the judge says you can stop,” he said.
Walsh and his attorneys insist that the former congressman isn’t trying to do anything unusual.
“What I did was what every divorced father is supposed to do,” Walsh said, with regards to the matter of changing employers. “My ex-wife’s child support payment was taken out of my paycheck.”
Walsh submitted pay stubs to the Sun-Times claiming they showed his 2013 payments, but the last payment was taken out Dec. 31, 2012, his payment for the month of December.
Walsh’s lawyer, Janet Boyle, told the Sun-Times, “Nobody’s saying he’s not going to pay anything. All we are saying is that Mr. Walsh’s circumstances have changed and he, like every other father in the state, is entitled to seek a modification. If he doesn’t make any more money for the next four months, why would he continue paying $2,134?”
(hat-tip to TPM)