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Walsh, Ex-Wife Settle Child Support Dispute

By Chuck Sudo in News on Apr 19, 2012 5:53PM

8th District Rep. Joe Walsh (center) at a "Cup 'O Joe With Joe" meeting in Lake Zurich in January. (Photo from the congressman's website.)

You can't call Joe Walsh a deadbeat dad anymore. The Illinois congressman/Tea Party darling and his ex-wife Laura have reached a settlement over his allegedly owing over $117,000 in back child support.

Laura Walsh filed a lawsuit looking to recoup the child support payments in late 2010. Joe Walsh responded by saying he didn't owe child support, said it was a private matter, filed a motion seeking sanctions against his ex-wife after the story broke, was told by a judge the burden of proof he owed no child support was on him, and later claimed he and Laura Walsh had an oral contract to suspend child support payments three years ago.

Terms of the settlement weren't disclosed, and the two sides released a joint statement that read:

We both regret this public misunderstanding and the effect it has had on our children. Like many families, we have had our share of issues and made our share of mistakes over the years. Having resolved these issues together and cleared up these mistakes in private, we now agree that Joe is not and was not a ‘deadbeat dad’ and does not owe child support.”

And with a tough election campaign against Tammy Duckworth looming, one can bet the subject of what does and does not make a deadbeat dad will come up in the campaign. Walsh is scheduled to hold a press conference this afternoon to discuss the settlement. He has made child support payments like clockwork, since taking office.