After child-support battle, Jackson Jr. now says he’ll pay more

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After a public war of words and wrangling between divorce attorneys for Jesse Jackson Jr. and Sandi Jackson over the child-support payments for their two children, the former congressman is volunteering to up his payments by $1,200 a month.

Although a judge in Washington, D.C., must still agree to the change, Jesse Jackson’s attorney on Monday filed the request — saying the initial request to reduce the payment from $1,529 to $329 was “sincere and well-founded” but that it “should” go back up to $1,529.

That amount has already been paid for March.

On March 9, Judge Robert Okun ruled in Jesse Jackson Jr.’s favor, writing that the court would suspend his duty to pay child support for April through July, and that he’d have to pay $213 in August, because of a payment he’d already sent for the month of March. He was ordered to pay $329 a month until a further court order.

That led Sandi Jackson’s attorney to accuse Jesse Jackson of not prioritizing his children — while Jesse Jackson’s Chicago attorney shot back that he has and will always support his children.

According to Brendan Hammer, Jesse Jackson’s Chicago attorney, the request to up the payments was made to “streamline” litigation in light of there being legal fees for four attorneys in two separate cases being played out in Chicago and Washington, D.C.

The couple is still fighting over where the divorce case should be heard. Sandi Jackson is hoping for the case to be resolved in Washington — where she’s living with their two children, ages 13 and 16. Jesse Jackson, however, is fighting to keep the case in Chicago where his attorneys say “acts” were committed that led to the divorce.

A court hearing in Washington has been set for April 28. A Chicago hearing is scheduled for Friday.

The couple is still fighting over where the case should be heard.

“Mr. Jackson is voluntarily agreeing via this filing to have support for the party’s two children to be set at $1,529,” Hammer said in a statement. “With the approximate $1,100 in tuition, he pays 100 percent of and their current derivative benefits, this means support for the children in excess of $3,000 per month. We hope the judge enters the order memorializing the award so that we can focus on the remaining contested issues.”

Hammer said he anticipates no objections from Sandi Jackson about the proposed change. Sandi Jackson’s Washington, D.C., attorney declined to comment about the filing.

Jesse Jackson Jr. receives more than $138,000 a year in disability checks because he has bipolar disorder and depression. And the children receive about $14,400 a year of that amount.

The child support payment of $1,529 was ordered by a judge in Washington on Feb. 7.

 


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