Living without child support can take a financial and emotional toll on Illinois parents. Fortunately, such parents have legal recourse available. For example, a female attorney has filed a lawsuit seeking child support against a judge she says fathered her two children. She claims the two were involved in a relationship for almost two decades, but says that although she has asked him to provide for their children, he has never done so at a reasonable level.

The lawsuit states that over a period of 16 years, the man has given her less than $5,000 to take care of the two children. He also fails to participate in their lives in a meaningful way. The woman is seeking a total of $4.1 million in her lawsuit, including child support, money for neglect and abandonment, and also money for each year she spent in a relationship with him.

The judge accused of fathering her children acknowledges a professional relationship and close friendship with the woman, but claims he only acknowledged paternity of her children in order to ensure that the children could qualify for medical benefits within their county of residence. The Michigan judge’s reputation is now in the spotlight because he is a proponent of strong father figures in the home, and has stated publicly that when fathers are absent, it could make young men more likely to commit violence or crime. Should the upcoming hearings determine that he has fathered two children out of wedlock, and subsequently failed to provide for them or participate in their upbringing, he may have a difficult time reconciling that behavior with his frequently uttered and public stance in support of the importance of fathers in raising children.

The woman agonized over the decision, but has finally come forward to seek child support against the man she claims fathered her two children. Illinois parents in a similar situation should know that when children are conceived outside of a traditional family structure, those children have the same rights to support as any others. While the parents can certainly come to an agreement between themselves as to how the children will be supported, in the absence of such a decision the custodial parent has the right to approach the courts and ask for a child support order. Pursuing child support can allow parents the financial means to provide the care and shelter that every child deserves. It can also serve to hold an absent parent at least financially accountable for their decisions in regard to supporting their children.

Source:, “Paternity suit seeks $4 million from Genesee County judge known for scolding absent fathers,” Ron Fonger, Sept. 21, 2012