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CHICAGO — Former congressman Jesse Jackson Jr appeared in court for a brief hearing on his divorce Tuesday.

Jackson revealed a plethora of financial debt he and his estranged wife face.

The dueling divorce suits are playing out on a very public stage.  Jackson Jr dealt with both cases Tuesday; first in Washington by phone the other, in person, at the Daley Center in downtown Chicago.

In both jurisdictions there will be joint custody and “joint parenting,” he said.

The former congressman, who, according to court filings, gets more than 130,000 dollars a year in workers comp and disability payments, told reporters that with mounting legal bills from criminal and now divorce cases, he and estranged wife Sandi Jackson are 1.8 million dollars in debt.

“Something’s got to give because It’s impossible to pay two sets of lawyers in this city, another set in DC, be asked for child support, alimony and expenses that exceed 6500 dollars a month,” he said.

Jackson Jr and his attorneys are fighting for the divorce to proceed through Cook County, perhaps to find a more sympathetic ear in his hometown.  Since serving federal time for misusing campaign funds, he’s lived in their South Shore home.  Sandi, since her release from prison on tax charges, has lived in their Washington home with the couple’s children.

After today’s hearing, Sandi Jackson’s Chicago attorney told WGN News they will fight for all aspects of the case to be heard in Washington. “The court in Illinois,” she said, “doesn’t have authority or power over Mrs. Jackson to enter orders in divorce proceedings.”

Leaving the Washington courtroom today, Sandi herself told the Chicago Tribune, “I’ve had better days.”

Her estranged husband believes she won’t come back to Chicago.

“She’s made it clear to me, she’s made it clear to members of my family … and even to our children … that she will never return to Chicago, ever again,” he told reporters. “And I have no idea what happened here that would create that disposition.  But it is at the heart of this matter and I’m hoping for a quick resolution.”

Jackson Jr is expected to make an in person appearance at the next hearing in Washington that is scheduled for April 28th