Hunter Biden has agreed to pay monthly child support retroactive to November 2018, ending a standoff that began after the judge in his Arkansas paternity case ordered him to appear in person for a hearing to explain why he shouldn’t be held in contempt.
The court redacted the amount of child support that Biden agreed to pay, pursuant to his agreement with plaintiff Lunden Alexis Roberts. However, Independence County Circuit Court Judge Holly Meyer noted that she “lacks sufficient information” to determine the appropriate amount of “permanent” child support “based off the defendant’s income,” and that modifications to the child support owed each month could be made based on additional evidence.
Contempt proceedings over Biden’s repeated failure to turn over relevant financial documents have been delayed until March 1, giving Biden an opportunity to resolve the issue in the meantime by providing the information.
“The Court specifically reserves the right to retroactively amend or modify child support without the need for the filing of a proper motion by either party to modify support,” the judge wrote. “If the evidence indicates that the defendant should have paid more in support than the amount set forth in this Order, the Court may order that he pay an additional amount after receiving credit for the amount he has paid.”
The child support payments are to continue indefinitely until further order of the court, and will commence Feb. 1 and on the first of each following month. Biden was recently photographed driving a sports car, prompting concerns he was shirking his child-support payments.
Roberts had called for Biden to be held in contempt after he failed to provide financial information in violation of a separate court order. That prompted Meyer to call for Biden to appear in person in the Arkansas court on Jan. 29.
Biden has been a frequent subject of conversation among Republicans as President Trump faces a Senate impeachment trial. Trump is accused of abuse of power for allegedly using military aid to pressure Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden’s efforts to remove a prosecutor who had been looking into Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings, where Hunter Biden served on the board. The elder Biden has bragged about the prosecutor’s termination.
Republicans and even some left-of-center commentators have pointed out that Hunter obtained the lucrative board role at Burisma despite having no relevant experience and recently getting kicked out of the Navy for cocaine possession — giving the appearance that he was selling influence to his father, who was overseeing Ukraine policy at the time as vice president.
During the House impeachment proceedings last year, a career State Department employee testified that he had flagged Hunter Biden’s apparent conflict of interets at the time, but was told essentially not to bother the vice president’s office.
Trump has indicated that he would like Hunter Biden to testify at the Senate’s impeachment trial, though some GOP senators have been against the idea of having any witnesses appear.
Meanwhile, Roberts’ attorney, Clinton Lancaster, praised Biden’s agreement to pay child support.
“He’s doing the right thing by finally stepping up and paying what he should’ve been paying,” Lancaster said in a statement provided to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on Monday. “He’s going to begin paying monthly child support. He’s going to pay retroactive child support back to November of 2018. And he’s going to pay attorney’s fees and costs.”