Politics

Judge Approves Settlement Allowing Hunter Biden’s Finances to Remain Under Wraps

Hunter Biden
Hunter Biden / Getty Images

The settlement agreement reached between Hunter Biden and the Arkansas mother of his child earlier this week was approved by the court on Thursday, allowing the former vice president's son to avoid appearing in court and keep his highly scrutinized financial situation under wraps.

The redacted court order filed Thursday mandates that Biden begin making monthly child support payments to Lunden Alexis Roberts on April 1, pay for the child's health insurance, and reimburse Roberts for legal costs of the case. All financial information, including both the amount Biden has already paid to Roberts and the amount of his future payments, is redacted from the publicly released order.

The settlement comes after a nearly yearlong legal fight between Biden and Roberts, who filed suit last summer asking the court for an order declaring Biden to be the father of their child and for child support. After months of avoiding service of the lawsuit, Biden agreed to undergo a paternity test and was declared the father by the court.

Biden has since worked to delay both appearances in court and required financial disclosures, likely due to the political attention his finances and overseas business connections have gotten as his father, former vice president Joe Biden, runs for president. Earlier this week, Biden's lawyers argued that he was unable to travel to Arkansas for a scheduled deposition due to his current wife's pregnancy, travel restrictions caused by the Wuhan virus, and the media attention on him and his family. The settlement was reached between the sides hours after the court firmly denied Biden's latest delay attempts.

Roberts's lawyer told the Free Beacon that she was "happy a positive resolution of this case was reached and that the case is now concluded." He also said all information regarding Biden's income was sealed by the judge, and doesn't expect any of it to become public.

"All information about Mr. Biden’s income and child support paid is sealed by Judge Holly  Meyer," said lawyer Clinton Lancaster. "We expect that no information about either of these items will be made public."

Biden's lawyer Brent Langdon also declined to share details. "The Judge has approved the final order and the case has been concluded," Langdon said. "There is no hearing tomorrow."

Though the exact terms of the deal are sealed, the order says the monthly payment amount was calculated according to Arkansas statute—which determines child support payments based on monthly income and number of defendants. The state lays out the exact dollar amount owed for salaries ranging up to $5,000 a month and stipulates that 15 percent of each dollar earned in excess of $5,000 be added to the monthly payment.

For example, based on the $50,000 Biden earned per month as a board member for Ukrainian energy giant Burisma, he would be required to pay $7,441 in child support to Roberts. Biden is also required to fork over 15 percent of any bonuses he receives, the law states.

Biden had claimed financial hardship during his legal fight with Roberts. After years of lucrative foreign business work, Biden says he is currently working in Los Angeles as an artist. Lawyers for the mother of his child had asked earlier in the case whether Biden was making any money from his paintings, which were recently showcased in the New York Times.

UPDATE 5:00 p.m.: This piece has been updated with statements from attorneys for both Biden and Roberts.