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Bench trial set in Hunter Biden child-support case in Arkansas

Child’s support, name at issue by Daniel McFadin | March 9, 2023 at 5:00 a.m.
Hunter Biden leaves after President Joe Biden awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to 17 people July 7 during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (File Photo/AP/Susan Walsh)

The Arkansas court case involving Hunter Biden and the woman he fathered a child with has been set for a two-day bench trial.

Circuit Court Judge Holly Meyer ordered on March 2 that the trial take place July 24-25.

The case, which is in the 16th Judicial District in Independence County, involves Biden's child support payments to Lunden Alexis Roberts -- the child's mother -- and Roberts' desire to change her daughter's last name to Biden.

A bench trail does not involve a jury and is conducted solely by a judge.

A pre-trial hearing is set for May 23 at 8:30 a.m. in Heber Springs. Final witness lists must be submitted by May 22.

An evidence and exhibit list must be submitted by June 30.

The filing orders that depositions be conducted in June at either an attorney's office or at a neutral office in Arkansas agreed to by both parties.

Meyer's order says that if the case is settled, the court must be notified by 4 p.m. the day before the start of the trial. Otherwise, costs "may be assessed against one or both parties."

The case, which had originally been closed in March 2020, was reopened in September of last year when Biden submitted a filing requesting that his child support payments be altered, due to a "substantial material change" in his "financial circumstances, including but not limited to his income."

In December, Roberts' legal team submitted the request to have her daughter's name changed.

According to the filing submitted by attorney Clinton Lancaster, the baby would "benefit from carrying the Biden family name," which the attorney said is "now synonymous with being well educated, successful, financially acute, and politically powerful."

In a Jan. 6 court filing, an attorney for Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, called the attempt to change the last name of the child "political warfare."

The four-page response demanded "strict proof thereof that such request is in the best interest of the child."

The filing added that it is "apparent that [Roberts'] motivations to disregard the once desired protective orders that [she] herself requested and to which [Biden] agreed for the protection and best interest of the child, have now dissipated in the interest of political warfare against [Biden] and his family."

At the same time that Roberts' legal team made the name change request, it requested information about any financial benefits Hunter Biden or other family members may receive as a result of Joe Biden's presidency; California attorney Kevin Morris, who is alleged to have spent millions on Hunter Biden's behalf; any money paid to or by Hunter Biden's attorney, Brent Langdon; and money paid to or by James Biden [President Biden's brother] and President Biden.

Roberts, who is from Batesville and an Arkansas State University graduate, met Hunter Biden while she was living in Washington and working for him, Lancaster previously said.

The child, initially referred to in the case as "Baby Doe," was born in August 2018; the paternity suit followed in May 2019, days after Biden's marriage to a South African filmmaker, Melissa Cohen.

A DNA test showed, "with near scientific certainty," that Biden is Baby Doe's father, Meyer declared in a January 2020 order. That month the parties agreed on temporary child support until the issue was resolved.

In his 2021 book "Beautiful Things," Biden claimed he fought Roberts' paternity suit because he had no memory of the incident that led to the pregnancy.

The book chronicles his struggles with alcohol and drug abuse, which intensified after the death of his brother, Beau, in May 2015 and after his divorce was finalized two years later.

"The other women I'd been with during rampages since my divorce were hardly the dating type. We would satisfy our immediate needs and little else," Hunter Biden wrote, adding, "I'm not proud of it."

Print Headline: Trial involving Hunter Biden set


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