Circuit Judge Holly Meyer issued today her promised formal order in Independence Circuit Court declaring Hunter Biden, son of the former vice president, the father of a child born to Lunden Alexis Roberts of Independence County August 28, 2019.
A DNA test, Biden had acknowledged previously, established him as the likely father. They had a relationship while she was living in Washington, D.C. He now lives in Los Angeles with a second wife who reportedly is pregnant. He had three children by his first wife.
Roberts is seeking, in addition to the paternity order, child support. That issue remains to be decided at hearings Meyer set yesterday. Biden, a lawyer, claims he is currently unemployed. His past employment by Ukraine and Chinese businesses has been made an issue by Republicans in the impeachment of Donald Trump over extortion of Ukraine. Intervenors, dismissed by the judge, have tried to open a window into those dealings through the paternity case.
The paternity order declares Biden the legal and biological father of the child and orders a new birth certificate to be issued reflecting that.
Meyer issued other orders today.
Importantly, she issued a further protective order to one already existing in the case, protection that had been sought by Biden, most recently in a motion filed today.
The order is meant to protect personal financial information provided by the parties. Biden has argued in seeking protection that other parties want to make political use of it. Roberts’ attorney has argued Biden hadn’t fully complied with earlier orders on providing the information.
The judge said failure to seal the information would further delay the case. She also ordered that depositions taken in the case (out-of-court sworn testimony) should be sealed. The judge didn’t specifically limit questioning in the discovery process but observed that child support is the only matter remaining to be decided in the case. Anything “germane to child support may be inquired into in discovery and not those matters unrelated to child support.”
The public won’t be allowed to attend depositions and the court reporter and a videographer will be subject to the protective order along with attorneys and parties. If a party needs to unseal information, permission must first be sought from the judge. Failure to abide by the order could bring penalties including incarceration, the order said.
The judge also issued an order giving custody to the mother and allowing Biden visitation “as agreed between the parties.”
Financial statements are due Jan. 16. A hearing on temporary child support is set March 13, with a final hearing scheduled May 13.