What Would Happen if Hunter Biden’s Child Support Case Were in a New York Court?
President Joe Biden’s son Hunter asked an Arkansas court to reduce the amount he pays to support the four-year-old daughter he fathered with a former Washington, D.C. stripper. Lunden Roberts, the mother of Navy Joan Roberts, is opposing Hunter’s attempt to revise the parties’ 2020 agreement regarding paternity and child support.
While most people’s child support modification requests do not draw the same type of public attention as the Biden-Roberts matter, the issues in this proceeding are fairly common and can be used to illustrate several factors used in New York child support determinations, such as:
- Income shares — New York guidelines state that when two parents share one child, 17 percent of their combined income should be devoted to meeting their child’s financial needs. News accounts report that Hunter Biden currently pays $20,000 per month in child support. That would translate to an approximate $1.57 million annual salary for Mr. Biden under the New York guidelines.
- Nights in each parent’s home — It is widely reported that Hunter Biden has no relationship with Navy. This means that there would not be any offset of his child support obligation based on the number of nights she spent in his home.
- Money, goods and services provided by relatives and friends — Child support determinations are supposed to reflect the true financial status of the parents. In many cases, someone’s wages do not provide a complete perspective on their lifestyle. Monetary gifts from parents, free use of a family home and other benefits provided by loved ones can also be considered by a judge overseeing a child support matter. For example, the fact that Hunter accompanied his father on a trip to Ireland and speculation that he is living in The White House could lead to a higher support obligation.
- Minor children from other relationships — Hunter Biden is the father of five. The three children from his first marriage are all 21 years of age or older. Under New York law, he would no longer have any legal responsibility to support them financially, though he and the child’s mother might have an agreement under which he is paying college tuition for Maisy, who attends the University of Pennsylvania. Hunter also has a three-year-old son, Beau, with his current wife. If the existing child support order regarding Navy was established before Beau’s birth, it is possible that a New York court might revise Hunter’s obligation downward to reflect this significant change in circumstances. This differs from the prior common law standard.
Of course, each situation is unique, so if you have a question about how a change of circumstances might affect your New York child support order, it is best to contact a qualified attorney.
Bryan L. Salamone & Associates, P.C. represents Long Island parents in child support modification actions and other New York family law matters. To schedule a consultation with a knowledgeable attorney, please call 1.631.479.3839 or contact us online.