• Woman awarded $150K in back child support nearly 50 years after divorce

    By: Bob D'Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:

    It’s never too late to receive a child support payment.

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    A California woman was awarded child support from her ex-husband, nearly 50 years after the couple divorced, KGTV reported.

    Toni Anderson, 74, of Carlsbad, California, will be getting $150,000 in child support payments, the television station reported. Her lawyer, Sara Yunus, told KGTV that a private hearing in Vista Court on Wednesday resulted in a settlement of $150,000.

    The settlement came after Anderson had an epiphany.

    "I realized in the middle of the night one night last year, 'Hey, there's no statute of limitations on child support,'" Anderson told KGTV.

    Anderson married Don Lenhart in 1966, but the couple split in 1969, CNN reported.

    In 1970, a judge ordered Lenhart to pay child support for the couple’s 3-year-old daughter, Lane. The monthly payments, which were to begin Jan. 1, 1971, were to be $210 for the first 2 ½ years and then $160 per month until Lane turned 18, CNN reported.

    "The first check bounced and then he went off to Canada with his girlfriend and had two more kids. He completely disappeared," Anderson told the cable network.

    Time passed, and Anderson said she lived “paycheck to paycheck,” supporting her daughter while working as an interior designer in Los Angeles, KGTV reported.

    "I kind of put it on the back burner and just kind of forgot about it over the years," Anderson told the television station. "I'm not negating the fact I was able to send my daughter to college, Paris. We traveled and had a good time. But the money runs out."

    Anderson’s daughter now runs the firm, KGTV reported.

    After her revelation, Anderson decided to Google her ex-husband’s name, CNN reported. She said he found photos of him living in Oregon with a large house and boat.

    Anderson filed a motion to seek unpaid child support, and last month, a judge granted her request, CNN reported.

    Lenhart’s lawyer told CNN that his client was pleased to reach an agreement.

    "I was glad to pay Ms. Anderson the child support that was owed and I wish her only the best in the future," Lenhart said.

    The repayment begins with a large lump sum, and then continues in monthly payments, CNN reported. 

    Anderson said she had no regrets about fighting for the unpaid child support, hoping her example will show other women to “not be afraid to go after their ex-husbands,” CNN reported.

    “He was only supposed to give me like $160 a month,” Anderson told KGTV. “Well, that was 50 years ago. That today is a lot more money."

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