oni Anderson and Lane Lenhart photo

Retired mother gets six-figure child support payment after nearly 50 years

A retired mother in California has won child support from her ex-husband nearly 50 years after the man left the relationship, KGTV reports.

Toni Anderson, of Carlsbad, says she isn’t sorry for pursuing the money from her former husband, who she said left her and their 3-year-old daughter in the early 1970s. Anderson, 74, said her “deadbeat ex” decided to move to Canada instead of make the court-ordered payments.

“I kind of put it on the back burner and just kind of forgot about it over the years,” she said.

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Anderson worked in Los Angeles as an interior designer to support her daughter, who now runs the firm. As a working mother, Anderson was able to send her daughter to college and travel, but now as a retiree, money is tight. She rents part of her home to help make ends meet.

One night last year it dawned on her that child support claims aren’t restricted by statutes of limitations. So last month, Anderson examined old court documents and gave notice to her ex-husband, who now lives in Oregon, that she wanted him to pay up.

At the time of their separation, he was supposed to send $160 per month for a total payment of about $30,000, but with accrued interest over nearly five decades, that figure ballooned to more than $170,000.

Anderson’s lawyer, Sara Yunus, said a settlement was reached Wednesday for $150,000.

Anderson wants to publicize the victory to make other single parents aware that they can still collect child support owed to them.

“I don’t think enough women get this,” Anderson said. “And I think they’re afraid.”

She also wants to put deadbeat parents on notice, adding that she thinks her ex-husband is a bit panicked at having to finally pay. “And I’m very happy because I was panicked all these years,” she said. “Now, it’s his turn.”

A lawyer for the ex-husband did not respond to an inquiry from the television station.

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[Feature Photo: Toni Anderson and her daughter, Lane Lenhart/Facebook]