A woman from California won about $150,000 in child support her ex-husband—for her 52-year-old daughter.
Toni Anderson said her ex-husband, a man she described as her “deadbeat ex,” left her with their 3-year-old 50 years ago, reported 10News in San Diego.
She said her ex went to Canada rather than paying court-ordered child support in the 1970s.
'I realized there's no statute of limitations on child support'
“I kind of put it on the back burner and just kind of forgot about it over the years,” said Anderson, adding that she supported her daughter while working as an interior designer in Los Angeles.
“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,” she said.
Anderson said that she is renting part of her home, and she is now running low on funds. That’s when it dawned on her to file a lawsuit against her ex-husband for not paying child support.
"I think he's a little bit panicked," said Anderson of her husband's reaction to her pursuit. "And I'm very happy…
“I realized in the middle of the night one night last year, ‘Hey, there’s no statute of limitations on child support,’” she said.
“I kind of put it on the back burner and just kind of forgot about it over the years,” said Anderson of the payments.
Then, Anderson looked up court papers and notified her ex-husband in February 2019. He is now living in Oregon.
“He was only supposed to give me like a $160 a month. Well, that was 50 years ago. That today is a lot more money,” she explained.
There was accrued interest on the money of about 10 percent per year, meaning that a $30,000 payment is now $170,000.
“I think he’s a little bit panicked,” said Anderson. “And I’m very happy because I was panicked all these years. Now, it’s his turn.”
Anderson’s lawyer, Sara Yunus, stated that a private hearing in Vista Court last week resulted in a settlement of $150,000, 10News reported.
According to the Daily Mail, her daughter, Lane Lenhart, is now 52 years old.
Her ex-husband, Donald Lenhart, hasn’t issued a statement on the matter.
California law stipulates that a “court cannot enforce this obligation until it makes an order for support,” according to the California Courts website.
“When parents separate, a parent must ask the court to make an order establishing parentage (paternity) and also ask the court to make an order for child support. Child support payments are usually made until children turn 18 (or 19 if they are still in high school full time, living at home, and cannot support themselves),” the website says.
In the state, a parent who falls behind in payments will have to also pay interest on the balance.
It’s “10 percent per year for child support that was due on or after January 1, 1983 … or 7 percent per year for child support that was due before January 1, 1983,” the court website says.
— Paul Jensen Esquire (@beadoz) March 20, 2019
$10 Billion in Child Support Go Uncollected
A U.S. Census report stated that about 43.5 percent of custodial parents get the full amount of support that they’re legally entitled to.
But more than 30 percent don’t get anything at all.
“It’s not easy to get the money,” said Illinois attorney Nancy Chausow Shafer, CBS News reported. “Many people don’t want to pay and find a lot of ways to get around it.”