Toni Anderson was a young single mother after her husband left her and their three-year-old daughter over 50 years ago. She was able to raise her daughter and send her to college in Paris without any child support from her ex-husband Donald Lenhart. Recently Lenhart moved back to the states and Anderson is looking for him to pay — literally.
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Since 1970, Anderson raised Lane, who was only a young child at the time, by herself. Anderson and Lenhart’s marriage was on the rocks early on, which resulted in Lenhart fleeing to Canada instead of paying child support.
Originally, the child support was supposed to be $160 a month. “I kind of put it on the back burner and just kind of forgot about it over the years,” Anderson said as to why she never pursued legal action sooner. “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.”
With bills piling up, Anderson had previously rented out a room in her house just to help pay for basic necessities. However, upon learning that Lenhart had since moved back to the states and now lived in Oregon, Anderson had an epiphany. There wasn’t a statue of limitation for child support in the state of California.
According to the Daily Mail, Anderson hoped out of bed and looked up old court papers. She realized that the $160 a month support she had been originally awarded would have been accruing all these years. And with inflation, she thought surely that amount would be exponentially larger now.
Based on an accrued interest of 10 percent, Anderson and her lawyer figured out that Lenhart would need to pay an excess of $170,000, according to 10News. After a private hearing, a settlement amount of $150,000 was agreed upon. Anderson acknowledged that her ex-husband was probably scrambling when he saw the amount of money he owed.
“I think he’s a little bit panicked. And I’m very happy because I was panicked all these years. Now, it’s his turn.” She wants this to serve as a warning to other “deadbeat exes” who think that their actions don’t have consequences because they do — even if its 50 years later.