According to the U.
S. Census Bureau, in 2015, less than half (43%) of all parents received the full amount they were supposed to get in child support. In fact, in a startling report from 2012, CNN stated over $100 billion was remain unpaid child support.
A 74-year-old mother named Toni Anderson sued her ex-husband nearly 50 years after their divorce and winning $150,000 is owed child support.
Anderson married Don Lenhart in 1966, and the couple separated in 1968 with an official divorce in 1970. In 1970, a Los Angeles judge awarded child support, money to be paid until their daughter Lane Lenhart was 21, according to the Union-Tribune. The order was $210 a month at starting then dropping to $160 a month.
Anderson’s ex-husband made an initial payment, but the check bounced and he left the country, Anderson told the newspaper.
In an interview she has given to Inside Edition, she said: “Now that I’m older and retired, it came to me that I deserve this money.”
“It was totally on principle. The money was one thing but I started realizing that we are letting deadbeat dads get away with too much,” she told CTV News.
After a little research she discovered that her ex had relocated to Oregon, she started looking for a lawyer to take on her case.
Anderson found and hired San Diego family law attorney Sara Yunus, who told Anderson that she was still entitled to the payment, the Union-Tribune reported.
“The law allows her to do this.”
“I thought she was brilliant. I thought she was great for doing this.”
When Anderson visited court, the judge made an order to pay the $35,000 in child support owed, along with a whopping $120,000 in interest.
He was shocked by the decision. In a statement via his attorney, he said:
“I was glad to pay Ms. Anderson the child support that was owed and I wish her only the best in the future.”
According to reports, Anderson’s daughter Lane is proud of her mother for “standing up for herself,” and Anderson hopes her courage and fight for her right will inspire to other mothers out there.
“We want to empower women to go out there and go for it,” she said.