Nearly 50 Years Later, California Woman Wins $150K In Overdue Child Support

By Teri Figueroa
The San Diego Union-Tribune

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Toni Anderson says her ex-husband made an initial child support payment of $210 in 1970 but the check bounced. She says he then left the country so she gave up on getting the money back until now.


It was a long time coming, this child support payment.

But nearly 50 years after a judge awarded Toni Anderson child support, the now 73-year-old Carlsbad woman took her ex-husband back to court, and won her bid to force him to pay up. The settlement tally, including interest: $150,000.

Married in 1966, Toni Anderson and her husband Don Lenhart split up a few years later. She was left to raise their young daughter.

In 1970, a Los Angeles judge awarded child support, money to be paid until daughter Lane Lenhart was 21. The order was $210 a month to start, then dropping to $160 a month.

Anderson said her ex-husband made an initial payment but the check bounced. Then he left the country, she said. She gave up on the money.

A single mother, Anderson went to work as an interior decorator, eventually running her own company. She said it was a “struggle beyond struggle for years and years,” and she worked “24/7.” Money was tight. So was the time she had to spend with her little girl.

But she made it work.

Fast forward to a few years ago. Anderson handed her business over to her daughter, also an interior decorator, and moved south to Carlsbad in 2015.

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