Woman Who Sued Her Ex-Husband For Child Support 50 Years After Divorce Got More Than She Expected

ABC13 Houston, GMA

When a couple has children and gets a divorce, it only makes sense that both parents would still contribute to raising the child. Unfortunately, that’s often not what happens.

In some divorces, there may be battles between exes for child custody because both parents want to raise their children. In other cases, one ex might not want to have anything to do with the ex or the children and basically run away.

When Toni Anderson was young, she married a man named Donald Lenhart. They had a child together, a daughter named Lane Lenhart. This was far from a happily ever after type story. When Lane was just 3 years old, her dad left. Her parents got divorced, and in order to avoid paying child support, her dad moved to Canada.

Toni was left to raise and support her daughter all by herself, and it was a struggle. She often had to work multiple jobs in order to make ends meet. This meant that she didn’t have a lot of time left over to spend with her daughter. She told Good Morning America, “I struggled a lot. I lived from paycheck to paycheck and I had to take a couple jobs, and it was a detriment to my daughter because I really wasn’t there for her.”

Lane says, “It was a challenge” with her mother working so much, but she knows her mother was working to pay for everything they needed.

What would have helped a lot during those years was if Donald had paid child support. He owed her $210 a month for 30 months and then $160 a month until Lane’s 21st birthday.

Fifty years later, at the age of 74, Toni discovered that her ex-husband had moved from Canada to Oregon. She also realized that California doesn’t have a statute of limitations on child support. She decided to sue her ex for everything he owed.

Watch the video below to learn more about this unusual lawsuit and to find out what happened as a result of the lawsuit.

Donald’s attorney gave a statement from his client to GMA. In the statement, Donald explained, “I was glad to pay Ms. Anderson the child support that was owed and I wish her only the best in the future. We had an informal agreement that I was operating off of after our divorce, but when Ms. Anderson filed her motion in 2018 to collect the $35,000 in principal plus interest, I hired a private investigator to locate her so I could offer her payment. I am pleased we were able to reach an agreement.”