190329 child support
Toni Anderson and her daughter. Image Credit: AFP

Los Angeles: A 74-year-old California woman will finally get some $150,000 (Dh550,875) in child support payments she was owed over several decades from her ex-husband who had skipped town and moved to Canada.

Toni Anderson told US media that she had raised the couple’s now 52-year-old daughter on her own after she and Donald Lenhart divorced in the late 1960s.

Lenhart was supposed to pay $210 dollars a month in child support over 30 months and then $160 a month until his daughter turned 18.

However, he failed to make any payments and later moved to Canada with a new partner with whom he had two other children.

“He completely disappeared,” Anderson, a retired interior designer from Carlsbad, north of San Diego, told CNN.

She said she worked several jobs and relied on food stamps to make ends meet, and to help get her daughter through college.

Anderson said she realized last year that under California law she was still entitled to the child support and tracked down her ex-husband to Oregon, where he is now living.

She said she was shocked when he attended a court hearing last week following a summons and asked for forgiveness.

The principal amount Lenhart owed was $35,000, which came up to $160,000 with interest and penalties. The pair settled on $150,000 that must be paid over two years.

Lenhart’s attorney said his client believed he and Anderson had made an out-of-court settlement years back based on a handshake that he thought absolved him of making any child support payments.

Anderson said her husband was panicked by her suit and was glad they had managed to finally reach a settlement.

“I’m very happy because I was panicked all these years,” she said. “Now, it’s his turn.”