Mother Recovers $150,000 in Child Support 50 Years After Divorce


You may be able recover past due child support payments some day.

You may be able recover past due child support payments some day. Consider this case.

Toni Anderson of California divorced Donald Lenhart in the early 70s.  Anderson had custody of their 3-year-old daughter, Lane Lenhart. Donald was ordered to pay $160 a month in child support.

“He made the first payment,” Toni said. “I was so excited, I will never forget. I deposited in my account and it bounced.”

Donald moved to Canada and paid nothing for the next 49 years.

“I struggled a lot,” Toni said. “I lived from paycheck to paycheck and I had to take a couple jobs. It was a detriment to my daughter because I really wasn’t there for her.”

Missed Child Support Payments Impacts the Child

Her daughter, now 52 years old, reflects on the negative impact of the past due child support payments.

She said, “It was a challenge for me because mom was always working, always had to support us so she was never around. That was hard.”

Toni discovered that Donald had moved back to the US and was living in Oregon. He owned a house and a boat.

She located her old court papers. She notified Donald that he owed her $153,090 in back child support, interest and attorney fees. Donald has agreed to pay.

Statute of Limitations for Child Support

There is no statute of limitations for child support in California. The Maryland statute of limitations is 3 years to bring a contempt action.  If there is a written agreement under seal to pay child support, you have 12 years from the date the payment is due to sue.  You can also ask the court for a judgment for back child support.  The judgment lasts for twelve years and it s renewable.  It also accrues interest at 10% per year.