It turns out that fleeing to another nation to avoid paying child support never completely frees you from responsibility. Toni Anderson, 74, of California, will get $150,000 in child support from her estranged ex-husband, who chose Canada 50 years ago when he was ordered to pay $160 in child support each month. Ms. Anderson, who had just retired, believed it was time for her ex-husband to be held accountable.
Anderson recalls waking up to the realization that parental obligation was not limited by geography. That is, her ex-husband’s need to pay child support was not nullified by his physical move, so she opted to pursue the case lawfully. Anderson accomplished an outstanding job as a single mother by sending her daughter Lena Lenhart to college in France. She even encouraged Lena to pursue interior design at the same Los Angeles business where she had worked before retiring.
Yet, the mom of one acknowledges that after many years of wanting to provide the best for her daughter, the funds have just run out. Fifty years of neglect have increased $160 installments to a frightening $170,000. Donald Lenhart, who has returned to Oregon after ending his self-imposed exile, will now pay $150,000 after his attorneys successfully negotiated the punishment in a private court.
Anderson is certain that other single moms in California in her situation will pursue their unpaid husbands and get what is rightfully theirs. In her situation, she states that she is relieved that her ex-husband is now experiencing the heat she has been subjected to for the last 50 years.
Anderson’s case may create a precedent for similar instances in the future, given that, according to a 2011 poll published in the Journal of Marital and Family, just 61% of males respected their child support arrangements. It should also be emphasized that a comparable number of mothers who did not live with their kids paid child support.
In reality, failing to make your child support payments is a federal felony, with consequences including high fines and possibly prison time based on the period of irresponsibility and amount owing. Mr. Lenhart’s case is an example of a crime since he evaded paying for nearly two years.