After Toni Anderson's "deadbeat" ex-husband left her and their 3-year-old daughter, the California woman says he fled to Canada to avoid paying court-ordered child support. That was in the early 1970s—and nearly half a century later, she's finally gotten him to pay up for her now 52-year-old daughter, CBS Los Angeles reports. While Anderson was able to support her daughter through her interior design firm, even going on trips to Paris and other places and sending her to college, she's also had to rent out part of her house to make ends meet and says money has gotten especially tight since she retired. Then one night, as she recounts to KGTV, she realized, "Hey, there's no statute of limitations on child support"—and her ex had moved to Oregon.
She found the old court papers and sent him notice. The $160 to $210 per month that he had been ordered to pay decades ago had ballooned, thanks to interest and legal fees, to a total payment due of more than $170,000. Anderson's lawyer says a private hearing Wednesday resulted in a $150,000 settlement. Anderson says more women should take the same action she did: "I don't think enough women get this. And I think they're afraid," she says. Her daughter tells Good Morning America that her father's actions had a serious impact on her upbringing: "It was a challenge for me because Mom was always working, always had to support us so she was never around. That was hard." As for the ex, he says in a statement, "I was glad to pay Ms. Anderson the child support that was owed and I wish her only the best in the future." (This back payment for child support ended up a lot higher.)