CARLSBAD, California (KTRK) -- A California woman finally won her fight to get child support from her ex-husband nearly 50 years after they divorced.
Toni Anderson, 74, says her ex-husband chose to go to Canada rather than pay child support in the early 70s, leaving her alone with their 3-year-old daughter at the time.
"I kind of put it on the back burner and just kind of forgot about it over the years," said Anderson.
She supported her daughter while working as an interior designer in Los Angeles at a firm her daughter now runs. Anderson says she rents part of her home, and now that she is retired, money is tight.
"I'm not negating the fact I was able to send my daughter to college, Paris. We traveled and had a good time. But the money runs out," Anderson said.
Anderson says it then dawned on her that there's no statute of limitations on child support.
After notifying her ex-husband she wanted him to pay up, she realized what he owed was more than $170,000.
"He was only supposed to give me, like, $160 a month. Well, that was 50 years ago. That today is a lot more money," Anderson said.
Anderson makes no apologies for going after the man she calls her "deadbeat ex."
She says she wants to spread the word to other single parents in California, saying you can still collect.
And to those who skipped out, her message is for them to watch out.
"I think he's a little bit panicked," said Anderson of her husband's reaction to her pursuit. "And I'm very happy because I was panicked all these years. Now, it's his turn."
Anderson and her ex reached a settlement after a private hearing. She was awarded $150,000.
Woman wins $150,000 in child support from ex-husband 50 years after divorce