According to legal documents obtained by TMZ, in a Request for Trial Setting, Melissa Etheridge, 50, and Tammy Lynn Michaels, 36, are fighting over child custody, child visition, child support, spousal support, division of property and attorney’s fees. Looks like the couple have not settled their differences and the matter is getting ready to be set for trial.
From an Orange County divorce lawyer’s perspective, with respect to child custody and visitation issues, the former couple will have to work out an appropriate parenting plan for their twins. Once an appropriate parenting plan is worked out, the next issue to be dealt with is child support. Generally speaking, child support is based on timeshare and gross monthly income of the parties. There are other factors such as interest deductions, mandatory retirement etc. but I won’t get into that here. At any rate, the more time a noncustodial parent visits with the child, the less child support he or she will end up paying. So, it’ll be interesting to see how this case plays out in court.
Another interesting note is that Michaels is requesting spousal support from Etheridge. However, the issue of whether the vows they exchanged back in 2003 will hold muster. Was it a real binding marital ceremony or simply a non-binding commitment ceremony? At either rate, on a permanent spousal support level, Family Code section 4320 factors will likely come into play if the court finds that there was indeed a binding commitment ceremony.