Media reports indicate that a Los Angeles County child custody battle looms for rocker Melissa Etheridge as she moves to dissolve her California domestic partnership with Tammy Lynn Michaels.
The details of the California dissolution action – or what we appear to know of them – are in dispute. Celebrity website TMZ.com says that Etheridge’s attorney has argued that Michaels should not receive “financial support” from the singer. People magazine, however, reported Monday that Etheridge is currently giving Michaels “$2000 a month and pays household bills including utilities and a car lease,” citing a person it, too, describes as Etheridge’s counsel.
The couple have been together nine years and are parents to three-year-old twin boys. Michaels is the children’s biological mother via an anonymous sperm donor, according to TMZ. The site notes that couple registered as domestic partners nearly a decade ago, but did not formally wed during the four and a half months in 2008 when California allowed same-sex marriages.
If People is correct, a California child custody fight appears to loom for the former couple. The magazine reports that Etheridge “is seeking joint custody of their twins, while Tammy is seeking full custody.”
Orange County, Los Angeles and other Southern California child custody disputes are often difficult and emotionally charged. When other factors that may complicate the case are involved – significant assets on the part of one party, a same sex couple or lack of a pre-nuptial agreement, for example – it becomes all the more important that you seek the advice of an experienced Orange County divorce and family law attorney as soon as possible. An Orange County custody lawyer can offer advice tailored to your specific circumstances with an eye on protecting all of your parental rights as a California divorce or dissolution action moves forward.
People Magazine: Attorney: Melissa Etheridge is paying Tammy’s bills