In a situation illustrating the value of drafting a prenuptial agreement, singer Melissa Etheridge and her former domestic partner, Tammy Lynn Michaels, are engaged in a contentious legal battle regarding the breakup of their relationship.
Etheridge recently filed for a family law trial in Los Angeles Superior Court, stating she intends to seek a legal resolution to matters involving the dissolution of their relationship, spousal support, division of property, attorney fees and costs, and child custody issues, including visitation and child support.
Etheridge and Michaels split last spring after nine years together. The couple have two children, twins, who Michaels gave birth to in 2006.
In July 2010, Michaels' attorney, Steven Knowles, told TMZ that his client had only "$4 to her name" because "Melissa has not been treating Tammy or the children as if they are a wife and children, financially and otherwise."
During an appearance on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" Etheridge said the breakup of the relationship was mutual, but Michaels refuted that in a post on her blog.
Another high-profile lesbian couple, actress Sara Gilbert and TV producer Alison Adler, recently broke up after 10 years. That split has been amicable, according to People magazine, which says the two will share custody of their two children.