Well-known singer Melissa Etheridge is currently going through a divorce with her partner, Tammy Lynn Etheridge. The two began dating in 2001 and were wed in September 2003.

Etheridge’s spouse is claiming that she deserves more than $23,000 each month to cover child support and expenses. In response, Etheridge has stated that her former partner is careless and accidentally burned one of their children with a cigarette. If the partner is receiving child support, a custody agreement has placed at least one of the children — if not both — in her care.

According to a past interview with Etheridge, she called her former partner a wonderful mother and an incredible woman. Court filings later indicated that Etheridge does not hold view any longer. A scheduled visitation with the children in Boston was canceled, and Etheridge was served court documents instead.

According to the CEO of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, the split is not surprising. With marriages in this country coming to an end more than half of the time, she says that this breakup underscores the idea that homosexual relationships are similar to heterosexual ones. Though the divorce seems to be painful for the two women and two children, people in Columbus, Ohio, and throughout the nation may be excited that the public’s reaction has largely left the homosexual-heterosexual debate out of focus.

Reports show that this high-profile divorce is shining light on the problem of domestic partnerships. Though some states recognize the domestic partnership as nearly equal to that of marriage, the social devaluation has left many couples in such a partnership feeling as if their partners are not entitled to the same things that a married partner would deserve. Ohio does not recognize domestic partnerships, meaning a division of assets and custody battle over a child could be quite difficult.

Source: The Daily Beast, “Melissa Etheridge’s Hideous Breakup,” Tricia Romano, Apr. 17, 2012