The Grammy winner fired back at her ex-wife's request for a child-support bump in court documents filed today, in which she alleges that Michaels is "angry and vindictive" and has accused Etheridge of not having the "maternal instinct" that she has as the one who actually gave birth to their now 5-year-old twins.
Etheridge also states that Michaels accidentally burned son Miller Steven when she dropped a cigarette. So, what is she asking a judge to do?
In the nearly 100 pages of custody-related documents filed by Etheridge's camp, she requests that both she and Michaels be ordered to maintain a smoke-free environment around Miller and his sister, Johnnie Rose.
"Furthermore, the children have allergies and I am concerned about their exposure to second-hand smoke," she states.
Etheridge, who wants the judge to map out a detailed custody schedule for the coming summer, also accuses Michaels of trying to "dial back" Etheridge's time with the kids and implying in emails that she thinks of herself as the twins' "primary parent and as the person who should control their time."
Referencing Etheridge's extensive traveling schedule, Michaels wrote in an email, per the filing: "Children should really be placed first, Melissa, I encourage you to try it this time around with these two of your children...You know, Melissa, that I did not give birth to these two children to give them away to your various staff members and girlfriends to raise." (Etheridge also has two kids with ex Julie Cypher.)
"You have to support so many households because you BROKE SO MANY HOUSEHOLDS, silly," Michaels also wrote to Etheridge. "If you had decided to have one ounce of integrity/honesty as a person or partner, you would NOT be in this predicament. Think about it."
Referring to their chain of communication over the last year, Etheridge states that the former Popular star is "angry and vindictive" and has not accepted the change in the family dynamic.
Michaels filed a settlement brief yesterday insisting that she needed more than the $23,000 Etheridge has been giving her each month in spousal and child support.
The pair swapped vows in a commitment ceremony in 2003 and welcomed their kids in 2006. In April 2010, they revealed they had separated and, barely a month later, the court battle began over money. Michaels filed for sole physical custody that July but the two have maintained a joint custody arrangement, except when Etheridge is traveling.
A hearing on their latest round of issues is scheduled for May 22.
—Reporting by Claudia Rosenbaum