That’s what Tammy Etheridge’s attorney claimed in an L.A. courtroom on Monday – but Melissa’s lawyer says that’s not the case.
"[Tammy] is being completely supported by Melissa and has been since they separated," Melissa’s attorney Neal Hersh told PEOPLE after appearing at a hearing. "She’s being well-provided for and then some, as are the children, which are Melissa’s first priority."
The singer has been giving the former Tammy Lynn Michaels $2,000 a month and pays household bills including utilities and a car lease, the lawyer says.
Tammy’s attorney Steven Knowles acknowledges, "Melissa is paying various sundry expenses," but says that Tammy, 35, and their 3-year-old twins, Johnnie and Miller, are "destitute." Knowles adds, "It doesn’t put money in her wallet. Literally she has no cash."
Knowles also claims Tammy’s credit card has been declined when she’s tried to purchase groceries and clothing for their children, something Hersh says is, if true, "a one-off situation."
Melissa, 49, and Tammy, 35, split late last year after nearly nine years together. Melissa is seeking joint custody of their twins, while Tammy is seeking full custody.