A California judge has denied a request for rocker Melissa Etheridge to pay $25,000 to her former partner Tammy Lynn Michaels, celebrity website TMZ reported.

Michaels' attorney Steven Knowles asked the court to order Etheridge to immediately pay $25,000 to his client, whom he claims is broke.

The judge disagreed after Etheridge attorney Neal Hersh said his client was already giving Michaels $2,000 a month, in addition to paying various bills.

Knowles told PEOPLE his client is “destitute.” “It doesn't put money in her wallet. Literally she has no cash,” he said.

The women announced their breakup after nine years in April. Both women claim “irreconcilable differences” in their filings for dissolution, but forty-nine-year Etheridge is asking for joint custody of the couple's twin 3-year-old children, son Miller and daughter Johnnie Rose. Michaels, who gave birth to the twins, says she wants full custody of the children with visitation rights for Etheridge.

Etheridge shares joint custody of two children, Bailey Jean, 13, and Beckett, 11, from a previous relationship with Julie Cypher.

Michaels, 35, said on her blog that she gave up her acting career in 2001 to care for the children. She has filed for a dissolution of marriage, rather than domestic partnership. A move Knowles said was symbolic and that his client would amend the complaint if the court asked.

Michaels is more likely to prevail in her claim for spousal support if the court views their relationship as a marriage. The women reportedly attempted to marry during the 2008 June-to-November window when gay marriage was legal in California.