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Does Britney Spears Have Custody Of Her Kids?

Photo: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock  
Does Britney Spears Have Custody Of Her Kids?

Britney Spears has been quarantining at home like the rest of us and she has been using Instagram to communicate with her fans. Lately, though, her posts have taken on a strange tone and fans are wondering if she is having trouble with her mental health again ... or if the situation is something worse.

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The "Toxic" singer has struggled, sometimes very publicly, with her mental health since 2007. Her issues have led her family to step in and take over her business affairs, with her father acting as her conservator and making all her business and legal decisions for her. She has also had limited contact with her two teenage sons, Sean Preston and Jayden. While technically she has shared 50-50 custody with her ex-husband Kevin Federline since their divorce in 2007, there have been adjustments to that arrangement over time.

Does Britney Spears have custody of her kids?

She ended up with reduced custody last year.

In the fall of 2019, Spears and Federline went to court to adjust their custody arrangement for the first time since their split 12 years before. Since their divorce, they had shared custody 50-50 and tried to equally co-parent their two sons. But in September, Federline asked a judge to reduce Spears' time with the then 13- and 14-year-old boys. The court rules that 41-year-old Federline could have the kids for 70% of the time going forward, leaving Spears with only 30% custody.

The custody change wasn't Britney Spears' fault.

Federline didn't seek the custody change due to anything his ex-wife did. Instead, he was reacting to an incident wherein Spears' father Jamie Spears physically assaulted Sean Preston. “Britney had the boys at Jamie’s condo on the evening of August 24. Jamie and Sean Preston got into an argument. Sean Preston felt unsafe and locked himself into a room. Jamie broke into the room and shook Sean Preston,” a law enforcement insider said

Spears got her kids away from her father that evening but Federline wasn't satisfied that they would be safe around their grandfather. He got a restraining order against Jamie Spears and filed to change the custody details not long after that. 

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Jamie Spears stepped back as his daughter's conservator at that time.

In addition to the altercation with Sean Preston, the Spears patriarch was also still recovering from the effects of a ruptured colon. He stepped back from his role at his daughter's conservator for a while right after the incident. After the court proceedings, he was prohibited from seeing either of the boys for three years. Moreover, Britney Spears had to have another adult with her when she was with her kids and that adult could not be her father. 

Spears was reportedly angry at her dad for causing the entire situation. She has been hoping to get the custody split back up to where it used to be so she can have more time with her kids in the future. 

She may have an uphill battle on custody.

Even with Jamie Spears out of the picture — he has not been reinstated as her conservator — Federline might not want to return the boys to their mother these days. On social media, Spears has been acting erratically and may be in need of help.

A few weeks ago, she took to social media to tell her fans that she burned her home gym down. The story she told involved two candles and an accidental fire that destroyed her personal fitness room. However, fire department records don't show any visits to her home. And the singer's sister remarked - SOURCE THIS POINT - that the fire had happened well before Instagram post. It's not entirely clear what happened or how severe it was. Regardless, accidental fires don't inspire the kind of confidence a responsible dad would need to have before sending his kids into a home unsupervised.


A post shared by Britney Spears (@britneyspears) on Apr 29, 2020 at 2:22pm PDT

Her mental health seems to be precarious.

Spears has had several well-publicized episodes of mental unwellness in the past. In 2007, she famously shaved her head during an episode of extreme agitation. In 2008, she attacked a photographer with an umbrella. That, along with other concerns by her family, led them to put her under a conservatorship. Her father was given control over the financial and legal matters, a situation that remains to this day. Though now a woman named Jodi Montgomery, who is her care manager, is tasked with protecting her interests, the conservatorship prevents her from making bad business decisions and preventer her form hiring shady people, like former manager Sam Lufti. At one time, her father even indicated that she had some form of dementia, though that has never been confirmed. 

That seems to remain necessary since there have been more periods of emotional unrest with the singer. She may be in one right now if the odd things she's posting on Instagram are any indication. In one video, she started out celebrating the arrival of a colorful flower arrangement then spent two minutes silently walking back and forth in front of the camera, making the same facial expression each time she faced the lens. That's one of several videos where she bizarrely paces in and out of the frame, posing as if she's on a red carpet each time she crosses the camera. 

Fans in her comments keep asking if she is ok.


A post shared by Britney Spears (@britneyspears) on Jul 2, 2020 at 1:46pm PDT

She posted this strange video in July. 

Her kids don't show up on her social media.

The singer hasn't posted any photos of her kids in quite some time. The last photo she shared was a picture at Disneyland from August 2019. But son Jayden has social media of his own, though he keeps his account private. In an Instagram live session he indicated that he and his mom are close, despite the custody arrangement. He even talks to her about her career. “Actually I haven’t seen her doing a lot of music at all. I don’t think that … I don’t know, dude. I don’t even know. I remember one time I asked her, I said, ‘Mom, what happened to your music?’" the teen recalled. "And she was like, ‘I don’t know, honey. I think I might just quit it.’ I’m like, ‘What? What are you saying? Like, do you know how much bank you make off of that stuff?’” 


A post shared by Britney Spears (@britneyspears) on Aug 4, 2019 at 10:40pm PDT

Spears and her sons. 

Neither Spears or Federline has commented on the custody situation in public. 

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Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. She is the creator of the blog FeminXer and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.​