The ongoing custody battle between troubled pop star Britney Spears and her ex-husband Kevin Federline has temporarily removed custody and visitation rights from Spears and her two sons.
Sean Preston age 2, and Jayden James age 1, were no longer in Spears’ custody after a court hearing on October 1.
She was later granted visitation rights with her children every other day, according to The Associated Press.
The judge, did however give Spears a list of requirements that needed to be complete to request any custody back again. The requirements included random drug testing for “habitual, frequent, and continuous use of controlled substances and alcohol,” as well as counseling, and completion of her California driver’s licensing.
Spears was granted the visitation rights because she had passed two random drug tests and received her California driver’s license. Also, the visitation rights stated that one court-appointed monitor be present.
Later, Spears and Federline’s lawyers talked outside the courtroom and decided to allow the pop star one overnight visit per week.
The overnight visits didn’t last long after Federline complained Sean and Jayden seemed cranky, like they hardly had any sleep after visiting their mom. Federline’s attorney, Mark Vincent Kaplan, requested an emergency hearing to strip any visitation rights that Spears once had.
Kaplan, a week prior, criticized Spears’ attorney for requesting an emergency hearing to get the overnight visitation.
Neither Spears nor Federline were present for the emergency hearing, but it did lead to the suspension of visitation for Spears, according to The AP.
The visitation document reads, “Petitioner’s (Spears’) visitation with the minor children is suspended pending Petitioner’s compliance with the court orders,” said Court Commissioner Scott Gordon.
TMZ.com wrote that they learned Spears did not provide the drug testing people with contact information so they could reach her to facilitate the random tests, and that is what triggered Commissioner Gordon’s action.
With all of the controversy surrounding this celebrity custody battle, people are wondering whether or not the issue is just a media scandal and Spears’ actions are being exaggerated, or if it’s really for the safety and wellbeing of the kids.
“Well, taking her kids away from Britney is a severe action. But it’s a court that’s done it, not the media. It’s been my experience that in court the truth seems to come out in the end and generally the right thing is done. So my guess is this is in the kids best interest,” said Dave Davis, an instructor at John Carroll University and reporter at The Plain Dealer.
In addition to the twice-weekly drug tests for Spears, Commissioner Gordon also ordered a “parenting coach” to work with Spears at least eight hours a week to observe her with her children.
Spears and Federline were also both told to steer clear of alcohol and/or non-prescription controlled substances 12 hours before their children were in their custody.
Britney and Kevin were also banned from making derogatory comments about the other parent around the boys. Joint co-parenting counseling was made mandatory for the parents to attend as well.
The next custody hearing for Spears and Federline is October 26. At the request of Commissioner Gordon, the parenting coach must have a report ready to share in regards to Spears’ progress with her children.