Earlier this summer Britney Spears marveled at how her marriage with Kevin Federline was “awesome” and motherhood was “amazing” in an interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer. Now, with reports that their union has come to a screeching halt thanks to the pop princess filing divorce papers, motherhood may be getting a lot tougher.
For starters, court papers indicate that the singer wants full custody of their two children — Sean Preston (14 months) and Jayden James (8 weeks). Although Brit and K-Fed are reported to have a water-tight prenuptial agreement, according to celebrity lawyer Neal Hersh (Halle Berry, Kim Basinger), who doesn’t represent Brit, a custody battle could turn the divorce proceedings into a major celebrity showdown. In fact, Wednesday, Federline filed his response to Brit’s divorce petition, asking for sole custody of the children.
“There’s a custody case brewing here potentially,” Hersh told Access Hollywood. “We don’t really know what Kevin’s position is regarding custody ... I don’t know if that’s something he’s going to agree to. [Those] are the types of cases where you start to see allegations about each parties parenting and parenting styles.”
In fact, if a dispute over the two boys erupts, it could affect any financial figure agreed between Brit and Kevin originally and prolong the marriage dissolution, Hersh said.
“A divorce could take, on a good case 8 months to a year and a bad case it could be a year to two years quite easily,” he noted. “If Kevin is gonna contest the prenuptial agreement we’re looking at a whole different game plan ... [If he] accepts the prenuptial agreement the case is over before it even begins, except and so far as custody and child support’s concerned.”
Hersh added that in the state of California, where the divorce petition was filed, it is “a bit of an unusual request,” for Britney to have asked for custody. “Joint legal and physical is the presumptive choice,” he said.
Britney’s own, heavily scrutinized parenting track record may present further difficulties in her sole custody battle if K-Fed chooses to contest the request. Her heavily scrutinized troubles began in February of this year when the media and even U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta chastised the 24-year-old for driving away from a Los Angeles establishment with baby Sean Preston in her lap, rather than in a car seat.
In April, child welfare officials and a sheriff’s deputy visited Brit and K-Fed’s house after learning a nanny had dropped baby Sean on his head, while removing him from a high chair. Two more instances occurred in May when Brit was again captured under the paparazzi eye driving Sean in Malibu, with his car seat facing forward, which isn’t the recommended direction according to federal safety guidelines. Later, in NYC, she was spotted tripping on her platforms and nearly losing her one-armed grip on baby Sean Preston.
Now, with Britney ice-skating at Rockefeller Center, fans are wondering why she’s not with her boys, who are staying with their maternal grandmother Lynne Spears.