Britney Spears has lost custody of her two children — at least temporarily — to ex-husband Kevin Federline. A Los Angeles judge ordered the singer on Monday (October 1) to turn over Sean Preston and Jayden James to Federline until further notice, effective Wednesday.
The judge's order came following an off-the-calendar hearing at Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday, in which Federline's lawyer Mark Vincent Kaplan expressed concern over the singer's driving habits, after she was charged on September 21 for driving without a license (see "Britney Spears Charged With Two Driving-Related Misdemeanors"). Though a source close to the custody battle told MTV News when Spears was first charged with the misdemeanors that they would not affect Federline's custody request, that was before the singer was repeatedly photographed and videotaped driving with the children in the car. In one paparazzi video that grabbed headlines last week, Spears reportedly drove the wrong way down a one-way street for a moment while Sean Preston held Jayden James' hand, as if to comfort his visibly distressed younger brother.
(For a timeline of Spears chaotic activity in recent years, check out "Britney Spears' Sad Saga Continues With Judge's Child-Custody Order.") The court's minute order of the Monday hearing, however, does not provide the cause of the judge's new decision. Instead, court documents obtained by MTV News list this new development as a modification to the existing court orders handed down just two weeks ago, which included random drug testing, counseling, and parenting classes (see "Britney Spears Must Undergo Regular Drug Testing, Parenting Classes In Custody Case"). The rest of the record is sealed. Though Spears is to hand over the children by noon on Wednesday, the matter isn't settled permanently: Commissioner Scott Gordon scheduled a new hearing to go over the arrangements on Wednesday. Spears' arraignment on the misdemeanor charges is set for October 10.
(For reactions from Perez Hilton and others to the recent Spears developments, read "Britney Spears, Bad Parent? Perez Hilton, 'Leave Britney Alone!' Guy Weigh In")
For more on Britney's child-custody setback, check out:
· "Britney Spears Seems To Be Drowning In Troubles, So Why Won't She Listen To Anyone?"
· "Britney Spears' Custody Loss Met With Sympathy From Fans, But Not Surprise"
· "Britney Spears, Legally Speaking: Top Lawyers Say She Can Get Kids Back, If She Follows Advice"
· 'Things Are Looking Really Bad' For Britney Spears, SuChin Pak Says"
· "Britney Spears Lost Custody Because 'She Didn't Follow The Rules,' Source Says"
[This story was originally published on 10.1.07 at 4:41 p.m. ET.]