When news broke Monday that a judge had granted full custody of Britney Spears' children, Sean Preston and Jayden James, to their father, Kevin Federline — at least temporarily — it seemed no one was without an opinion. Both die-hard fans and casual observers spoke to MTV News and flooded our inbox with thoughts on whether she's fit to be a mother, the media coverage of her supposed downward spiral, and Federline's role in the heated battle.
"Everyone should have seen this coming," wrote Morgan, 19, of Newark, Delaware, of Spears' most recent setback (see "Britney Spears Ordered To Give Up Custody Of Her Children"). "That woman is a train wreck. If this isn't her wake-up call, I don't know what is. Maybe now she'll get herself together for the sake of her children."
John, 22, of New Jersey, wasn't too surprised about the ruling, either. "The no-panty sightings and stuff like that is probably not too good an idea," he told MTV News of her recent behavior (see "Britney Spears And Parenting: A Timeline Of Tumult"). "I mean, I heard she was using drugs in front of the kids or something like that, and that's not too cool."
Many felt that Britney has been putting her career and social life ahead of her children's well-being. "Britney should have given up partying when she decided she wanted to be a mother," said Renata, 27, of New Orleans. "She spends more time with her friends and at clubs than she does with her own kids."
Added Kelly, 27, of Huntington, California: "I honestly don't think her 'comeback' is necessary, as it will lead to another downfall. The most important thing in her life should be her kids, not resurrecting her career."
But Spears received a great deal of sympathy for her tough times too.
"She's a first-time parent, and I guess she's still getting used to being a mother, so I don't think that's cool that they took her kids away," said 15-year-old Karlo, from New York.
"I feel so bad for Britney!" said Rebecca, 18, of New York. "You can tell that she means well and really loves her children but has not grown out of childhood herself. She should really have her mother on her side right now, supporting her to make this easier, but instead she has no one."
And many blame Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon's ruling on the incessant media attention Spears has received during her divorce and attempts to recover from an alleged substance-abuse problem.
"I think Britney Spears is going through a tough time that a lot of women go through after divorce, but everyone makes it a bigger deal because she's Britney Spears," said Krystal from Dallas.
Some were skeptical that Kevin Federline will be a better parent than his ex-wife. "Kevin is a party person, I don't really see him as a dad type," said Alexis, 17, from New York. "I think Kevin wants the kids for more attention from the media."
Shavonda, 23, also from New York, had a more cynical opinion of K-Fed. "I think he's doing all of this so he can get the kids, so she can pay child support," she said. "He's just trying to get extra money from Brit."
As for the future, while Sarah, 16, of New York said this latest setback will cause Britney to "go more into depression," others said the pop star still has a chance to recover and get her children back.
"My advice to Britney: Go somewhere that only the people who are important to you know about, and just get away from all of this media attention," said Kristin, 18, of Macon, Georgia. "Relax, breathe and fix yourself. Then come back and show everyone the new you."
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, 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"