Britney Spears Ordered To Show Up For January Deposition

Pop star has missed four previous deposition dates; judge moves next custody hearing to February.

Kevin Federline's attorney is hoping that the fifth time is the charm.

After failing to get Britney Spears to show up for a deposition four previous times in the singer's ongoing custody battle with ex-husband Federline, attorney Mark Vincent Kaplan convinced Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Scott Gordon to order Spears to be deposed in the case in January.

TMZ reports that Gordon ordered Spears to submit to a deposition with Kaplan during the first week of January, though the exact date has not yet been announced. Gordon also postponed a planned custody hearing that had been set to take place January 23, at which Spears' lawyers were expected to petition the court to reinstate her custody rights. If Spears does show up for the January deposition, the next hearing in the custody case will not take place until February 19, which will give Kaplan time to review Spears' testimony about her fitness as a parent. Neither Spears nor Federline were in court for Tuesday's (December 18) ruling.

At the emergency custody hearing on Tuesday, Kaplan also asked Gordon to impose sanctions on Spears in an attempt to "remedy" her deposition-ducking tendencies, which include her failure to appear for a deposition on Wednesday. Spears reportedly called in sick, citing anxiety, though various media reports had her out on the town in Los Angeles that same night visiting gas stations and a hotel.

Due to the delay in the proceedings, Federline will retain primary custody of 2-year-old Sean Preston and 1-year-old Jayden James, while Spears can have court-monitored weekly visits with the boys but will not be allowed to drive with them in light of a series of recent auto-related mishaps.

One of the requests Kaplan reportedly made during the half-hour meeting is that Spears not be allowed to make any requests to change the current custody status until she has been deposed. The couple will reportedly stick to their previously arranged holiday schedule, during which the boys will split Christmas Day between their two parents, and, barring any subsequent drama, the attorneys for each side are expected back in court February 1.