Britney Spears' estranged husband Kevin Federline requested an emergency family court hearing on Wednesday, after Spears left rehab less than 24 hours after she checked in -- the second treatment center she exited in a week. According to a source close to the singer, Spears left the Promises Malibu Alcohol and Drug Rehab Treatment Facility in Malibu, California, at 8 a.m. P.T. on Wednesday.
Federline and his lawyer are expected to appear at Los Angeles family court on Thursday (February 22), though it is not known what issue the father of Spears' two sons will raise, The Associated Press reports. "Our best information is he will be here; she won't," Superior Court spokesperson Allan Parachini told AP. "But anything is possible." A temporary custody order granting Spears and Federline joint custody of their two children through January had recently been extended.
Last week, Spears briefly visited the Crossroads Centre, a treatment facility on the Caribbean island of Antigua, only to leave less than a day later. Early this week, her family and manager intervened, and announced on Tuesday that Spears had voluntarily entered rehab (see [article id="1552810"]"Britney Spears Checks Into Rehab"[/article]). "We ask that the media respect her privacy as well as those of family and friends at this time," her manager Larry Rudolph said in a statement at the time.
After returning from her first trip to rehab, Spears made a shocking public appearance Friday night, debuting her newly shaved head at a tattoo shop in Sherman Oaks, California (see [article id="1552735"]"Britney Spears Shaves Head, Gets Tattoo"[/article]).
Most patients remain in rehab facilities from roughly 28 to 45 days, and Spears' brief visits have caused concern among her family and friends, according to People. Some family members and friends talked with the magazine in between Spears' rehab stints.
"She's getting her life together," Spears' producer Sean Garrett told the magazine, "getting it where it needs to be. She just needs time to herself. She's not crazy; she's young, she's rich and she does what she wants to do." "We told her she needs to get control over what's going on," Spears family friend Gregory Pittman added.
"She is obviously in a lot of pain and needs help immediately," agreed Doreen Seal, the mother of Jason Alexander, a longtime family friend to whom Spears was briefly married (see [article id="1484377"]"Britney On Her Marriage: Vegas Made Me Do It"[/article]).
"I think she made a step in the right direction," Spears family friend Ginger Simmons told People. "We all make mistakes and do things we aren't proud of -- and we don't have the paparazzi in our face all the time. We have to remember that there are children involved, and that this is someone's daughter, someone's sister, someone's mother."
News is trickling out concerning Spears' children, sons Sean Preston and Jayden James. A source close to the situation tells MTV News that the respective 17-month-old and 5-month-olds are "fine" and "don't even know what's going on," and their father, Kevin Federline, is continuing his visitation schedule as usual. Meanwhile, Rudolph assured People that "the kids are being well taken care of."
[This story was originally published at 1:31 p.m. ET on 02.21.2007]