Britney's ex 'deserves custody of children'

Kevin Federline believes the court ruling giving him custody of his two children with Britney Spears was “justified”, his lawyer said today.

Kevin Federline believes the court ruling giving him custody of his two children with Britney Spears was “justified”, his lawyer said today.

Mark Kaplan made the comments after a hearing at a family law court yesterday, which Federline attended.

Spears stayed away from the hearing, which she was not required to attend.

On Monday, Los Angeles Superior Court commissioner Scott Gordon ordered that Spears, 25, must give custody of Sean Preston, two, and Jayden James, one, to Federline from today “until further order of the court”.

Flanked by bodyguards, Federline, 29, arrived in a blue suit and wearing a black patch over his right eye, covered by a pair of sunglasses.

He spoke with his lawyers before the hearing got under way.

Monday’s court order required Spears to hand over the two children after the pop star failed to produce a California driving licence and allegedly missed a drug and alcohol test as ordered by the court, her lawyer, Sorrell Trope, told People magazine.

California Department of Motor Vehicles spokesman Mike Marando said a temporary driving licence was issued to Spears yesterday in Santa Monica.

“She has completed her requirements for a driver’s licence,” he said.

Last month, the same judge said the troubled singer engaged in “habitual, frequent and continuous use of controlled substances and alcohol” and ordered her to undergo random drug and alcohol testing twice a week as part of her custody dispute with Federline.

Spears was previously ordered to meet weekly with a “parenting coach” who was to observe and report back to the court about her parenting skills.

Both Spears and Federline must complete the court’s Parenting Without Conflict class.

And Spears’s former bodyguard Tony Barretto, 28, said he was prepared to testify “on issues of nudity by Ms Spears, drug use, and safety issues involving the children post-rehab” in the custody battle.

Also last month, prosecutors charged Spears with hit-and-run and driving without a valid licence, claiming she smashed her car into another vehicle in a car park in August.

If convicted on the driving changes, Spears could face up to six months in jail and a £500 fine for each count.

Spears’s arraignment court case is on October 10, but she is not required to appear.

The singer’s previous lawyer also left her on the same day she was dropped by her management company, The Firm, just a month after she hired them for the run-up to the release of her new album on November 13.

Her latest single, Gimme More, received strong reviews, but she gave a widely-criticised performance at the MTV Video Music Awards in September.

Spears married Federline in October 2004, but filed for divorce last November, which became official on July 30.

The two had joint custody of their children, but, citing Spears’s erratic behaviour including late nights out with the children, Federline is fighting for at least a 70-30 split in child-rearing duties and for more money.

Superior Court spokesman Allan Parachini said both Federline and Spears were ordered to attend the court again on October 26.

Federline will retain custody of the couple’s children and Spears will get monitored visitation, celebrity website TMZ reported.

Meanwhile, fellow child star Tatum O’Neal said Britney “needs to be in recovery and get her disease of addiction together”.

In a TV interview on Entertainment Tonight, the 43-year-old actress said: “I relate to her and feel really sad for her.”

O’Neal said she had similar experiences as a young mother.

“I did everything that she doesn’t want to do. I did the drug testing. It was very humbling but I wanted those kids back,” she said.

“Hopefully she will figure (it) out. But it’s going to be hard and she will do it publicly and that sucks.”

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