Custody war declared by Federline while inks still wet on settlement
By Tom WrightÂ for Hollywood Today
HOLLYWOOD, CA (RUSHPRNEWS)Â August 14, 2007 Â â€“ Britney Spears ex-husband Kevin Federline has launch a custody war by reportedly filing a claim full custody of the coupleâ€™s baby boys just weeks after signing off on the divorce papers that granted joint 50/50 custody.
Though K-Fed is apparently claiming she is an unfit mother because she â€œexposing the boys to unnecessary risk,â€ at issue is the $20,000 per month in marital payments she is paying him. That gravy train is due to end in November as part of his $1 million â€œalimonyâ€ settlement, the best he could get as Spears had an iron-clad pre-nuptial agreement.
CNN scrolled headlines like â€œK-Fed drops a bombshell in court. In the last 24 hours, secret papers filed under seal. Federline reportedly demands custody of the two boys, and now it`s an all-out custody war.â€
Scare headlines, unsubstantiated tabloid reports and a recent fender-bender aside, Federlineâ€™s motion may backfire on him. She has committed no crimes, not been seen using drugs or alcohol or anything else that could change a judgeâ€™s order weeks after it was handed down. Head-shaving, panty-free partying and other incidents were all pre-rehab and pre-divorce finalization.
Since rehab, she has been relatively stable. She has shown bad judgment with things like skinny-dipping when the kids were not present, but that is not cause to take custody away from a natal mother.
If the judge considers the filing unsubstantiated or frivolous, the monthly $20,000 can be canceled or Britney given full custody.
â€œ(Federline) is concerned about her erratic behavior. And just yesterday, we learned that his lawyers have filed court papers to basically say that he wants primary custody of these children because, again, he is really concerned about Britney Spears and he`s very concerned about the welfare of his two children,â€ said CNN correspondent Sibila Vargas.
Nancy Grace had to put it in perspective in this cross-examination of Vargas:
GRACE: Whoa, whoa, whoa, wa-wait! Sibila?
GRACE: Were the two children there while she is swimming without a top on?
VARGAS: No, but let`s face itâ€¦
GRACE: Or were they at home with the nanny?
VARGAS: They were at home with the nanny, but let`s face itâ€¦she is in a custody battleâ€¦
GRACE: What else do we have on her?
VARGAS: OK. OK. So she`sâ€¦
GRACE: Besides giving her kids Doritos and soda. I can`t wait to hear this.
VARGAS: Well, I mean, what about earlier this year, when she shaved her head and she had to go to rehab, which I learned it was because Kevin Federline wanted her to go to rehab. And she`s very upset about it. Apparently, now she`s upset with Federline and she`s also upset with her mother, who insisted that she go to rehab because if she didn`t go to rehab, Kevin Federline was going to take away her kids. So you knowâ€¦
GRACE: Sibila, she`s upset with her mother and she shaved her head. Has there been any child abuse, Sibila?
VARGAS: Not that I know of, but you have toâ€¦
GRACE: Have the children been slapped? Have they been mistreated? Have they missed a meal?
VARGAS: You might be absolutely right about it, but you keep on hearing all of these stories that are circulating, all these rumors about her not â€” her parenting skills not being up to par.
Attorney Joe Lawless said if Federline got primary custody, â€œhe is going to have to have child support increased because he`s going to be paying full room, full board, clothes, day care, whatever needs to be paid. When he goes for 100 percent custody, he`s going to be looking for an increase in child support, and I think it could be substantial.â€
All in all, not exactly enough to overturn a court order. As for being seen at parties, it is work. Both Spears and Federline are paid large promotional fees to attend parties and events â€“ and fees go up the more controversy going on. Federline has been getting $10,000 per party, but now a fee has been offered for an overseas event at $50,000, according to an agent, so it behooves Federline to stay in the headlines. After jail, Paris Hilton still gets $100,000 per party and itâ€™s going up since she does not attend three a night as before.
While the sealed motion may reveal other lapses of parenting by Britney, it is still so soon after the agreement, and with so apparent a financial motive, Fed-Ex better hope the party invitations keep coming, as this gamble has a serious downside. And the real losers are the kids.
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