July 18, 2008 / 6:06 PM / 10 years ago

Spears and Federline reach child custody agreement

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Britney Spears and ex-husband Kevin Federline have settled their long and bitter custody battle over their two sons, but terms of the deal remained confidential, lawyers for both said on Friday.

Britney Spears drives her Mercedes Benz as she leaves the Stanley Mosk Courthouse garage after a child custody hearing with her ex-husband regarding her two sons in Los Angeles, California October 26, 2007. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

Federline’s attorney Mark Vincent Kaplan told several media organizations late on Thursday that Federline retained sole custody of Sean Preston, 2-1/2, and Jayden James, 22 months, but outside a Los Angeles courthouse following a closed hearing on Friday, he declined to discuss custodial issues.

“Kevin will retain sole legal and physical custody of Sean Preston and Jayden James. Britney will continue to have visitation rights which may increase over time,” Kaplan told OK! magazine.

But outside the court when asked about custody, he told reporters, “I’m not going to comment on the terms of an agreement that has not yet been made an order of the court.”

Likewise, Spears’ attorney Laura Wasser also would not comment on settlement terms, but she did call the deal “a victory for the entire family” that they can now avoid a custody trial that had been set for August.

“I think that they’ve finally figured out a way to co-parent to make sure that their kids benefit as a result of that,” Wasser said.

Kaplan said Federline was “extremely happy” that the custody battle was over.

Court spokesman Allan Parachini said the settlement had not yet been officially filed, so he did not know details.

Spears lost custody of Sean Preston and Jayden James in January after two brief hospitalizations for psychiatric evaluation.

Spears, 26, and Federline, 30, broke up in late 2006, starting a widely watched divorce, which was finalized last year, and custody battle over their two children.

During that time, Spears saw her life spiral out of control as she began to display bizarre behavior in public such as wearing pink wigs and talking in a British accent despite being born and raised in Louisiana.

She seemed to reach bottom in January with the psychiatric hospitalizations, and conservators including her father took control of her assets and personal affairs.

Since then, however, Spears’ behavior has appeared to stabilize. She has stayed mostly out of the media spotlight and resumed working, taking a small role on a U.S. television show and starting work on a new album.

Spears shot to fame as a child performer on the Disney Channel and earned a huge fan base among teenagers, recording hit songs and building a career as a pop star.

Editing by Jill Serjeant and Eric Beech

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