"Her actions are not simply those of a single mom going out," said Ginne, a family therapist for more than 20 years. "Inappropriate things like having your kids on your lap while driving and everything else she's done show someone in a bad way who's on a downward spiral."
Spears' care of her sons, Sean Preston, 2, and Jayden James, 1, was further questioned when her former bodyguard told the court of his concern for the welfare of the children.
A mother's influence on her children's development and sense of self is of great importance, according to Ginne, but doubts about Spears' suitability in this role are what those in the legal profession say formed the basis of the court's decision.
"A court makes a decision on who would make the better parent for the children to reside with based on the declarations before them," said Leonard Garber, a lawyer whose law office specializes in child custody cases. "The decision is made in the child's best interests and if a parent has a history of drug or alcohol abuse this will figure into the award."
Though Garber could not think of any other high-profile cases where the father gained full custody, he said that such an outcome is not uncommon.
"I've handled cases as far back as 1978 where the father won full custody," Garber said. "The law indicates that it's all to do with the child and not the sex of the parent."
Within Hollywood circles, there are doubts that this saga will have a happy ending.
"It's the right decision to give the kids to Federline and it doesn't surprise me as she hasn't made any of the lifestyle changes the judge asked of her," said Chudney Ross, daughter of singer Diana Ross. "Still, the decision is not ideal for the kids as in a perfect world they would really need two whole new parents."
As the award of full custody to Federline is only temporary, Spears will get another chance to show that she is a worthy mother.
"Gimme More" is something she is likely to demand from the judge, but for that to become a reality Spears had better make sure that she rehearses her mothering skills with more vigor than she does her lyrics.