K-Fed: Father of the Year?

The custody battle over Britney Spears' children heads back to court Wednesday, but for now her two little boys are waking up in their father's care. But the children were most recently spotted with Federline's new nanny, which is raising questions about the credibility of the former backup dancer, who some would call an unlikely candidate for father of the year.

By all accounts, Federline has successfully created a nurturing environment for his boys by enlisting the support of his parents, as well as Spears' parents, who visit their grandkids at his home.

Federline's ex-girlfriend Shar Jackson, with whom he has two other children, Kori and Kaleb, has referred to him as "a great dad." And with Spears' out-of-control behavior showing no sign of stopping, Federline in comparison appears to be a stable, responsible father.

He is best known, however, for wooing Spears while Jackson was still pregnant, and then marrying her after a tawdry romance. During their two-year marriage the couple starred in the failed reality show "Chaotic" on UPN. He also launched the dismal hip-hop album "Playing with Fire."

"A lot of people thought when Kevin was married to Britney that Kevin was a bad influence on Britney and that Kevin was the one bringing Britney down," said Ian Drew, editor-at-large at US Weekly. "But really what we're seeing now is that Kevin was actually a stabilizing force and was not really the bad guy that he was painted to be. "

His good parenting press is even influencing his career. Last fall, he appeared on the CBS drama "CSI" and this fall, he'll be a regular on CW's teen soap "One Tree Hill." He's also modeling and launching his own clothing line.

But his primary focus, say insiders, has always been his children.

"He's really taught them and spent all of his time with them, teaching them and reading to them, playing with them, taking them swimming," Drew said.

Federline reportedly keeps the children on a regular schedule and even cooks for them, specializing in kid-friendly fried chicken and macaroni.

While he currently receives $20,000 a month in alimony and child support, his lawyer said his client has never linked money with custody.

But divorce lawyers say if Spears fails to comply with the court's orders, Federline could be granted full custody indefinitely.

"He and his lawyer are basically following the courts direction," said Ronald Anteau, a family law attorney. "He is not taking a position of attacking her in the public, from what I've seen. So he is more directed towards being involved with the children than as being in conflict with her."

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