Spears Files for Divorce

Nov. 7, 2006 — -- Britney Spears' megahit "Toxic" may have been describing her marriage.

She has finally KO'd K-Fed.

The pop singer filed a petition for divorce from husband Kevin Federline today in Los Angeles County Superior Court, citing "irreconcilable differences."

In her petition, Spears asks for custody of the couple's two children, 1-year-old Sean Preston and 2-month-old Jayden James, with Federline getting visitation rights.

Sources tell the Web site, TMZ.com that the couple has an iron-clad prenup, and that Spears is waiving her right to spousal support.

It seems no sooner did they walk down the aisle that rumors started swirling about discord, rattling the ubiquitous pair's matrimonial bliss.

He is a former backup dancer who left the mother of his two children, Shar Jackson, before their second child was even born.

She is, well, Britney. So, needless to say, legions of the pop tart's fans were suspicious of this unshaven young man's trustworthiness. Now that it's finally over, everyone who hasn't been living under a mossy rock for two years has something (often jubilant) to say about it.

And entertainment powerhouses, who have been closely watching the events, are collectively marveling over the whole debacle.

"It's amazing that Britney has been able to consistently make smart career decisions -- selling in the millions and keeping her face out there -- but not when it comes to her personal life. This may be her first flop," said Shirley Halperin, entertainment editor of Us Weekly.

"To say we saw it coming is an understatement. The writing was on the wall from Day 1, but it's sadder now that there are kids involved," Halperin said.

Some suggest it may have served Spears better to air her dirty laundry sooner.

"What remains unclear is why she felt the need to deny all the rumors about her marital problems for years," said Deborah Schoneman, New York magazine contributing editor and author of "4 Percent Famous," a novel about New York City gossip columnists.

"She could have protected herself better from prying media attention had she split from him earlier," Schoneman said.

Monday is listed as the date of separation, the same day Spears made a surprise appearance on "The Late Show With David Letterman," showing off her newly svelte postbaby figure.

"Look, she's gorgeous again, has a hit record in the works, and has proved she can do it all obviously without him," said Susan Blond, who was Spears' publicist when she first launched her recording career.

Her company, Susan Blond, Inc., now represents Usher and Sean Paul, among others.

Others speculate this may only improve things for Spears down the road.

"The person she is publicly has a more positive image than her soon-to-be ex, and so the divorce reaffirms some control in her life," said Steven Rubenstein, senior executive vice president of Rubenstein Associates, Inc, a communications strategy and media relations firm.

And of releasing the big story on Election Day -- probably one of the only news topics that could eclipse it? Could this be a coincidence?

"It's entirely possible she did this to minimize the news," Rubenstein said. "However, this story has legs way beyond the one day."

Talk about an understatement. This is likely to decorate supermarket tabloid covers for as long as there's milk for sale.

Even with her prenup, Spears is going to need help. She has hired powerhouse celebrity divorce lawyer Laura Wasser, whose client roster includes Angelina Jolie and Nick Lachey -- participants in previous very high-profile marital breakups.

Spears married Federline after a six-month courtship in 2004, but this was a well-conceived plan compared to an earlier endeavor.

In January 2004, she married childhood friend Jason Alexander in Las Vegas. That marriage was annulled after 55 hours.