Why Did Spears Give Up the Good Fight?

Britney Spears surrenders custody of her kids to K-Fed after months of drama.

ByABC News
February 18, 2009, 3:46 PM

July 18, 2008 — -- It's all over. The parking lot paparazzi crushes, the pseudo-perp walks from car to court, the hearings missed in favor of fun at the mall.

Britney Spears is waving the white flag. She's given up the fight for her kids, putting an end to her months-long custody battle with ex-husband Kevin Federline.

According to Federline's lawyer, Mark Vincent Kaplan, Spears agreed today to give Federline sole legal and physical custody of sons Sean Preston, 2, and Jayden James, 1, a month before the case was due to go to trial. Friday morning, Spears' lawyer reached an agreement granting her more visitation time with the boys.

Spears pretty much accomplished the impossible. In 2006, when she filed for divorce, onlookers assumed the court would grant custody to the multimillionaire singer over the barely famous backup dancer. But as Spears' life spiraled out of control, K-Fed's stock rose.

"She snatched defeat from the jaws of victory," said Paul Talbert, family law attorney at Chemtob Moss Forman & Talbert, a Manhattan matrimonial law firm. "K-Fed was the punch line to every joke when this all started, and now he's basically the father of the year. It's quite an accomplishment and a credit to his attorneys."

The floundering pop star lost custody of her sons last year following a string of high-profile incidents of bizarre behavior, such as shaving her head bald, threatening paparazzi with an umbrella and checking into the hospital for a psychological evaluation. But lately, she's cleaned up her act. This summer, she has been off the streets and in the recording studio. So why give up the good fight now?

"I think she looked at the cards and saw she had a losing hand and decided this was the smartest thing she could do at this point," said Howard Bragman, chairman of Fifteen Minutes PR and author of the forthcoming "Where's My Fifteen Minutes?" "Otherwise it would be a lot of money, a lot of heartache and a lot of labor for something her advisers said she probably wouldn't win."