Britney Spears Conservatorship: Will the star ever get the freedom that she deserves?

by Meghashree Das

The conservatorship is one of the most discussed moments in Britney Spears’ life. The conservatorship was put in place by her father, James Spears and attorney Andrew Wallet to legally manage her finances and take over many aspects of her personal affairs.

Why this conservatorship happened in the first place?

In January 2008, just months before she filed for divorce from Kevin Federline, Britney was admitted to UCLA Medical Center for mental evaluation after a series of events including an encounter with paparazzi outside a dance studio where she allegedly grabbed an umbrella from one photographer and chased another photographer with it. It had been reported that the singer had shaved her head bald just hours before the mental evaluation.

On May 14, 2008, the conservatorship was made permanent by a Los Angeles judge. The judge also ordered that Britney be placed on a 30-day psychiatric hold after her mother claimed she had again shaved her head, which brought concerns that she might be suffering from anorexia. The conservatorship was “intended to ensure Britney’s safety and best interests,” according to the judge, who said that while “Britney has been unable to care for herself since approximately April 2007,” she is now “capable of making decisions for herself.” The conservatorship will continue until 2009 unless the court finds otherwise.

In June of 2008, Spears’ divorce from Federline became final. The case had been settled out of court in February. Federline was granted custody of the couple’s two sons, Sean Preston and Jayden James. After her marriage ended, Spears returned to her family home in Kentwood, Louisiana with her parents.

In March 2009, the conservatorship was settled on the terms that Britney would be free from all restrictions by September 2, 2009. As of September 14, 2009 she again has control over her personal affairs and finances as well as over the custody her children. As of December 2008, the following have been named conservators of Britney Spears:

As of September 2, 2009 the following members of Britney’s family have been removed from her conservatorship: Her father, her mother, her brother and her aunt.

In January 2010, the conservatorship was applied for and granted by Judge Marc Miller to her nanny Lynne Guilbert. This came after a report in which Guilbert told investigators that Britney had a history of drugs use.

On February 20, 2011 the conservatorship was updated by Judge Miller stating that Spears’ conservator had been changed from Ronan Tynan (one of her attorneys) to Kevin Abourezk (another of her lawyers.) As of April 13, 2011 Abourezk has relinquished his power as conservator. Currently Britney Spears remains in conservatorship with her father and her attorney.

A hearing about ending the conservatorship has been set for April 20, 2011.

Britney’s conservator can be changed at any time by the judge, but as of now that is James Spears and Andrew Wallet. The main reason for Britney’s conservatorship was to handle her mental illness, anorexia, depression and bi-polar disorder. Her parents were also granted control of her finances to handle any large purchases until she regained control in 2009. The conservatorship made her life more complicated. It had to have been difficult for Kevin Federline, because he was never a football player and wasn’t used to doing things like taking care of his wife and children. After he was awarded custody in 2009, the conservatorship was no longer needed.

Despite the sudden change in the conservatorship, there hasn’t been any bad behavior from Britney. The appearance of her conservator Kevin Abourezk saw a dramatic change in that individuals. Previously, he was ordered to stop working with any other corporations that were under Britney’s name until she came back into control of their affairs.