EXPLAINER: Britney Spears Guardianship and Endgame

Britney Spears may be on the verge of breaking free from the tutelage that has controlled her life and money for nearly 14 years. She managed to oust her father from the legal arrangement in September, and at a hearing on Friday, a judge could end it.

Here’s a look at how Guardianship works, what’s unusual about her, and why she and so many fans have worked for #FreeBritney.

How do conservatories work?

When a person is considered to have severely impaired mental capacity, a court can step in and grant a person the power to make financial decisions and life choices that are important to them.

California law states that a guardianship, called guardianship in some states, is justified for a “person who is unable to adequately provide for his or her personal needs for physical health, food, clothing or shelter”, or for someone who is “substantially incapable of managing their own financial resources or resisting fraud or undue influence.” “

LISTEN | Britney Spears inspires bipartisan American bill to reform trusteeship:

6: 41Britney Spears inspires bipartisan US bill to reform guardianship

Inspired by Britney Spears, U.S. lawmakers unveiled new legislation designed to empower those in custody. U.S. Representative Charlie Crist, a Democrat from Florida, told AIH guest host Susan Bonner what the new bill entails. 6:41

How does Spears work?

Spears and Sam Asghari pose at the premiere of Once Upon a Time In Hollywood in Los Angeles on July 22, 2019. The singer said she is prohibited from removing her intrauterine device. (Mario Anzuoni / Reuters)

The court is keeping a close eye on the inner workings of Spears’ Guardianship, but some aspects have been revealed in documents. The guardianship organizes and supervises the visits with her two teenage sons, of whom the father has full custody. He can make restraining orders on his behalf. He has the power to make his medical decisions and his affairs.

She said in a hearing in June that she was forced to take medication against her will, that she was unable to have an intrauterine device removed for birth control and that she had had to do it when she didn’t want to.

Who has power over Spears?

The ultimate power of guardianship, and the only power to terminate it, rests with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny.

WATCH | Jamie Spears agrees to step down as financial curator for daughter Britney:

Britney Spears’ father agrees to release control of his $ 60 million estate

Jamie Spears has agreed to step down from his longtime role as curator of his daughter Britney Spears’ estate, the pop star’s lawyer said Thursday. 3:07

Prior to her suspension, her father, James Spears, had the lion’s share of daily power over his daughter’s choices for 13 years. In 2019, he gave up the role of curator over his life decisions, keeping only control of his finances. He was replaced by John Zabel, an accountant chosen by Britney Spears and her lawyer.

Jodi Montgomery, a court-appointed professional, has served as her personal affairs curator since 2019.

Why have so many people called #FreeBritney?

Fans and supporters of the pop star demonstrate at the Lincoln Memorial during a “Free Britney” rally on July 14, 2021 in Washington. Rallies have been held across the country since the pop star spoke out against his guardianship in court in June. (Jose Luis Magana / The Associated Press)

Some fans objected to the tutelage soon after it started. But the movement, and the hashtag #FreeBritney, really took hold in early 2019, when some believed she was being forced into a mental hospital against her will.

Crying fans felt justified by two dramatic speeches she gave this summer, in which she confirmed many of their suspicions.

#FreeBritney movement … I have no words… because of you and your constant resilience in freeing me from my tutelage… my life is now in this direction !!!!! I cried last night for two hours because my fans are the best and I know it … pic.twitter.com/7OpsOKoHNc

@Britney Spears

Why was it imposed in the first place?

In 2007 and 2008, soon after becoming a mother, she started having very public mental issues. Hordes of paparazzi aggressively followed her whenever she left her house, and she couldn’t seem to stand it anymore.

She attacked a cameraman’s car with an umbrella. She shaved her head in a living room. She lost custody of her children. When she refused to hand over her boys after a visit, she was hospitalized and taken into custody. The guardianship was put in place in a few days.

What if the judge says it’s over?

Regaining her personal and financial powers after so many years will require some disentangling, and the process could take months. Montgomery, along with therapists and doctors, created a care plan for the transition.

WATCH | Britney Spears asks judge to end 13-year-old guardianship:

Britney Spears pleads for end of guardianship

After years of silence, Britney Spears begged a judge to end her court-appointed guardianship. The star said it allows her father to control virtually every aspect of her life. 2:02

The singer’s lawyer, Mathew Rosengart, has vowed to continue an investigation into the management of the guardianship by James Spears even after its end. He could sue in civil court and suggested he could even turn his findings over to law enforcement for review of the criminal charges. James Spears has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Britney Spears would likely hire a crew to perform many of the same tasks previously performed by the Guardianship. But their decisions would be subject to his approval.

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