Custody Battles

Judge Temporarily Strips Britney of Custody

10/01/2007 at 03:55 PM EDT

Judge Temporarily Strips Britney of Custody
Britney Spears and son Jayden James
Britney Spears must hand over custody of her sons to Kevin Federline this week "until further order of the court," a judge ruled Monday after a closed-door hearing.

L.A. Superior Court Commissioner Scott Gordon gave no reasons in his written decision, issued after lawyers met with him in a private session requested by Federline's lawyer. The ruling says that Federline gets custody starting Wednesday.

But the ruling came after the filing of misdemeanor charges against Spears – hit-and-run and driving without a valid California license – and claims by her ex-bodyguard that she used drugs and is a danger to her children, Sean Preston, 2, and Jayden James, 1.

Gordon also previously found that Spears is a "habitual, frequent and continuous" user of alcohol and controlled substances, and ordered her to submit to random twice-weekly testing.

Neither side would comment. But a source tells PEOPLE: "It's been leading up to this all along. Nothing is surprising to anyone. The judge laid out a specific plan for each person to follow. She clearly could not."

Another hearing is set for Wednesday.

Photo Special

The singer, who has 50-50 custody with Federline, was seen around town with her children over the weekend, and on Sunday they had an early dinner at Taverna Tony in Malibu, as a crush of paparazzi camped outside.

"She seemed fine," the restaurant's owner, Tony Koursaris, says. "She was very comfortable having dinner here with her boys. ... The kids had a good time. Then we had to fight the paparazzi, of course."

The photographers, however, did come in handy for Spears at one point over the weekend. Around midnight Saturday, her Mercedes ran out of gas during a supermarket run. The photographers went to the gas station and helped Spears tank up her vehicle.


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