Top Family Law Attorney Explains Why Britney Spears Wants to End Her Conservatorship


[Source: Cheddar News]

Top Family Law Attorney Christopher C. Melcher Explains Why Britney Spears Wants to End Her Conservatorship on Cheddar News.

For the first time Britney Spears addressing her conservatorship in courts. And according to the Associated Press, she has asked the judge to end the conservatorship that has controlled her life and money for 13 years.

Hannah: There are so many questions about what exactly is a conservatorship and what could come from today’s court appearance. Joining us to discuss more is one of the best divorce attorneys in California, Christopher C. Melcher, to break it all down. We do know there are reports coming from the courthouse. She has asked to end the conservatorship, how big is this? And what is the next step here?

Chris: We knew that she was going to address the court, but we didn’t know if it was going to be sealed or closed proceedings. It also sounds like there may be a bit of a conflict or problem with her lawyer, and now she’s wanting to talk directly to the court and that’s why this was set up. It was supposed to be for the removal of her Dad, which is my understanding as conservator, is what they’re going to be talking about. But now she’s gone all in and said, I don’t want this conservatorship at all.

Hannah: A quote that just came out from Britney, “I want to be able to get married and have a baby. I was told with the conservatorship, I was not able to get married and have a baby.” I think a lot of viewers may not understand exactly what a conservatorship is. What can you tell us, especially when it comes to the definition? And who is typically placed under this type of agreement?

Chris: The conservatorship is to protect an adult who cannot protect herself. Somebody usually is developmentally disabled-so gravely disabled, that they are unable to provide for their own roof over their head, feeding, resist fraud, undue influence. This is reserved in the most extreme cases, either on a temporary or permanent basis for somebody that we would obviously know needs this protection. Certainly 13 years ago, she needed help.

Now it’s not so clear why she would need the help, at least on the information we know publicly. A conservator usually would be a relative and somebody who is already in this caring position, but since the person that maybe was their child is now an adult, that adult has normally all these legal rights.

So the conservator would come in and take over those rights much like a parent would do for a young child. And that again is for their protection of the person who is being conserved or under the conservatorship. So that’s what she has. Not all conservatorship orders are the same. So there could be some in the most extreme cases where health decisions cannot be made without the approval of the conservator.

Hannah: The New York Times is just reporting that Britney said on this call, “I just want my life back.” There are reports that she wasn’t even allowed to refurbish her apartment, paint her cabinets, little things like that. Are you surprised this is the first time we’ve heard from Britney in court?

Chris: Why would she need this level of protection for 13 years? How could she do a Las Vegas residency and work, which is a high life function, but yet need this level of protection? The court is there to protect the person under conservatorship and doesn’t have to accept that person’s word or request that it’s no longer needed. There’s going to have to be a showing that it’s done. And some of the statements she make in court may demonstrate that there’s actually a need for the conservatorship.

Hannah: Spears is calling the conservatorship “abusive”, and continues to say, “I want to end this conservatorship without being evaluated.” What kind of message does that send? Is that even possible? And what kind of precedence would ending this conservatorship set?

Chris: Well, so it sounds like there’s a request for a mental health evaluation of her to see if she really needs the conservatorship or not. She doesn’t want to go through psychological testing and interviews-she wants to go to the judge directly and say, I don’t need this. The court could do that on its own evaluation and seeing how she’s conducting herself, what she’s saying, the problems she has with the conservatorship, how she has a plan to protect herself and live like any other adult would. So that could happen. I don’t think it’s going to happen today.

I think that there would probably be another hearing where they’re going to talk some more. Now, in terms of what’s happening in this case, it seems like there’s going to potentially have to be other evaluations done, or maybe other changes in legal counsel. I don’t know if Jamie remains as conservator because even if she needs this level of protection in her life, I think she should have a say about who is her protector.

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