UPDATE 4: At 11:52 a.m., Britney Spears returned to courtroom clutching mom Lynne's hand and appearing much happer. Kevin Federline returned about 10 minutes earlier. A decision is expected soon.

UPDATE 3: At 10:38 a.m., both parties exited the courtroom, with Spears continuing to hold attorney Blair Berk's hand. Court spokesman Allan Parachini said that there will be a prolonged break while both Spears and Federline's legal teams discuss a "compromise" outside the courtroom.

"There has been no testimony at this point," Parachini said. "They will be back today. When is impossible to know. How many times have we gone through this. This has happened four or five times."

Court Commissioner Scott M. Gordon is continuing to hear other cases while the parties remain behind closed doors.

A source at the courthouse told E! News, "Britney looks like she's holding back emotions that could produce tears. Very red in the face and eyes."

UPDATE 2: At 10:20 a.m., Spears briefly emerged from the courtroom surrounded by six guards to take a bathroom break. An eyewitness told E! News that the singer's face looked "unusually red" and that her eyes appeared bloodshot. She emerged from the lavatory holding lawyer Blair Berk’s hand about 10 minutes later. Berk was also massaging Spears' back to settle her down. The singer is back inside now continuing the hearing.


UPDATE 1: Spears was escorted into the courtroom at 9:37 a.m. surrounded by four officers and accompanied by her attorney, Stacy Phillips, her parents, and her dad's attorney Blair Berk. One minute later, Federline and his attorney, Mark Vincent Kaplan, made their entrance.

"Brit looked glassy-eyed, but her mom was all smiles," an eyewitness told E! News.

Gordon swore in the ex-couple. When asked to state her name for the record, the "Gimme More" warbler quietly said, "Britney."

"Your full name, please," said Gordon, to which she replied: "Britney Spears."

Phillips immediately requested the proceedings be closed, and Gordon cleared out the courtroom.


The Los Angeles Superior Court's months-long Britney Spears dry spell has come to a close.

Spears, Kevin Federline and their respective pricey legal teams are all present and accounted for inside the courtroom, where proceedings in the latest installment of the ex-Chaotic couple's ongoing custody case have kicked off.

The How I Met Your Mother guest star is expected to ask for modified visitation rights for sons Sean Preston and Jayden James during the hearing, which began after Gordon finished presiding over a handful of other cases.

Breaking from tardy tradition, Spears arrived nearly a half-hour early, decked out in her Tuesday best, wearing a brown polka-dot dress and accompanied by mother Lynne, father Jamie and Berk. The trio is watching the proceedings from the courtroom's back row.

She was ushered to a waiting area and guarded by deputies while awaiting her case to be called.

Federline, who arrived with new publicist Elliot Mintz in tow, also took precautions to be punctual. E! News learned K-Fed crashed at the downtown Standard Hotel last night to avoid the typical morning rush-hour traffic from his home in the San Fernando Valley.

He, too, donned his courtroom finest, showing up in a beige suit, gold earrings and pinky ring.

Spears, meanwhile, spent three hours with her sons Monday morning, after returning from a weekend trip to the family homestead in Kentwood, La., where she was a guest at sister Jamie Lynn's baby shower.

(Originally published May 6, 2008 at 8:38 a.m. PT.)

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