How Conservatorships Work

Since early 2008, Britney Spears has released four albums, performed in Las Vegas more than 250 times, and served as a judge on the X-Factor. During that period, her father, Jamie, has controlled her finances and living situation under the terms of a conservatorship.

In 2008, while Britney was under round-the-clock supervision in a psychiatric hospital, Jamie Spears petitioned a Los Angeles court to name him and an attorney conservators of her multimillion-dollar fortune and her day-to-day life. While initially petitioning for a temporary conservatorship, Jamie was granted permanent conservatorship of his daughter only a few months later. 

Last week the New York Times obtained confidential court documents that revealed Britney has been quietly pushing to end her conservatorship for years. Details of a 2016 report show Britney told a court investigator that the conservatorship was being used as a tool to oppress and control her. The singer appeared in Los Angeles Superior court last Wednesday to contest her conservatorship.

A conservatorship is a court-approved arrangement in which a person or organization is appointed by a judge to take care of the finances and well-being of an adult whom a judge has deemed to be unable to manage his or her life. The appointment of a conservator may be temporary, usually for a period of 30 days, or permanent. Conservatorship laws and procedures may vary state by state, and are typically used to protect the elderly, mentally disabled, or extremely ill.

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