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Free Britney Movement Explained: Let’s Break Down What a Conservatorship Is

july 30, 2021 | civil litigation
Free Britney Movement Explained: Let’s Break Down What a Conservatorship is

Photo Credit: Mike McGuire

You’ve probably seen headlines in the news or captions on social media that feel like they’re screaming “#FreeBritney” from the rooftops. What’s going on with Britney Spears? Why is everyone saying she needs to be freed?

To put it simply: For way too many years, the world-renowned American popstar has not had control of her own life, and now she’s fighting back in court. Ever since her infamous mental breakdown in 2007, she has been held under a conservatorship in which her father, Jamie Spears, governs her finances, health treatments and personal decisions.

 Let’s break the situation down:

What is a conservatorship?

A conservatorship is a court proceeding where a probate judge appoints someone to take legal ownership of a person’s finances or personal matters when they are deemed incapable to take care of these responsibilities themselves. Usually the conservator, or the person accepting the responsibilities, is a close relative of the conservatee, the person who lacks ability to care for themselves.

In this case, Britney is the conservatee and was deemed incapable to take care of herself when she had her mental breakdown 14 years ago. Since then, her father, Jamie Spears, who was appointed a role in the conservatorship, along with others, has managed almost every aspect of her life — her finances, her career, her medical and therapy treatment, even her personal matters.

Why is the conservatorship viewed as such a negative thing?

Conversatorships are typically appropriate for elderly people who are physically and mentally unable to care for their own financial and medical needs.

Britney, on the other hand, has been working around the clock for the past several years while the conservatorship has been in place, all while undergoing extensive therapy and medications she didn’t have a say in taking. In fact, under the conservatorship, she has completed four world tours, recorded four albums, and performed four years of shows during her residency in Las Vegas, making millions of dollars. Much of this, she explained in a heartbreaking speech to the judge, was not up to her.

Essentially, she has been treated like a work horse for the people controlling her finances that are raking in cash from her successes. Cough, cough, her dad and his team.

Britney has recently pleaded to the courts to end the conservatorship, calling it abusive and explaining she has been put on extremely strong medications like lithium that make her feel inebriated and scared. She is begging for the control over her to end, saying she is depressed and angry that this has gone on for so long.

What can she do to end the conservatorship?

In California, a conservatorship cannot be lifted until a petition is created and filed to end it. The petition must be filed from either the conservator, conservatee, or “the spouse, or domestic partner, or any relative or friend of the conservatee or other interested person.”

After a petition is filed, however, the process after that can still be complicated, especially in this case. In order to prove to the judge that the conservatee (Britney) is truly capable of handling her health and finances on her own, she must undergo evaluation, but Britney insists on not owing anyone any more evaluation.  

A provider lawyer in your state can help break down the finer print.

Conservatorships are complicated, and it’s easier to get into one than it is to get out of one, as we have learned through Britney’s case.

If you need further clarification on conservatorships, contact your provider lawyer via the LegalShield app. He or she can break down the specific rules regarding the arrangement in your state.


Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. d/b/a LegalShield (“LegalShield”) provides access to legal services offered by a network of provider law firms to LegalShield members through membership-based participation. Neither LegalShield nor its officers, employees or sales associates directly or indirectly provide legal services, representation or advice. This is meant to provide general information and is not intended to provide legal advice, render an opinion, or provide any specific recommendations. If you are a LegalShield member, please contact your provider law firm for legal advice or assistance. 

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