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next steps

Britney Spears' conservatorship battle could drag on for 'years'

After Britney Spears spoke out against her conservatorship, what's the next step in the legal battle? Experts are warning it will be a "long" process. 

Spears in court this week asked a judge to end the "abusive" conservatorship she has been under since 2008, drawing widespread public support. But the complicated process to end it "could take years," The Guardian writes, citing attorney and conservatorship expert Scott Rahn. 

Family law attorney Christopher C. Melcher explained to Yahoo! Entertainment that Spears' next step will be to file a petition seeking to end the conservatorship. From there, though, Melcher told Yahoo, "If Britney files a petition to end the conservatorship, it will take months to resolve. It could drag on to next year." 

MSNBC legal analyst Danny Cevallos also told NBC News that because "this is probably the most unique conservatorship case ever," the judge won't "terminate this conservatorship lightly or without ample evidence." NBC cited attorney Tamar Arminak as suggesting the most realistic outcome may be that the the conservatorship isn't ended entirely, but Spears' father is removed from it and its conditions are loosened. Attorney Peter Walzer also predicted in an interview with The Associated Press the judge won't move to end the conservatorship. 

"When Britney spoke, I mean, the world listened," Walzer said. "This was amazing. Now, whether the judge will buy it, whether the judge will let her out of her conservatorship, my bet is no."