Britney Spears has been hospitalised after police were called to her Los Angeles home to resolve a custody dispute.

The singer was seen being wheeled out of her house on a stretcher after emergency services rushed to a Los Angeles gated community when the star had delayed handing over custody of her children to her ex-husband.

It is believed the 26-year-old has been taken to the Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre for "evaluation" after police found her under the influence of an unknown substance.

Under current court-mandated arrangements, Spears is allowed two visits a week with her two sons while her former spouse Kevin Federline holds primary custody of the children.

The police were called in after the Baby One More Time star did not hand over her children on time which is against the terms of a court order.

According to Us magazine, Spears stayed with her children for 90 minutes longer than her scheduled time in spite of being asked to hand over her children by Federline's bodyguard.

Details over whether Spears has handed over custody of her children are yet to be released.

Earlier in the day, the singer arrived to give evidence in a deposition with her former husband's attorney. Previously Spears has missed two scheduled hearings and she arrived over one-and-a-half hours late for the hearing and left after giving just 14 minutes of testimony.

While the attorney for Spears' husband said the pop princess had been "cooperative", he stated that he had requested another hearing to obtain further evidence.

Yesterday, Spears' legal team asked to be taken off the case. The singer's lawyer said a communication breakdown had taken place that had made "further representation of her interests impossible".

Speaking about the police presence at the star's home, Spears' attorney Sorrell Trope said: "In a normal case when someone shows up with a certified court order saying the kids need to be somewhere else, the police see to it that the order is obeyed. But that is in a normal case."

If the court permits The Firm to end their professional relationship with her, Spears will have to search for her fourth team of legal representatives since the beginning of the custody battle with Kevin Federline.

The singer and her former spouse are involved in legal proceedings to determine the time each one of them spends with their two children.

Previously in the case, a court in Los Angeles ended Spears' joint custody arrangement after she missed a drugs test and media reports raised questions about her lifestyle.

04/01/2008 09:03:09