The lawyer representing Britney Spears in her child custody battle has dramatically asked to quit due to a "communication breakdown" between himself and the troubled pop princess. Sorrel Trope of U.S. family law firm Trope and Trope has worked for Spears since September (07) in her battle against ex-husband Kevin Federline for the custody of their two sons. But relations between the two parties have frayed, with Trope's firm filing papers on Wednesday (02Jan08) withdrawing themselves from Spears' case, according to TMZ.com. A representative for the legal team explains: "There has been a breakdown in communications between (Spears) and Trope and Trope making further representation of her interests impossible." As WENN went to press, it remained unclear whether Spears had a new attorney lined up. What is certain, however, is that Trope has a duty to remain with Spears for the time being. He tells People.com, "A lawyer cannot simply withdraw from a case. We will ask the court to relieve us, which will be heard (in court) within a month's time." The next hearing for Spears and Kevin Federline is set for 19 February (08). Trope was Spears's third lawyer in her ongoing custody battle with her ex-husband. Her first attorney, Laura Wasser, resigned from her case in September (07) shortly after Spears's divorce from Federline was finalised. Spears then hired the firm Freid + Goldsman, but fired them within days before bringing Trope on board.