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Mel B may miss out on a return to this year’s “X Factor” due to her ongoing custody battle with ex-husband Stephen Belafonte.
The Spice Girl is seen as a contender to replace Nicole Scherzinger after the singer was axed — with bookies having the odds on her making a return to the show at 4 to 1.
However, Mel would likely face legal challenges from Belafonte if she chooses to spend months in London this autumn, according to sources.
Insiders say Mel would want to take daughter Madison, 6, who Belafonte shares joint custody of, with her and her other children for the duration of the show.
But that would mean having to apply for permission from a judge in Los Angeles to take Madison out of the country — and her ex would also have to agree.
Pals of Belafonte say he would fight against Madison being away for as long as four months.
On top of that Mel, 42, and Belafonte, also 42, are still battling over visitation rights for Angel, 10, her child with Eddie Murphy, so the star would be expected to attend any court hearings as the couple have failed to come to any agreement.
Mel’s legal drama could mean show bosses rule her out of a return to the ITV series, which she last filmed in 2014.
A source told The Sun Online: “Mel is interested in the ‘X Factor.’ She knows the show and loves working with Simon, and does resonate with audiences.
“But there would be a problem if she took the job for sure — as her husband would want to make sure Madison remains near him.
“He could push that in court and it could take months to resolve.
“Also if he wins rights to see Angel, then that too would mean them having to come to visitation deals, which again would likely mean her having to jet back regularly with Angel.
“The couple are just not pushing back on their anger for one another over their kids.
“The thought of a deal being done to allow her to go to London for three to four months is unthinkable.”
The source added: “Mel’s predicament is likely to also weigh heavily on the mind of show bosses and Simon. They do not want to become embroiled in any of these personal matters.
“It is likely that she will miss out the way things stand at present. ”
Bookies currently have Mel as one of the favourites to join the “X Factor” judging panel — along with Louis Tomlinson, Rita Ora and Kylie Minogue.
The odds of her rejoining the series were slashed from 6 to 1 to 4 to 1 according to bookies William Hill.
Simon Cowell has been secretly plotting a massive overhaul of the ITV talent show as it enters its 15th year.
However neither ITV nor Cowell’s production company Syco have made any public confirmations.
Cowell is keen to shake up the show after it was battered in the ratings by “Strictly.”
Meanwhile Mel has been juggling “America’s Got Talent” and Spice Girls projects along with her bitter court battles with Belafonte.
The warring couple got divorced in December but are still embroiled in custody disputes over Madison and Angel.
Stephen, who has been awarded joint custody of their daughter Madison, 6, now wants step-parent visitation to stepdaughter Angel, 10, who he has helped raise since birth.
Responding to Mel’s allegations he showed the kids ISIS videos, Belafonte filed copies of emails to court, which appeared to show Mel ignoring her dying dad and being described by her mum and sister as a “narcissist” who needed “professional help”.
The Sun Online reached out to representatives of Mel B and Stephen Belafonte for comment.
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