Poor Sean Preston and Jayden James are stuck in the middle of what's becoming an intensely ugly custody battle -- now, Access Hollywood is reporting that child abuse claims might be raised. If either Kevin or Britney were to bring those charges against the other, that would lead to a "full blown" hearing with witnesses and experts testifying -- the whole deal.

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In other "abuse" news, The Insider is reporting that our girl Brit's puppy, London, has NOT been mistreated. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles says that a vet confirms the dog received "proper medical attention for a leg injury." SpcaLA also wanted to "thank Ms. Spears for her cooperation on this matter."

Now back to the boys ... just last Friday, Kevin had Britney's parents over to babysit the boys while he was in North Carolina shooting his cameo on "One Tree Hill" and here's the scene ...