LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Britney Spears will have expanded visits with her sons following a child-custody hearing that went off without a hitch Tuesday, capping a three-month period of relative calm and stability for the troubled pop star and mother of two.
The longer visits are "recognition of the progress that has been made, a progress in structure and stability," said Mark Vincent Kaplan, lawyer for Spears' ex-husband Kevin Federline. At a post-hearing press conference, Kaplan said Federline retains custody of 2-year-old Sean Preston and 1-year-old Jayden James, but that Spears would be allowed to see them for longer periods.
Surrounded by lawyers and her parents, Spears smiled slightly, looked straight ahead and did not respond to questions as she left the hearing, which was closed to reporters. Federline left a few minutes later, smiled at everyone, but also did not comment.
"We are so pleased with Britney's progress and we are very appreciative of the court's recognition of this progress," Spears' parents, Jamie and Lynne Spears, said in a statement read by court spokesman Allan Parachini.
Federline spokesman Elliot Mintz said his client is "extremely pleased with the way things went today."
Kaplan said one of the major changes is that "there are not daily events" to undermine the situation, and that he expected to see further progress from Spears. He said "the children are doing great," adding that Federline hopes they will one day have a more constant relationship with their mother.
"Consistently, we've said that Kevin's goal and hope is that his children will have the benefit sometime in the future of having two parents actively participating in their lives," he said.
A hearing was set for July 15 to get a progress report on the new arrangement.
It was clear from the beginning that Tuesday's hearing would be different from past courthouse spectacles, which included screaming fans with banners, frenzied paparazzi and Spears dressed in cocktail-party attire. The collection of photographers, reporters, sheriff's deputies and prospective jurors who witnessed Spears' arrival in the front of a white Land Rover didn't compare to the circus at a January hearing, when she showed up in a black minidress and gold platform shoes, then bolted before entering the courtroom.
On Tuesday, a somber Spears entered court wearing a brown polka-dot dress and white sweater. Federline arrived about 15 minutes later in a beige pinstriped suit. Moments after Superior Court Commissioner Scott Gordon swore them in, Spears attorney Stacy Phillips asked that the hearing be closed, and Gordon ordered reporters out.
Source: Associated Press, (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)