The temporary arrangement was decided at a three-hour closed-door court session attended by Federline, who was wearing an eye patch because, his lawyer says, “His eye was sore.” No further explanation was given. Spears did not attend.
The new custody arrangement stays in effect until the next hearing, scheduled for Oct. 26 – and both Federline and Spears will be required to attend, says court rep Allan Parachini.
“Britney’s access to her kids works out to about every other day,” says Parachini. The visits will not necessarily occur back-to-back, he adds.
At the beginning of the hearing, Federline stood, was sworn in by the court, and stated his name – apparently to give testimony. Spectators then were excused from the courtroom, and the session proceeded in private.
Kevin’s Attorney Reacts to Decision
After the hearing, Federline, flanked by two bodyguards, walked out without making comment.
But his attorney, Mark Vincent Kaplan, said, “We felt (the custody) orders were justified and Kevin was pleased with the orders in place.” He added the children “are good and right now they’re in (Federline’s) custody.”
Spears’s attorney declined to comment.
On Monday, Commissioner Scott Gordon ruled that Spears should be temporarily stripped of custody of sons Sean Preston, 2, and Jayden James, 1, “until further notice of the court.”
Kaplan told PEOPLE earlier that based on the judge’s Sept. 17 rulings, “The court had significant evidence that these obligations were not complied with. And we’re not talking about Kevin.”
The pop star’s attorney, Sorrell Trope, explained that Spears, who had been sharing 50-50 custody of her sons, temporarily lost custody because she couldn’t provide proof of having a valid California driver’s license at Monday’s hearing. She was also accused of missing a drug test, “but there’s no evidence that she actually failed a test,” said Trope.
A close friend of Spears, Sam Lufti, told PEOPLE this week that the singer remains “very optimistic” that she’ll get her sons back as she completes the judge’s checklist.
On Tuesday, Spears was granted an interim California driver’s license. She had been driving illegally without one, according agency spokesperson Jan Mendoza.
• Additional reporting by MARY MARGARET
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