TEST: Lawyer: Having Dad Around Helps Britney's Bid for Visitation Rights

Jamie Spears's presence is an "extreme positive," says Kevin Federline's attorney

Photo: Flynet; INF

What will it take for Britney Spears to regain visitation rights with her two sons? That remains to be seen. But the pop star’s tentative reconciliation with her father, Jamie, is a step in the right direction, says Kevin Federline‘s lawyer.

In fact, attorney Mark Vincent Kaplan was full of praise for the elder Spears, who has emerged as a controversial force in Britney’s life recently – and who was front-and-center at Tuesday’s family court hearing.

“Jamie Spears’s presence is an extreme positive,” Kaplan told PEOPLE, adding that the patriarch’s continued presence could make it possible “to develop a visitation plan that enables these children to have a mother in their lives.”

While Britney’s visitation with children Preston, 2, and Jayden, 1, was discussed at Tuesday’s hearing, there was no official legal progress on the matter. (Spears has not seen her sons since her Jan. 3 standoff with police.) Still, Kaplan said, “[Jamie] brings that day closer. Absolutely.”

Jamie’s role as temporary co-conservator – overseeing Britney’s wellbeing and estimated $100-million fortune – has attracted its share of criticism. His own daughter is apparently seeking legal remedies to regain control and, in a recent interview with PEOPLE, attorney Jon Eardley claimed that Jamie’s conservatorship was a “violation of [the singer’s] civil rights.”

Kaplan, however, sees Jamie’s control as a “huge step.” “He’s building from the ground up,” the attorney explained. “[He’s] stabilizing the situation, removing people that may not have had [Britney’s] best interests at heart.”

Does that mean Britney could see her kids again in the near future?

“We all want this as soon as possible,” said Kaplan. “That’s Kevin’s desire – to have his kids visiting their mother. That’s everyone’s goal in this case.”

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