"We are so pleased with Britney's progress, and we are appreciative of the court's recognition of this progress," Spears's parents, Jamie and Lynne Spears, said in statement after a hearing attended by the pop star and her ex-husband Kevin Federline.
It was not clear how much more time Spears was granted. Federline's attorney characterized the court order as "an expansion of time."
"It is a cautious step, but a step forward nonetheless," said lawyer Mark Vincent Kaplan. "We are seeing signs of [Britney's] progress, and consistency over time is something welcome by Kevin ... The children are doing great."
Spears, with lawyer Blair Berk and both of her parents, smiled as she left the courtroom and headed for her SUV, but did not talk to the press. Earlier, during a break in the hearing, the singer was seen looking teary-eyed. However, during a second break, she smiled and held her mother's hand as she went back into the courtroom.
During that break, Spears and her lawyers, as well as Federline and his attorney, convened to adjacent rooms outside of the courtroom.
The hearing began around 9:40 a.m. on Tuesday. Spears, wearing a knee-length brown and white dress, was accompanied by her lawyer and both of her parents. Federline, wearing a tan pinstriped suit, was with Kaplan.
Spears has spent the last several months keeping a relatively low profile – and staying out of trouble. The singer was hospitalized at UCLA Medical Center's psych ward in January. Her custody arrangement has consisted of only monitored visitation rights with her sons, Preston, 2, and Jayden, 1, several times a week – but no overnight privileges. Her father and a lawyer maintain legal control of her affairs until a July 31 hearing.
Since her father took control of Spears's life, the singer has been spending more time with her family – including her previously estranged mom. (She recently attended a baby shower for her sister, Jamie Lynn, in Kentwood, La.)
Spears has also been hard at work filming her second appearance on How I Met Your Mother, which will air May 12.