Divorce is tough on everyone involved — quite often especially the kid(s). Some children may even (wrongly) blame themselves for their parents’ split, which only makes it more crucial to walk kids through the process, support them, and make it clear that nothing they did led to their parents parting ways. And that work doesn’t stop once the divorce is final and the parents are happier on their own; learning the best, healthiest and most kid-focused way to go about co-parenting with an ex is no small task. Here are 19 pairs of celebrities who show co-parenting done right.
Yep, there are plenty of couples out there (even in Hollywood!) who know that the key to co-parenting is parents putting aside their own shit to prioritize their child’s wellbeing. After all, celeb divorces aren’t all drama; they love their kids just as much as we love ours.
Here’s a look at former celebrity couples — from Lisa Bonet and Lenny Kravitz to Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe — who seem to have figured out how to prioritize co-parenting for the sake of the kids.
A version of this article was originally published in August 2016.
Channing Tatum & Jenna Dewan
Our favorite Beautiful Dancer People couple Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan divorced in 2018 after nearly a decade of marriage. But those “irreconcilable differences” aside, the exes have been amicable throughout the breakup and have ensured that they’re co-parenting daughter Everly to the best of their abilities. Tatum is quoted in court documents stating that Everly is doing “exceptionally well” since the divorce — likely thanks to her parents’ continued cooperation and communication post-split.
Anna Faris & Chris Pratt
After eight years of marriage, Anna Faris and Chris Pratt announced their separation in August 2017.
"We are great and there's so much friendship and love, and we surround Jack with love, and funny, kind, happy people, and as a result, he is really happy,” Faris told Extra in January 2018.
She also opened up to E! News around the same time, saying, "We constantly reinforce what a great kid he is. [We] try to discipline when he's being a little bit naughty. I think the key is surrounding him with a lot of joy and happiness, which he has a ton of."
Gwen Stefani & Gavin Rossdale
Hearts across America may have broken when Stefani and Rossdale announced their split in 2015, but the ‘90s power couple appears to be taking it all in stride.
Despite the paparazzi flocking to their doorstep, the couple had three kids to think about — Kingston, 9, Zuma, 7, and Apollo, 20 months. Both have moved on with their respective partners, Stefani with Blake Shelton and Rossdale with girlfriend Sophia Thomalla, but they still stand by their promise to put their kids first.
Stefani has even tried to remain positive about the divorce for the kids, saying to Us Weekly, "At the same time, there are lots of good things, and I do get to have a second chance, and I have a lot of joy right now."
Gwyneth Paltrow & Chris Martin
After coining the now-infamous phrase "conscious uncoupling," Gwyneth Paltrow seems to have nothing but praise for her ex-husband and Coldplay frontman, Chris Martin.
Paltrow shared co-parenting tips with attendees of the 2015 BlogHer conference, saying, "Our values are very much around the importance of family," she says. "These children are our priority. So that means even though today you hate me and you never want to see me again, we're going to brunch. It's Sunday and that's what we do."
Jennifer Garner & Ben Affleck
So many were shocked to hear news Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner were calling it quits a day after their 10th wedding anniversary in 2015.
Amid rumors of infidelity, the couple appears to maintain a united front when it comes to their three children, Violet, Seraphina and Samuel.
A year after their split, Affleck told CBS This Morning: "We're doing our very best, and we're putting our kids first, and that's how we’re focusing on our day-to-day lives. And we don't know what the future’s going to hold, but each step that we take is one where we prioritize our children and everything else comes second."
Demi Moore & Bruce Willis
Bruce Willis and Demi Moore helped to set the bar when it comes to co-parenting daughters Rumer, Tallulah and Scout Willis. Realizing their marriage wasn't going to work, the two decided to take the higher road by not discussing the details of their split — which helped the family adjust to their new normal.
The eldest daughter of three, Rumer, recalls her parents coming together for family vacations and birthdays that made their divorce more digestible. Bruce and Moore also cheered Rumer to victory on Dancing with the Stars in 2015.
Courteney Cox & David Arquette
Courteney Cox and David Arquette split in 2011 but have since co-parented their now 13-year-old daughter, Coco.
Cox opened up about co-parenting with Arquette to People in April 2018: "You don't want to go in one house and have anything split. You want it to be harmonious in both places."
Jennifer Lopez & Marc Anthony
"We know the kids are the most important thing, and we fill in for each other where the other needs," Jennifer Lopez told People in 2015 on the importance of working together with ex-husband Marc Anthony.
The longtime friends officially divorced in 2014 and appear to keep the lines of communication open. Whether they take turns touring with twins Emme and Max or find ways to spend time together as a family, Lopez and Anthony made a vow to put their children first.
Will Smith & Sheree Zampino
Setting the example of a successful blended family are Will Smith and his ex-wife, Sheree Zampino. Married for three years before divorcing in 1995, the pair has learned ways to co-parent their son, Trey, that continues today with Will's current wife, actress Jada Pinkett-Smith.
In a now-deleted Facebook post, Pinkett-Smith opened up about helping raise Zampino and Smith's kid, Trey. "When I married Will, I knew Trey was part of the package… Period! If I didn’t want that… I needed to marry someone else. Then I learned if I am going to love Trey… I had to learn to love the most important person in the world to him… his mother. And the two of us may not have always LIKED each other… but we have learned to LOVE each other."
Kimora Lee Simmons & Russell Simmons
Kimora Lee Simmons and Russell Simmons are expert co-parents to daughters Ming and Aoki. The former spouses and business partners keep a pretty close relationship today and have nothing but positive words for one another.
"She is a good mother too; it can't get better," Russell told Bethenny Frankel in 2014 on her now-canceled talk show. "My kids go to a school for gifted kids, and they are well-behaved. They are awake and conscious and she's the reason. She's an amazing mother."
Reese Witherspoon & Ryan Phillippe
"I'm proud of the way we've handled [divorce] and who our little people are," Ryan Phillippe told HuffPost Live in 2014 about his former wife, Academy Award-winner Reese Witherspoon.
They know how to set past differences aside and work together for the sake of their children, Deacon and Ava. Witherspoon and Phillippe have been known on occasion to enjoy family time with their kids and watch their son's football games with their significant others.
Orlando Bloom & Miranda Kerr
Amicable since their split, Miranda Kerr revealed that in 2015, she moved across the street from ex-husband Orlando Bloom for the sake of their son Flynn.
When asked about the importance of co-parenting, Kerr believes one thing is crucial for parents to remember. "I think it's really important to have two happy parents," Kerr told ABC News. "[Bloom's] a great dad. I'm really lucky to have him in my life."
Lenny Kravitz & Lisa Bonet
"It makes things so easy that my parents are still very close," actor Zoë Kravitz told Ocean Drive magazine in 2015. The young starlet reveals that her parents, musician Lenny Kravitz and actor Lisa Bonet, worked together to provide a normal life for her after their split. Co-parenting has gone so well for the two that Lenny is even close with Bonet's children with actor husband Jason Momoa. "It's really beautiful," says Zoë.
Bridget Moynahan & Tom Brady
Things weren't always smooth between actor Bridget Moynahan and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. The two did not end their relationship on good terms and slowly had to work on their ability to co-parent their son, John.
With time and understanding, Moynahan and Brady — along with his wife Gisele Bündchen — have developed great co-parenting skills and have regular family gatherings.
"My son has two loving parents and an extended family, whether it's cousins or stepmothers or boyfriends," Moynahan told More magazine in 2011. "My son is surrounded by love."
Kate Hudson & Matt Bellamy
"We're family for the rest of our lives, we have a beautiful baby and we love making wine," said Hudson to Wine Enthusiast magazine in 2015 about her positive relationship with ex-fiancé and Muse frontman, Matthew Bellamy.
In addition to raising their son, Bingham, the two are co-owners of Hudson Bellamy Wines. Their co-parenting abilities receive high praise, as they practically do everything together — including grocery runs, dining out and vacations.
Kevin Hart & Torrei Hart
Stand-up comedian-turned-actor Kevin Hart has not exactly kept his personal life a secret. Often using it as a source of material for his shows, Kevin keeps things respectful when he's talking about ex-wife, Torrei Hart. The two are proud parents to son Hendrix and daughter Heaven.
"It's important that my kids see their mother and father happy because we both deserve to be," Kevin wrote on an Instagram post that features him, his children, ex-wife Torrei and current wife Eniko Parrish. "As a man, it's my job to make sure the two most important women in my life have a relationship."
Mariah Carey & Nick Cannon
Parents to twins Moroccan and Monroe and married for eight years, Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon might get the award for being one of the best co-parenting couples of all.
Cannon talked to People about co-parenting their twins, saying, "At the end of the day, you've got to be a little selfless. You have to say 'It's not about us. This didn't work out quite how we wanted it to but look at the amazing blessing that we have in these wonderful children.' So you kinda put everything else to the side and really focus."
Kourtney Kardashian & Scott Disick
If you've ever wondered why Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick show up in so many photos together, it's all for the sake of their three kids.
The mom and dad of Mason, Penelope and Reign try to spend as much time together as they can. As Kardashian told You magazine in 2016 of their co-parenting, "Scott and I communicate all the time. You have to keep discussing what's going on because as the children grow older, the rules need to be renegotiated."
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