Marriage is hard. Divorce, especially with kids, is much harder. But sometimes, if you work at it, co-parenting –- even after an acrimonious split -- can be easy, with a little friendly input from both sides. Even in the glaring spotlight, these former celebrity couples have figured out how to make it work for their kids.
Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony
While both Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony haven’t succeeded at the whole marriage thing (three for each, to date), they’ve got co-parenting nailed. Earlier this year, the ex-couple celebrated twins Max and Emme’s ninth birthday together. They remain more than amicable, with Marc even producing the World of Dance judge’s upcoming Spanish-language album, which has had both professional and personal benefits. “We're like, best friends, you know?” Jennifer recently told Kelly Ripa. “At first, I was like, ‘We're good, with the kids and everything, but if we start working together…are we gonna start going at each other again?’ [But] honestly, I think it's even helped our relationship.”
Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck
Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck separated in 2015, and they initially made the ultimate co-parenting move, having the Batman v. Superman star live in a guest house on their property so he could be easily accessible to their three kids, Violet Anne, 11, Seraphina, 8, and Sam, 5. Ben has since moved to a separate property nearby, but as Jennifer told Today last year, they are still all about togetherness. “Ben was working in London on Justice League,” she said, “and I felt like, well, the kids should have that experience, and he and I are great friends, and we just all went en masse.”
Idina Menzel and Taye Diggs
After a nearly 20-year relationship (they met during the original production of Rent in 1995) and 10 years of marriage, Idina Menzel and Taye Diggs split in 2013. But they both know that their child, Walker, 7, is their priority. “Your child comes first and you have to get past your own egos and you never talk bad about each other,” the Frozen star told People. Taye agrees, having also told the mag, “We were friends to start out with, but especially when you have a kid in the mix, there’s no time for any negativity. He’s our main objective, he’s what’s most important for us, so we’re still there as a family.”
Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon
Mariah and Nick became parents in 2011 to twins Moroccan and Monroe, and they were beaming with pride. But just three years later, in 2014, Nick and Mariah were living apart. But they still put forth a united front for their kids. “It’s all about unconditional love,” Nick said on The Ellen Degeneres Show. “They know Mommy and Daddy still love each other, but more importantly, they love us.” Flash forward to 2017, the two have three years of co-parenting behind them, including an outing in January during which the former couple was out together at a restaurant. “Family Dinner” read Nick's Instagram caption. “All is well! Live! Love! Laugh!”
Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin
In 2014, Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin decided to coin a new phrase and “consciously uncouple.” But they also consciously wanted to co-parent as smoothly as possible for their two children, Apple, 13, and Moses, 11. “Just because a romantic relationship ends doesn’t mean that the other facets of your relationship have to end, or indeed, doesn’t mean they can’t get better,” the Coldplay singer has said. The actress feels the same way, sharing her thoughts at a BlogHer conference in 2015. “We’ve gone through really difficult times with it, but we’ve always said, “These children are our priority.” That means that the family does brunch together on Sundays. Their entire family has been spotted apple picking together during the harvest season.
Kevin Hart and Torrei Hart
While Kevin Hart readily admits that he messed up his first marriage to Torrei, he is making sure that he and Torrei co-parent in the best way possible for their kids Heaven, 12, and Hendrix, 9. They’ve thrown joint birthday parties for their babies and share the children event duties (Kevin’s been known to fly across the country and back for one of his daughter’s recitals). That also includes the current wife of the Ride Along 2 actor, model Eniko Parrish. “We understand there’s a bigger picture involved and the bigger picture’s our kids,” Hart told Raro Lae at last year’s What Now premiere. “I think she’s done a good job… understanding that they’re going to have to co-parent and coexist because they’re both going to be there.”
Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts
Last September marked the end of another celebrity couple when Naomi Watts and Liev Schriber ended their 11-year relationship. But they are devoted to making sure their kids are both their top priorities. Naomi and her ex-husband were spotted together with their sons Samuel and Alexander as well as a dog in New York City. The couple also spent Christmas Day 2016 together. Sources say the couple is committed to putting forth a united from as parents, even when they don’t feel like getting along themselves.
La La and Carmelo Anthony
La La only has one goal on her mind after splitting with her basketball great husband Carmelo: providing a stable life for their 10-year-old son, Kiyan Carmelo Anthony. TMZ reported that even though the couple is now living apart since La La left Carmelo this past April due to alleged infidelity, they are in no rush to divorce. That’s because they are more focused on their son’s welfare than paperwork. And reportedly, the talks for joint custody, where La La would be the main guardian and Carmelo would have visitation rights, seem to be going smoothly.
David Arquette and Courteney Cox
David and Courteney, who divorced in 2013 after 14 years of marriage, are co-parenting their 12-year-old daughter Coco. And they aren’t bothered by their shared responsibilities one bit. While the two may not spend as much time co-parenting together like some former celebrity couples, they have no issues when it comes to splitting time with their daughter –- or supporting each other in their pursuits for future happiness. Courteney once said in an interview that she was happy that David found love again, this time with wife Christina McLarty, who David has two other children with. They even have dinner together on occasion.
Bruce Willis and Demi Moore
Bruce and Demi really set the bar on how a former couple should co-parent. Married in 1987 and divorced by 2000, the two had three daughters to raise. Rumer, their oldest daughter, has said she is “so thankful and grateful” that her parents made such an effort to be civil, and keep things out of public eye.” That meant keeping the family together for vacations and birthdays – even when Bruce and Demi found love with other people. That closest comes from a true place of respect. When Demi or Bruce find their own lives in a bit of turmoil, like Demi’s divorce from Ashton Kutcher, they can still call on their ex for some guidance and empathy.
Got an ex? Yeah, we all do. Bravo’s Personal Space is diving into everything there is to discuss about breakups, from the ones that got away to ghosting to what the hell you should do with an ex on social media with Ex-Files Week. It’s all leading up to our new series A Night With My Ex, which explores what happens when former couples reunite…for one night only. Check back each day for exclusive interviews, personal stories, and don’t forget to catch the premiere on Tuesday, July 18 at 10/9c.
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