- Celebrity exes have opened up about the successes and challenges that come with co-parenting.
- While there isn’t one strategy that works for everyone, many of the former couples have worked together to come up with a collaborative solution.
- Insider rounded up famous figures who have spoken about their experiences raising children with their exes.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
When it comes to figuring out how to raise a child with an ex, there isn’t one universal solution.
From instituting a rule against sleeping together to taking family vacations, celebrity exes have come up with their own methods of caring for their children following their splits.
While many of them have found a way to keep their entire family happy, others have opened up about how tricky it can be to share kids with a former partner.
Insider rounded up celebrities who have opened up about their experiences co-parenting with their exes.
Tristan Thompson and Khloe Kardashian put aside their complicated breakup to co-parent their daughter True.
While the NBA player and the “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” star’s 2019 breakup was messy, to say the least, they have maintained a commitment to co-parenting their daughter True.
“For me, True is 1 and a month old so she doesn’t really know what’s happening, but to me, she does know and she feels energy and I’m a big believer of that. So I do everything in my power to not put any heavy energy around her,” Khloe said on an episode of Laura Wasser’s podcast “Divorce Sucks!” as shown in a February 2020 “KUWTK” clip.
Although she and Thompson aren’t together anymore, the Good American founder spoke highly of her former partner.
“I know her dad is a great person, I know how much he loves her and cares about her so I want him to be there,” she said.
The exes quarantined together during the coronavirus pandemic to spend time with True, and Khloe even raised the idea that she may have Thompson serve as the sperm donor for another child in a preview for “KUWTK.”
Gavin Rossdale said that FaceTime has helped him and Gwen Stefani co-parent their three sons.
After Rossdale and Stefani divorced in 2015, they transitioned to co-parenting their three sons: Kingston, Zuma, and Apollo.
Because the exes are isolating separately during the pandemic, they have had to deviate from their custody arrangement – in which Rossdale sees the boys every five days, he explained on SiriusXM’s “Trunk Nation” in April.
“It’s a tricky one for all divorced parents,” he said.
Rossdale admitted that he “prefers it when they’re around” but relies on technology to keep up communication with his sons when they’re with Stefani.
“We do a lot of FaceTime,” he said. “I find myself in my kids’ pockets a lot.”
Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin have focused on their children after their “conscious uncoupling.”
The Goop founder and Coldplay frontman announced that they were “consciously uncoupling” in 2014. While the world scrambled to decipher the new term, Paltrow and Martin focused their attention on raising their children, Apple and Moses, as a unified force.
“We really made the commitment to maintaining the family – even though we weren’t going to be a couple, and so we sort of thought through that. How would that work and how would that be? Both Chris and I have made a commitment to continue to love the things about each other that we’ve always loved and to really continue to develop our friendship and to find ways to continue to communicate,” the Oscar-winning actress said on NBC’s “Today” in March 2019.
Even though they appear to have successfully cracked the co-parenting code, Paltrow admitted that it’s been “a long process.”
“You really have to focus on forgiveness and, you know, spite that comes up – you have to let it go. It’s definitely not effortless but now, at this point five years later, it’s pretty good. But the first couple of years, it was very effortful. And for the sake of the children, we were really committed to maintaining the family structure, even though it looks a little bit different,” she said.
Bruce Willis and Demi Moore are reportedly “more connected” as exes than they were as a married couple.
The actors’ whirlwind romance and 12-year marriage resulted in a divorce in 2000. Although they decided to end their marriage, they dedicated themselves to their daughters Rumer, Scout, and Tallulah.
“I still love Demi. We’re very close,” Willis told Rolling Stone in December 2000. “We have three children whom we will continue to raise together, and we’re probably as close now as we ever were. We realise we have a lifelong commitment to our kids. Our friendship continues. The institution has been set aside.”
Moore has also spoken up about her and Willis’ divorce in past years, saying she’s “very proud” of their divorce in her 2019 memoir “Inside Out.”
“It’s a funny thing to say, but I’m very proud of our divorce,” she wrote.
Moore continued, “I think Bruce was fearful at the beginning that I was going to make our split difficult, and that I would express my anger and whatever baggage that I had from our marriage by obstructing his access to the kids – that I’d turn to all of those ploys divorcing couples use as weapons. But I didn’t, and neither did he.”
Although the actress stated that they felt “more connected” as exes than as a married couple, she admitted that it “wasn’t easy at first, but we managed to move the heart of our relationship, the heart of what created out family, into something new that gave the girls a loving, supportive environment with both parents.”
During the pandemic, Willis and Moore have shared photos of themselves self-isolating together with their children – proving that they have mastered their own method of co-parenting.
Travis Scott and Kylie Jenner have remained “best friends” following their split.
Scott and Jenner broke up in October 2019 after more than two years of dating but kept things amicable for their daughter Stormi.
In a cover story for XXL Magazine in December 2019, the “Astroworld” rapper said that he will “always love” Jenner.
“I’ve been spending time with my family and with my daughter, Stormi. Being a dad is better than what I thought it would be. Stormi is one of the best human beings I know. She’s like my best friend. She makes life a little bit easier. She just inspires me and she surprises me every day with how she’s thinking. It’s so crazy,” he wrote.
Scott added, “Her mum and I came up with the name Stormi together. I love her mummy and I always will.”
Jenner has also praised her ex for his parenting methods.
“We have such a great relationship. We’re like best friends,” the Kylie Cosmetics founder told Harper’s Bazaar in February 2020. “We both love Stormi and want what’s best for her. We stay connected and coordinated. I think about [my parents] in situations with Stormi, what they would do. They were very hands-on with me, and I want the same for Stormi.”
Cheryl Cole revealed that she and Liam Payne complement each other as co-parents.
Following their 2018 split, Cole and Payne have worked together to make sure they’re both present in their son Bear’s life.
The “Let You” singer opened up about the ways that she and Payne complement each other, even when they’re no longer together, in an April 2019 interview with The Telegraph.
“I’m the strict one; Liam isn’t. I’ll be the one saying ‘just one square of chocolate,’ but Bear is so good. If I get cross with him he puts his little hands on my face and looks into my eyes to see if I’m deadly serious or a tiny bit cross, and it melts my heart,” she said.
Cole continued, “Liam is a great dad. He’s much softer than me, but it is what it is, and I’m OK about it. When you have a baby, you are not consumed with just thinking about yourself. It’s your responsibility to keep things settled and happy, so you make the best of everything. And we have.”
The former One Direction member revealed that he was spending the holidays with Cole and Bear in a December 2019 interview with ITV’s “This Morning.”
Jenna Dewan and Channing Tatum reportedly use an app to communicate about their child’s schedule.
The couple parted ways in 2018 after nearly nine years of marriage.
Following the divorce, Dewan told Harper’s Bazaar that she and Tatum were “getting used to” co-parenting their daughter.
“We’re just getting used to it. We’re in a very positive energy together, trying to be the best parents to Everly. We support each other,” she said in May 2018.
They officially wrapped up a custody dispute over their daughter Everly in 2019.
As shown in court documents obtained by TMZ, Tatum filed legal documents asking the judge to make a holiday schedule splitting equal time between parents.
Dewan and Tatum reportedly agreed to alternate having Everly for the holidays each year. The documents also requested meetings between Tatum, Dewan, and a professional counselor to work through any schedule changes.
They also agreed to use an app called OurFamilyWizard to communicate about Everly’s schedule, according to Us Weekly.
Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz have worked together to co-parent their son.
The couple, who shares a son named Bronx, divorced in 2011.
They have since moved on with other partners and navigated the next stage of parenting together. However, they haven’t shied away from addressing the grey area that comes with co-parenting.
“Telling somebody what the key to [coparenting] is would be insane. I think it’s important to listen and to give people balance,” the musician told Us Weekly.
Wentz added that Simpson is a “great mum” to Bronx, and the “Pieces of Me” singer also praised her ex for his parenting skills.
She told Us Weekly that she “lucked out” with co-parenting alongside Wentz and said that he and girlfriend Meagan Camper are “wonderful.”
Jennifer Lopez said that she and Marc Anthony are “best friends” when they co-parent.
When they ended their 10-year marriage in 2014, Lopez and Anthony worked to keep their family unit close.
On a 2017 episode of “Live With Kelly,” Lopez said she and Anthony are “like best friends” when they co-parent their twins Max and Emme.
“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?’ And it’s been awesome. Honestly, I think it’s even helped our relationship,” she said.
The “Hustlers” actress added, “We’re just in a really great place, and the kids get to spend time with the two of us more together and see us working together. It’s just good for the whole family.”
Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green plan to take family vacations and celebrate holidays together following their split.
When Fox and Green officially announced that they were ending their 10-year marriage in May, the former “Beverly Hills, 90210” actor assured fans that there was no bad blood between the exes, who share sons Noah, Bodhi, and Journey.
“I will always love her, and I know she’ll always love me and I know as far as a family what we have built is really cool and it’s really special,” he said on a May 2020 episode of his podcast “…With Brian Austin Green.”
He added that they will “still do family vacations and holidays as a family and really make that a focus for the kids.”
Courteney Cox and David Arquette have made sure their daughter knows that they “respect each other.”
Arquette and Cox share a daughter named Coco. Although the couple split in 2012, they have stayed close friends.
“Divorce is so painful for everybody involved – it’s a waste of time and money [to fight],” he told Closer Weekly in 2018. “Anybody who’s going to put on boxing gloves when they get a divorce is making the wrong move.”
“We just respect each other. No matter what people go through, you still have a child together,” Arquette explained, adding that “it’s important that your child knows you respect each other.”
Anna Faris said she and Chris Pratt have decided not to hold grudges about their past.
The couple, who shares a son named Jack, has moved forward since divorcing in 2018.
“Grudge holding is not something that Chris and I do, so, we wanted to make sure, of course, that Jack was happy, but that we were happy and supportive of each other and that we could have this fantasy idea of, do we all spend Christmas together? Do we all vacation together?” she asked on a March 2019 episode of “Good Morning America.”
Faris continued, “How do we make sure that everybody that we love feels safe, and that we also respect the love we have for each other?”
While the actress admitted that divorce is far from easy, she and Pratt are “in a great place.”
“Under all of these uncoupling circumstances, I think that we are so good and respectful towards each other, and I think there is so much kindness and love, and I know we want to get to that ultimate goal, and I know it sounds lame and optimistic, but that’s what I want,” she said.
Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon have used “unconditional love” to raise their twins.
The television host and the musician share twins Moroccan and Monroe.
After divorcing in 2016, they continued to raise their children together and even made public appearances as a family of four. While they appeared to be a cohesive team, Cannon said he doesn’t like to use the term “co-parenting.”
“It’s funny when they say ‘co-parenting’ – that phrase is a little redundant. You can’t co-parent, you have to parent, and that’s what we do well because when it comes to our children, we’re selfless individuals – they’re first,” he told People in January 2018.
A little over a year later, he added that he and Carey use “unconditional love” to care for their kids.
“We got our egos and this selfish behaviour [but] when you put your children first, you understand that it’s all unconditional love. All that other stuff just falls apart,” Cannon told Us Weekly in April 2019. “I always want what’s best for my children.”
Wladimir Klitschko and Hayden Panettiere’s co-parenting methods are reportedly “going well.”
The actress and the boxer may have ended their engagement, but they’re still active in each other’s lives to co-parent their daughter Kaya.
“We’re still respectful of each other, and we still have that friendship with each other,” she told Us Weekly. “It’s not a situation that you find yourself in all that often, so it’s a new one. But I think we’ve done a really good job.”
Ben Affleck said he’s “lucky” to raise kids with Jennifer Garner.
Following their decade-long marriage, Garner and Affleck divorced in 2018. While they have moved on to new relationships, they have continued to work as a team to raise Violet, Samuel, and Seraphina.
“When you have children with somebody you’re connected to them forever, and I’m very lucky she is the mother of my children,” the “Good Will Hunting” actor told People in 2019.
“I’m very grateful and respectful of her. Our marriage didn’t work, and that’s difficult. Both of us really believe that it’s important for kids to see their parents respect one another and get along, whether they’re together or not,” he said.
Affleck, whose parents divorced when he was a child, said he reflected on his own experience when he began co-parenting.
“My parents got divorced when I was young and I know how painful that is, and I knew that they would have to go through that publicly. But kids are resilient. They appreciate the truth,” the actor said.
Mike Comrie and Hilary Duff “take each other into consideration” while co-parenting their son.
Comrie and Duff, who share their son Luca, have held onto “love” for each other following their 2016 divorce.
“Mike’s amazing,” Duff told Cosmopolitan in January 2017. “We’re so ingrained in each other’s lives. I wouldn’t choose anyone else to co-parent with. We are really good friends and care a lot about each other.”
In June 2018, she told E! News that she and Comrie “do the best” they can and always “take each other into consideration.”
“The base of it is we truly care about each other and we are good friends and we love each other’s family and we love our kid. And that’s just it. It’s not always that simple, but for the most part, when you break it down, that’s how it works,” she said.
Will Kopelman and Drew Barrymore have tried to co-parent “with grace.”
Barrymore and Kopelman, who share daughters Olive and Frankie, divorced in 2016.
During a 2017 episode of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” the actress admitted that she never imagined that she would co-parent.
“It was just like my worst nightmare. I so wanted to raise kids in this ultra-traditional way and do everything so the polar opposite of my experience,” she explained.
Barrymore continued, “I got two families. I went from like, zero to two and it’s a miracle and a blessing and we do it in a way that I think a lot of other people are probably doing it too and sometimes, again, the road is different than what you tried to make it or what you expected and you just figure it out and figure it out with grace.”
Christina Aguilera said that she and Jordan Bratman have made their “blended” family work.
The singer and producer have proven that co-parenting can be successful following their 2011 divorce.
In January 2020, Aguilera shared a photo on Instagram of the couple celebrating her birthday with their son Max.
“We make blended families work. It’s a beautiful thing,” she wrote.
Orlando Bloom said that he and Miranda Kerr have a “remarkable relationship.”
Parents to a son named Flynn, Bloom and Kerr have remained on good terms after their 2013 divorce.
“With Miranda, there was a sense that I don’t want my son to go back through the internet where people have made up lies [about us]. Miranda and I have a remarkable relationship. We co-parent really well,” the actor told Elle UK in November 2017.
Ryan Phillippe said that he and Reese Witherspoon put their kids first.
The “Cruel Intentions” costars divorced in 2016, leaving the exes to come up with a plan to raise their two children, Ava and Deacon.
In 2016, Phillippe told Entertainment Tonight that he and Witherspoon trade off having the kids for the holidays and have a “healthy” outlook on co-parenting.
“You have to get to that point as a divorced parent, as any parent, where you’re not putting yourself first. You want the kids’ experience to be its own and not like, ‘Well, I need to have my time!’ We have been very good about that,” he said.
Amber Rose said one of the keys to co-parenting with her ex Wiz Khalifa is not sleeping together.
Since Rose and Khalifa’s 2014 divorce, the model has partially credited their co-parenting success with their son Sebastian to a simple rule.
“To be honest we don’t sleep together,” she told Us Weekly in August 2018, explaining that intimacy can lead to “fighting” and emotional damage.
“Move forward and just make it about your child and you’ll be able to be friends,” she advised.
Kate Hudson called her co-parenting set-up with exes Chris Robinson and Matt Bellamy “quite amazing.”
Hudson has two co-parenting partners: Robinson, who split with Hudson in 2006 and shares her son Ryder, and Bellamy, who she was with until 2014 and shares her son Bingham.
“As much as I would say I don’t recommend it to most, my situation is quite amazing,” the actress said on a 2019 episode of Laura Wasser’s “Divorce Sucks!” podcast. “I was very lucky to have partners in my life – and every one was a different circumstance – that we were able to figure it out.”
The actress continued, “I do feel that when you get divorced, you know, you’re still in a relationship. It’s just a different kind of relationship. You know, you’re going to have good days, you’re going to have bad days. You’re going to have good weeks, bad weeks.”
Naomi Watts said she and Liev Schreiber are “committed” to being “good and kind to each other.”
The “King Kong” actress admitted that she’s “pretty proud” of her and Schreiber’s co-parenting methods following their 2016 split. They share sons Alexander “Sasha” Pete and Samuel Kai.
“We’re doing things very differently,” she told Porter in an August 2019 interview. “I’m pretty proud of us, corny as that may sound. We’ve made it our absolute priority to be good and kind to each other and we’re absolutely committed to that.”
Although they have found their footing as co-parents, Watts said that the path wasn’t always easy.
Describing herself as “single and co-parenting” during a 2017 interview with Vogue Australia, Watts said, “There are good days and bad days. Liev and I are on great terms and we’re trying to do our absolute best for the sake of the children, and we hope to keep moving forward in that way.”
Taye Diggs said an essential part of co-parenting with Idina Menzel is to “put the kid first.”
Diggs and Menzel, who share a son named Walker, ended their more-than 10-year marriage in 2014. The “Rent” actor hasn’t claimed to know everything about raising a child with an ex-wife, but he offered a piece of advice that’s helped him.
“I’m the last person to give advice, but I think you can’t go wrong when you just put the kid first,” he told Us Weekly in July 2019. “Put the kid first and it really prioritises all the other bull.”
Diggs joked that Walker has made several requests that go beyond his comfort zone.
“He wants a younger sibling, but he also says he doesn’t want Dad to have a girlfriend,” he explained. “I don’t know how we’re going to work that out.”
Lenny Kravitz said that his and Lisa Bonet’s “blended” family is “beautiful, but it takes work.”
Kravitz and Bonet, who share daughter Zoe Kravitz, divorced in 1993, a time that the musician described as “very difficult.”
“You go through a marriage with somebody, you break up and it’s very difficult,” he told Essence in July 2019. “But [Lisa and I] put the work in and we took the time so that we could become best friends again.”
Following their split, Bonet had two children with actor Jason Momoa, whom she married in 2018. Kravitz revealed that he considers his ex-wife’s husband to be a “brother.”
“Our families are blended. I love her husband ― he’s like a brother to me ― and I love the kids. It’s beautiful, but it takes work,” Kravitz said.
Josh Duhamel described co-parenting with Fergie as a “juggling act.”
Fergie and Duhamel announced they were divorcing in 2017. Despite their decision to end their romance, they have prioritised their son Axl.
During an October 2017 appearance on “The Wendy Williams Show,” the “Fergalicious” singer cried about the divorce and said it “wasn’t my plan.”
“I love Josh, he’s the father of my child, we forever have that project together and we’re doing the best we can,” she said, explaining that they’re with Axl “all the time” even if she and Duhamel aren’t both there.
“We try to do a once a week thing where we’re all three together,” she added.
The “All My Children” actor also opened up about their co-parenting style during a January 2018 interview with E! News.
“It’s going really well,” he said. “We have a great relationship. We really do. She’s a great mother.”
“All we want is the best for our son, so it’s a bit of a juggling act but we’re both grown ups who can handle a lot,” Duhamel continued. “And he’s happy. That’s the main thing.”
Ty Murray and Jewel have tried to focus on the positive aspects of each other to co-parent their child.
The country singer and the professional bull rider divorced in 2014, explaining that they were still “devoted co-parents of our beloved son Kase” in a blog post announcing the split.
“I try and imagine the person that I fell in love with – there’s so many great things about him,” Jewel told People in January 2017.
“He’s a great person and he’s a great dad, and so you really focus on those things – focus on that more than the differences that led to us splitting,” she said.
The “You Were Meant For Me” singer added, “[Children] deserve both parents. They deserve to know that their parents respect each other, if nothing else. So that really helps me set the standard of how I try and behave.”
Kourtney Kardashian said people think she and Scott Disick are “crazy” to have remained so close.
Kourtney and Disick had an on-again, off-again relationship for nearly 10 years before splitting in 2015.
Although they have had their fair share of drama – much of which was on display on “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” – they have stayed unified to raise their three children: Mason, Penelope, and Reign.
The exes have become such staples in each other’s lives, even as they have both dated other people, that Kourtney said many outsiders are confused by their relationship and think they’re “crazy” in a Poosh YouTube video.
“I’d rather people look at us like we’re crazy – and we get to spend time together and raise a family together than doing it the other direction,” the “Flip It Like Disick” star responded.
He added, “It’s not the easiest thing for us but the fact that we tried and we made it work makes life that much better. I couldn’t imagine raising three children with somebody that I couldn’t speak to every day.”
Although they have had their ups and downs, Disick said they have tried to raise their kids no different than they would have if they were still together.
“I feel like we’re just raising our kids how we would have raised them whether we’re together or not,” he said. “Just because we’re not together doesn’t mean our kids should suffer.”