Mother and Baby

Co-Parenting On The Cards? Here’s How These Celebrity Parents Dealt With Divorce – And The Lessons We Can Learn From Them

Section: Parenting

We all know how brutal a break-up can be, but when you throw children into the mix, the emotional toll can be even higher.

But splitting up doesn’t have to be an acrimonious affair. With the news that Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin would be ‘consciously uncoupling’ after 10 years of marriage and moving on to a new phase of co-parenting, we look at the other celebrity couples who have decided they don’t have to live under the same roof to provide the love and support their children need.

Been there yourself? Give us your tips for negotiating with the ex in the comments below.

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Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe

The early-Noughties golden couple hit the rocks in late 2006 after an eight-year relationship. Their two children – Ava, who was then six, and Deacon, three – were old enough to understand that their parents were no longer getting along, but Reese said laying the blame was ‘too easy – I don’t have time for hate or negativity in my life’.

As she told Parade in 2008, ‘My ex-husband is very involved in raising our beautiful children. We’re on the same page that way. When we're with our children, we're very good about checking ourselves.’

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Demi Moore and Bruce Willis

If anyone could be the poster parents for harmonious break-ups, it would be these two. Despite splitting back in 2000 after 13 years of marriage, both Hollywood stars are still involved in each others lives to give the best support to their three daughters, Rumor, Scout and Tallulah.

The pair even won a co-parenting award for post-divorce relationship, with Demi saying it was a fear of ending up like her own divorced parents that helped her come to terms with co-parenting.

Of Bruce, Demi said, ‘We get so much from being able to share holidays and spend time with all of us together. The kids don’t have to choose. They’re getting double the support, double the love, double the encouragement.’

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Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke

Since splitting up in 2004 and starting up with new partners – and even having another baby in Uma’s case – these old flames still have a lot of time for each other. ‘[We] coordinate schedules so the kids have equal time with each of us,’ Ethan told an interviewer.
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Amy Poehler and Will Arnett

When Parks and Recreation star Amy broke up with comic actor Will after a 10-year marriage, we were all left wondering how they would guide their two sons, Archie and Abel, through their divorce. Luckily the two were able to put their differences aside, and Will commented last year that he is, ‘Now 43 and I’ve found my happiness – which is my kids’.
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Kate Winslet and Sam Mendes

Their split might have come as a shock to us, but Oscar-winner Kate and her ex-husband Sam were all set to continue co-parenting their son, Jack, when they hit the rocks in 2010. ‘We have a child together who we both love -- and raising him together, jointly and without any conflict, is absolutely key,’ Kate told Harper’s Bazaar a couple of years ago.
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Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony

J-Lo came under a lot of flak when she announced her divorce from third husband Marc in 2011, but she quickly won support for the way the former couple worked together to keep things as normal as possible for their children. ‘We need to make sure that we are what they need us to be first. Our feelings and our struggles come second. The love that we share in common for those kids comes first,’ she said in an interview at the time.
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Robin Williams and Marsha Williams

Funnyman Robin and his ex-wife Marsha split after 19 years of marriage back in 2008, citing irreconcilable differences. However, their collaborative approach to parenting their two daughters won them plaudits. Said the couple in a statement at the time, ‘We will strive to be honest, cooperative and respectful as we work in this process to achieve the future well being of our families. We commit ourselves to the collaborative law process and agree to seek a positive way to resolve our differences justly and equitably.’
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Vanessa Williams, Rick Fox and Ramon Hervey

Ugly Betty star Vanessa certainly took a unique approach after splitting from both of her children’s fathers – the three have even been on holiday together with all four children as one happy family.
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Courteney Cox and David Arquette

Their break-up might not have been the cleanest (David admitted to cheating on Courteney during their marriage), but the couple put their differences aside to be good parents to daughter Coco. Said David, ‘It's important for kids to stay grounded. It's crazy growing up in Hollywood, so we just try to keep her connected, real, human and honest.’
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Kate Hudson and Chris Robinson

Actress Kate and ex Chris were so good at the post-split game that they almost didn’t seem like they had actually broken up. Even Kate admitted in 2009 – two years after their divorce – that, ‘Being a single parent can be difficult, but I don’t feel I am one. Chris and I are co-parenting.’ Kate, Chris and their spouses Matt Belamy and Allison even hang out together with all their children, without a hint of animosity.

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