When co-parenting is done right, it’s a game-changer for kids. Research shows that having two loving parents who are actively involved in their lives is best for kids, no matter what the marital status of their parents.
Tinseltown may be riddled with the remains of relationships that fizzled out under the harsh light of fame and fortune, but it also has led to some great co-parenting relationships that are not just the result of movie magic. While we are only on the outside looking in, the public statements of these couples reflect parents who are doing their best to show respect to one another and put the best interests of their children first.
Josh Lucas’s Nest
Actor Josh Lucas has starred in blockbuster movies such as Sweet Home Alabama, Hulk, and A Beautiful Mind. His first marriage, however, to Jessica Ciencin Henriquez was not such a hit. The couple split in 2014 but did not want to upset their son, Noah.
The couple committed to co-parenting and tried several different approaches, including living separately, living together, and bird nesting, where they took turns living in the marital family home, so son Noah never had to leave. Henriquez spoke candidly to People magazine about the realities of the ups and downs of the co-parenting process.
“What I know now and desperately needed to hear then is this: Let go of the family you thought you’d be and accept the family that you are…It won’t be easy, and there will be days when it feels nearly impossible. You will feel guilt, but you are not guilty.”
This phrase may have been mercilessly mocked in public, but in the private lives of actress Gwenyth Paltrow and Coldplay singer Chris Martin, it made all the difference.
In several recent interviews, Paltrow said the idea was to skip past all the fighting and anger and get to the point where she and Martin could be friends and help each other raise their kids.
Paltrow and Martin share two children and, five years after their 2014 divorce, consider one another friends. Over the years they have celebrated holidays and family events together.
In an interview with E! News, Paltrow had this to say about the process of co-parenting: “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 bit different.
Golden Globe Award-winning actress and Grammy-nominated international superstar Jennifer Lopez does have something in common many of us – she is divorced. When J. Lo divorced her husband of seven years, Marc Anthony, they split knowing they would have to figure out a way to care for their then one-year-old twins together.
“We share something very special in the kids, and we know that,” Redbook quoted Lopez saying. “We’re there for them, and that’s the main thing.
Even with a new beau in the mix, Lopez and Anthony continue to make it work and celebrate the blending of families with fiancé Alexander Rodriguez’s (aka A-Rod) children, and their children, in this sweet family photo at a dance recital where both Lopez and A-Rods kids were performing.
Suck it up and do it
Ne-Yo and ex-fiancée, Monyetta Shaw, co-parent two children. Shaw wrote a book about the experience, Keep It Classy: Co-parenting Strategies for Unstoppable Moms and Devoted Dads.
While they have their moments and argue and disagree like any other couple, they also work hard to make things work for the sake of the children, as Shaw discussed in an interview with Hollywood Life.
“Even in the thick of things in the breakup, I was not going to keep them (children Madilyn and Mason) away or do it separate because I was mad,” she admitted. “I sucked it up and just did it. I can’t imagine taking that away from them because of whatever I’m going through that day or his feelings. It’s not acceptable."
Accepting New Norms
A common theme among all these celebrity couples has been accepting a new normal for what their family looks like. It’s not the traditional, nuclear family that we grew up reading about in fairy tales, but it’s still a family steeped in love.
Shared parenting, or co-parenting, has been linked to better outcomes for children of all ages according to numerous studies, and these celebrity couples have taken that message to head and heart.
Maintaining a stable co-parenting relationship can be made much easier with the use of a quality co-parenting app. Talking Parents allows co-parents to communicate and coordinate events easily so that they can get back to what's important: focusing on the kids.
You can avoid disputes by keeping both parties civilized with secure messaging, a shared calendar, file storage and sharing, court-admissible PDF records, and many other useful tools. To see all the ways Talking Parents can help your co-parenting relationship, visit our How It Works page.