Since releasing our first issue 20 years ago, Divorce Magazine has witnessed the rise and fall of some of the most famous celebrity marriages. Going through a divorce is difficult during the best of times, but it can be even harder when the eyes of the world are watching your every move. When you factor in the rumors, tabloids, and having to divide millions of dollars in assets, it’s no surprise celebrity divorces are often quite tumultuous.
However, there’s a growing trend of amicable Hollywood divorces, and we’d like to honor those celebrities who have managed to take the high road in their divorces; here are the top 20 best divorces from the last 20 years.
Top honors go to Demi Moore and Bruce Willis, who separated in 2000 after 13 years of marriage. Their divorce was clearly amicable: numerous photos were taken of the actors at events and on vacations together with their children and new spouses. It was a blended family like no other. Rumer, the divorced couple’s oldest daughter, has been quoted as saying, “I never had to split up vacations or split up birthdays… They always made an effort to do all of the family events still together and made such an effort to still have our family be as one unit, as opposed to two separate things, which I think really made an impact.”
Shining a spotlight on the idea of “conscious uncoupling,” actress Gwyneth Paltrow and musician Chris Martin have maintained a close friendship since their divorce in 2015. In a recent article in Glamour, Paltrow said she sees Martin as a brother. “We’re still very much a family, even though we don’t have a romantic relationship.” The two have been spotted vacationing and spending time together with their son and daughter, and Paltrow even admitted they both occasionally sleep over at each other’s houses. Although not every situation allows for such close co-parenting, the two are a perfect example of how it’s possible to stay friends after divorce. The pair finalized their divorce in July, 2016.
After finalizing their divorce in 2013, actors Courteney Cox and David Arquette have remained friends. “When you love someone, you want them to be happy, even if it’s not with you,” Cox told More magazine. The two have been seen taking their daughter Coco out for lunch together and attending her soccer matches.
Art imitates life: Fran Drescher and Peter Marc Jacobson made a television show based on their divorce. After 21 years of marriage, the high-school sweethearts called it quits; soon after, Jacobson admitted to Drescher that he was gay. In 2011, the exes were back together again – only this time in the TV show Happily Divorced, which played off their real-life divorce experience. According to Drescher, the two are best friends and “still have a caring, loving relationship.”
In 2007, after 13 years of marriage, actress Heather Locklear and musician Richie Sambora went through an amicable divorce. So much so, the divorced couple was spotted vacationing with their teenage daughter in Bora Bora in 2015, and in Hawaii the year before. The exes continue to spend holidays together, and Sambora has expressed his love for Locklear: “Time does heal old wounds. I mean, I still love Heather and I know she loves me.”
This isn’t your average divorced couple. After more than 10 years of marriage, business magnate Russell Simmons and Kimora Lee Simmons, TV personality and former CEO of the clothing line Baby Phat, called it quits. However, they have since remained close friends. Not only have the exes spent holidays together, they have also vacationed together numerous times with their children and new spouses in tow. To top it off, Simmons is the godfather of Lee Simmons’s son with current husband, Tim Leissner. Simmons has nothing but kind words for his ex-wife and her new hubby: “I feel incredibly close to my best friend Kimora Leissner and her amazing spouse and now my business partner, Tim Leissner.”
They were friends before they began a relationship, and they’re still friends to this day. Despite their divorce after 10 years of marriage, the singers continue to spend time together with their twin children and have also appeared on stage together since the divorce, smiling and happily holding hands. Jennifer Lopez has stated that she and Marc Anthony are good friends and very supportive of each other.
Since Nick Cannon filed for divorce from Mariah Carey over a year ago, the still-married couple has stayed pretty amicable. Both have posted happy family photos online – including on Thanksgiving, Easter, and Halloween – showing that they have been putting differences aside for their children. The host of America’s Got Talent has also used social media to send his congratulations to Carey on her engagement to James Packer: “Congrats to @MariahCarey and James! May God Bless Your Future Union… #GreatPeople #GreatCouple.”
In 2007, actors Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe divorced after eight years of marriage. They have stayed friends while raising their daughter and son. In a 2014 interview on HuffPost Live, Phillippe opened up about his relationship with his ex-wife. “I think we’ve gotten to a really great place,” he said. “It’s going well, and she’s happy and remarried, and our kids are incredible.” The two have been seen attending their kids’ sporting events and birthdays together, and have also been spotted together on family outings.
They were known for being that crazy couple who wore lockets containing each other’s blood, and they seem to have been able to sustain a friendship after their 2003 divorce. Both have spoken positively of each other, and Angelina Jolie also wrote the foreword to Billy Bob Thornton’s memoir. “I still love him dearly and think the world of him… I’m proud to have been his wife for a time,” she told Entertainment Weekly in 2008.
Some spouses continue living in the same household until their divorce is finalized for financial reasons. However, in Ben Affleck’s and Jennifer Garner’s case, money isn’t the issue: they have agreed to have separate homes on the same property so their three children can be near both parents. They are doing their best to keep the divorce amicable – including hiring a mediator to help come up with an agreement in their family’s best interests. To make the divorce even easier on their children, the estranged couple has celebrated Christmas as well as Affleck’s birthday in Montana with their children. Although their divorce is not final, Affleck and Garner have proven their commitment to making their split easier on their children.
Twilight star Peter Facinelli and Jennie Garth, known for her role in Beverly Hills, 90210, have been able to put their children first – despite their divorce. The two have kept a joint bank account, which is available for both to access when funds are needed for their three daughters’ care and education. Both declined child support; instead, they agreed to deposit equal amounts into the joint account. In addition to that, the pair opted out of having a formal custody agreement and agreed to have 50-50 custody of their children. These two appear to trust each other and put their children first – important aspects of successful co-parenting.
After nearly 20 years of marriage, actors Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas signed their divorce papers in July 2015. Their split seems to be amicable: in a joint statement, the exes stated they would end their marriage “in a loving and friendly manner honoring and respecting each other.” Months after their separation in 2014, Griffith posted a photo of Banderas and their daughter Stella on Instagram as well as a family photo, alluding to their close friendship. Griffith has stated that she was “really joyful” and “life is good.”
Although their divorce after 24 years of marriage was tense – especially when Caitlyn Jenner began the process of transitioning from male to female – the two have since become closer. Caitlyn, previously gold-medal winning athlete Bruce Jenner, and Kris Jenner, reality TV star and mother of the Kardashian sisters, have been spotted at events together, including their daughter Kylie’s birthday and Kendall’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. While Kris has admitted to having a difficult time adjusting to Caitlyn’s transition, she emphasized the importance of letting go for the family. “We have two children together,” she recently told Harper’s Bazaar. “It’s important for my kids to see our family strong and united.”
Despite their 2013 divorce, former Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr and actor Orlando Bloom have stayed friendly. in 2015, Kerr admitted to living across the street from Bloom so both of them can be near their son, and the pair has also been seen spending time together with their child. “We’re really close, we’re going to be a family forever and we both really do love each other. We have genuine love and respect for each other,” Kerr said during their separation.
After separating in 2014, actress and singer Hilary Duff and Mike Comrie, a former NHL player, were seen going out together with their son and even taking a family vacation shortly after announcing their separation – despite an ongoing custody battle. The divorce was finalized this February, and the two have agreed to share joint custody and keep a friendly relationship for their son. During an interview on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, Duff had this to say: “We are good friends and we laugh a lot. We have great communication and we share pictures when one is not with Luca. He’s great, we are great, and we keep on trucking.”
Despite filing for divorce in August 2015, actors Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green managed to stay amicable – being seen taking their kids on outings, such as on Thanksgiving, and running errands together. The couple has since called off their divorce following the birth of their third son on August 4, 2016.
Although the two reportedly had a difficult divorce in 2014, they have since spoken highly of each other and seem to able to co-parent peacefully. In a joint statement following the divorce, Heidi Klum and Seal explained they were going through an amicable divorce and that protecting the wellbeing of their children was a priority. Klum was quoted calling her ex-husband “a great man” and wishing him all the best with his new girlfriend. Klum, a model and judge on America’s Got Talent, and Seal, a singer-songwriter, have been photographed taking their four children out to dinner together and appearing at their kids’ soccer games, looking friendly and even giving each other hugs.
While they’re not taking any vacations together, actress Kate Hudson and The Black Crowes singer Chris Robinson are doing a good job at co-parenting their 12-year-old son Ryder. Since their 2007 split, the two have been seen spending time with their son, including attending his baseball games and strolling through the streets of New York City together. Hudson has spoken openly about her experience growing up with divorced parents and a stepfather, recognizing the importance of having both parents maintain a consistent presence in their child’s life post-divorce.
In 2001, radio personality Howard Stern and his college sweetheart, Alison Berns, finalized their divorce after 21 years of marriage. The pair went through mediation to finalize their agreement, and not much was revealed about the pair’s divorce since both stayed away from the media – which was surprising given Stern’s reputation as a “shock jock.”
While we admire celebs for their talent, these famous couples certainly deserve recognition for their ability to keep things civilized – and sometimes even friendly – during a very difficult time in their lives. Divorce is never easy, but finding some common ground and thinking about what’s best for your children can make the entire divorce process, and the years that follow, a lot easier. If these celebs – who live their lives under a microscope – can do it, so can you.
Avital Borisovsky is a staff writer for Divorce Magazine and Family Lawyer Magazine. She is also the Blog editor at www.DivorceMag.com and a multi-media editor for www.TheDivorceSchool.com.
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