“Our Feelings And Our Struggles Come Second”: Celebrities Get Real About Their Co-Parenting Problems

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Ciara and Future aren’t the only celebrities struggling to co-parent in the spotlight. These stars are doing their best to work with their former spouses to raise their children right.

Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe

When Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon’s marriage ended, it was hard to avoid laying blame when her then 3 and 6-year-old children asked why they weren’t staying together.

Witherspoon decided that laying blame was “too easy.” The actress and Phillippe had to learn to co-parent in spite of the negativity. She said that “When we’re with our children, we’re very good about checking ourselves.”

Ciara and Future (and Russell Wilson)

Introducing a new man to your son can be rough — especially when you’re doing it in the public eye. But Ciara said that she tried to reach out to Future to discuss co-parenting but she was met with silence:

“To the guys who have such an opinion: know your facts. I reached out to my son’s father for him and Russell to speak, and he didn’t want to talk to me. We didn’t get to talk and so that was that. I don’t know what more they would expect for me to do besides to live my life.”

Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony

Jennifer Lopez said it’s not easy, but she and Marc Anthony manage to keep the peace for their twins.

“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.”

Lisa Bonet and Lenny Kravitz

Sometimes custody struggles originate with the kids. Lisa Bonet decided to drop out of the limelight after getting married and pregnant and stayed out of the spotlight when she split from Lenny Kravitz in 1993. But Bonet’s under-the-radar life didn’t suit her daughter, Zoe. The starlet chose to live with her rocker father when she was 11.

Kate Winslet and Sam Mendes

Kate Winslet said she doesn’t have any custody drama with her ex-husband, Sam Mendes — because she doesn’t believe in shared parenting.

“My kids don’t go back and forth; none of this 50/50 time with the mums and dads – my children live with me; that is it. That is it!”

And while most dads would have a major problem with this arrangement, Sam Mendes is just fine with it.

“While I fully support fathers’ rights, I can happily state this has never been a concern for me or my son.”

Christina Milian

Christina Milian said that co-parenting with her ex-husband, Terius Nash (aka, The-Dream), can be frustrating. And she learned the hard way that you can’t “express your frustrations in front of your kids. No matter what age your child/children are they understand EVERYTHING!! LOL! I swear they do!”

“So don’t stress them out with your issues. Not only do they understand what’s going on, they remember everything. So if you’ve got a problem save the drama or catty gossip with your friends for another time when your kids are not around. It’s not healthy for them to hear it.”

Garcelle Beauvais and Mike Nilon

Christina Milian isn’t the only one who struggles to shield her kids from her frustrations. Garcelle Beauvais — who split with her husband Mike Nilon after a cheating scandal — said she slipped up once, and it had a big impact on her twin boys:

I don’t speak badly about their dad. I never have. But sometimes I make mistakes. For example, the boys’ dad recently called during our regular dinnertime. I was grumpy that day and instead of being grateful that their dad contacts them regularly, I made a comment along the lines of, “Why does he have to call while we’re eating?”

Two days later, when he called again at the same time, Jaid repeated my comment. He even used the same exasperated tone that I had when I said it. In that moment, I realized that the kids really pick up on every thing, every nuance, and they feel my energy.

So when Jaid did that, I told him that Dad calls when he can. It was an important lesson for me, and made me thankful I didn’t say anything harsher. Kids notice everything.

Dwyane Wade and Siohvaughn Funches

This epic battle became a primer for what not to do during custody disputes. Throughout the years that these two battled over their sons, they publicly accused each other of everything from being an unfit parent to one giving the other an STD. When it was all said and done, Wade was the parent awarded primary custody, and Funches was allowed visitation every other weekend.

Britney Spears and Kevin Federline

After losing custody of her kids during her well-publicized breakdown, Britney Spears has since regained primary custody of her boys with Federline and her life is back on track. An ex-boyfriend stated that after initially losing custody, Spears was suicidal.

Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger

This custody battle made headlines in 2007 when Alec Baldwin’s nasty voicemail message calling his daughter Ireland a “rude little pig” surfaced. But despite that serious parenting mistake, Baldwin said that he’s working on his anger and has an excellent relationship with his Ireland, despite what he called “parental alienation” on Basinger’s part.

Halle Berry and Gabriel Aubry

Battles over spousal support and little Nahla Aubry’s hair are just the most recent bumps in the co-parenting road that Halle Berry and Gabriel Aubry have been struggling to navigate.

Padma Lakshmi

The Top Chef host’s parenting methods got her into legal trouble in 2011 when here ex Adam Dell sued her for trying to “minimize, if not eliminate [his] role in Krishna’s life.”

Padma Lakshmi not only kept Adam Dell off of her daughter Krishna’s birth certificate but she also she refused to acknowledge him as the father in public. But now that a judge has intervened, Dell has gained visitation rights and legal recognition as Krishna’s dad.

Jon Gosselin and Kate Gosselin

These two haven’t been able to co-parent peacefully. This family’s struggles recently reached a new low when Jon sued Kate for custody of all eight of their kids. He claimed that they “live in fear of Kate. Every time I see them, they tell me they want to live with me.”

Tyrese and Norma Gibson

Tyrese said that child support is his biggest issue when it comes to co-parenting his daughter Shayla Gibson with his ex-wife Norma Gibson. Norma’s response? She needs more money because Tyrese is an absent father “who consistently blows off daddy duties.”

Although these two parents already split custody, Tyrese said that Norma’s request for more money has inspired him to seek full custody.

Usher and Tameka Raymond

Although it’s been a while since this custody battle was in the headlines, Tameka Raymond said she’s still struggling to co-parent with her ex-husband. Her most recent qualm with the singer? She said that Usher stormed out of a court-ordered co-parenting class and signed the boys up for football practice without her approval.

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