This story was originally published on October 12, 2016, and updated on April 14, 2017.
Co-parenting with an estranged partner can be a tricky business. Emotions run rampant and the stakes couldn't be higher—your children's happiness. But this soon-to-be-divorced couple Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner are showing us how.
Despite officially filing for divorce yesterday, the couple still seem to have an enormous amount of love and respect for one another, which manifests in their amicable co-parenting style.
Here are some of their top co-parenting tips:
Stay focused on your children and their needs.
At the time of the couple's separation (in June 2015) they released a joint statement which read:
"We go forward with love and friendship for one another and a commitment to co-parenting our children."
Affleck told EXTRA, he and Garner continually try their best to make it work for their children's sake.
Flexibility is key.
Sometimes your divorce court orders don't work with everyday life. Things pop up and you should be flexible with time to accommodate your ex-partner where you can.
"She’s in Reno. Doing what she believes in. Which is great. [I] think it's awesome. And I'm so impressed by it — her and everything she does," he said.
Garner and Affleck have proved to be a dream team when it comes to time management. The Golden Globe winning actress told Today she and Affleck teamed up to support his work and show their children Europe.
"Ben was working in London, on 'Justice League,' and I felt like, 'Well, the kids should have that experience'," she said. "And he and I are great friends, and we just all went en masse."
Care and show compassion.
Remember you once loved this person enough to have a child with them. You can deal with a stained school uniform under their watch or whatever else life throws at you all. Losing your temper at your ex will only upset your child and won't achieve much else.
Affleck and Garner's marriage lasted ten years, with Garner telling Vanity Fair last year, "He's the love of my life. What am I going to do about that? He's the most brilliant person in any room, the most charismatic, the most generous".
Mature communication stems from being a good listener. Never use your kids as messengers.
"The main thing is these kids—and we're completely in line with what we hope for them... you should see their faces when he walks through the door. And if you see your kids love someone so purely and wholly, then you're going to be friends with that person," Garner told Vanity Fair.
Praise where it's due.
Divorcing can be extremely messy and heartbreaking, but once the dust has settled, establishing ways to positively co-parent is important in shaping how your children perceive your relationship with each other and adult relationships in general. Affleck continues to speak highly of his ex-wife, telling EXTRA, "She's a great mom and that's how it is".