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Divorced from drama: the most stress-free celebrity divorces

Typically, celebrity divorces involve a nasty battle played out in the public eye through the tabloids, with every juicy detail leaked to inflict maximum damage on the other side. Ego, money and emotions are on the line, and they make for great public consumption. But it’s rare to hear about the couples whose divorces are stress-free — those who file for divorce, separate amicably and treat each other with respect while acting like adults. 

Pete Wentz and Ashlee Simpson

Fall Out Boy bassist, Pete Wentz, divorced Ashlee Simpson after the birth of their child, Bronx, and three years of marriage. After separating, Wentz fathered a child with Meagan Camper, and Simpson married Evan Ross. Wentz claims to have matured greatly since the marriage, blaming the pair’s young age and his depression on the relationship’s failure. Wentz remarked, “We’ve actually figured out how to parent that way in a really good, healthy way. And we can be friends.”

Married: 2008  Divorced: 2011

Courteney Cox and David Arquette

Courteney Cox and David Arquette were one of Hollywood’s cutest couples. After 11 years together, Cox and Arquette quietly decided to end their marriage. Things seemed to go south due to Cox tiring of his “kooky ways,” but Arquette was emphatic when he told Howard Stern, “I love her with all my heart and she loves me with all her heart … We're trying to get real with each other, real with ourselves.” Cox and Arquette have remained friends and coparent their daughter, Coco. In 2015, Arquette married Christina McLarty, and Cox has been dating Johnny McDaid since 2013.

Married: 1999 Divorced: 2013

Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet

Singer Lenny Kravitz and actress Lisa Bonet are two of the coolest people on the planet, so it’s no surprise that these two played it totally cool when they decided to split. Bonet’s current husband, Jason Momoa, even bought matching rings for him and Kravitz. How’s that for cool? Kravitz and Bonet raised their daughter, Zoë Kravitz, while divorced. Kravitz has said, “Zoë’s mom and I now are best friends. That’s how the relationship started. It makes you feel really good when you can do that.”

Married: 1987  Divorced: 1993

Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony

J.Lo and Marc Anthony remain on good terms since their divorce and coparent their twins, Max and Emme. In 2012, Lopez told Us Magazine, “We love our kids and we have love for each other and we always will. We were friends from before and we’re friends now.” Anthony is currently dating model Jessica Lynn Harris and J.Lo is engaged to Alex Rodriguez.

Married: 2004 Divorced: 2011

Bruce Willis and Demi Moore

Bruce Willis and Demi Moore were a star couple of the 90s! So it was a complete shock to the public when they decided to split in 1998 due to — as their friends said — the pressures of work. They’ve raised three daughters together since separating. Moore remarried Ashton Kutcher (and divorced him in 2013) but is now single. Willis is currently married to Emma Heming Willis. In her 2019 book, Inside Out, Moore said, "(The split) wasn’t easy at first, but we managed to move the heart of our relationship, the heart of what created our family, into something new that gave the girls a loving, supportive environment with both parents."

Married: 1987 Divorced: 2000

Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin

Paltrow and Martin made their now infamous “unconscious coupling” announcement in 2014, after the couple had been married for a decade and having two children together. Paltrow revealed, “As anybody who has been divorced knows, you have to put a lot aside to maintain the family and the practicalities of what that might mean and sometimes that’s quite tough on a personal level. It’s a commitment I make every day to my children and their father even though we’re not in a romantic relationship.” Paltrow has since remarried Glee cocreator Brad Falchuck, and Martin later dated then broke up with Dakota Johnson.

Married: 2003  Divorced: 2014

Idina Menzel and Taye Diggs

Menzel and Diggs met while sharing the stage on Broadway performing in Rent. They divorced after 10 years of marriage but remain friendly to coparent their son, Walker. Diggs commented, “We both love our son so much, that the best way to raise him is to provide him with whatever we can.” Diggs now lives with model Amanza Smith, and Menzel remarried actor Aaron Lohr.

Married: 2003 Divorced: 2013

Fran Drescher and Peter Marc Jacobson

Fran Drescher met her now-ex-husband Peter Marc Jacobsen when they were just 15. They created The Nanny together but after 21 years of marriage, Jacobsen came out of the closet revealing that he was gay. It was a diagnosis of uterine cancer that changed things. Drescher said, “When I got cancer, one of the silver linings was that the minute he was told, he burst into tears and all of his anger melted away. All that was left was the love. And from that point forward, we started to rebuild our friendship.” She’s been cancer-free since 2000 and remarried entrepreneur Shiva Ayyadurai.

Married: 1978 Divorced: 1999

Christie Brinkley and Billy Joel

Billy Joel married his very own “Uptown Girl” Christie Brinkley in 1985, and they had a daughter, Alexa Ray Joel. They divorced almost a decade later, and Brinkley credits music with keeping them close after. Brinkley said, “Many years after our divorce, Billy would still come to my house for the Christmas sing along and play the piano, and all of our friends would come over and sing Christmas carols.” Since divorcing, Brinkley has been divorced another two times and is currently single. Joel married then divorced Katie Lee and is now married to Alexis Roderick.

Married: 1985 Divorced: 1994

Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe

Reese Witherspoon met Ryan Phillippe when she was just 21, and they were married and pregnant within a year. But in 2007, after two children and seven years together, they decided to divorce. Philippe has since said, “She’s happy and remarried and our kids are incredible. I’m proud of the way we handled it and who our little people are.” Witherspoon married Jim Toth, and Phillippe had a child with Alexis Knapp but is currently single.

Married: 1999 Divorced: 2007