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Drew Barrymore Talks Divorce and Children

While Drew Barrymore filed for divorce from husband Will Kopelman on April 1, she’s doing her best to put one foot in front of the other and move forward.

Drew Barrymore Talks Divorce and Children

Barrymore, 41, and art consultant Kopelman, 37, began dating in February 2011 and were wed in a lavish ceremony at the actresses house in Montecito, California in June 2012.


Last November she spoke openly about her and her husband’s relationship, saying, “My husband and I compromise on a lot of things … It’s the little things that you can change that can make a relationship stronger. Compromise is about changing yourself for the better. It’s an opportunity for you to become a more functional, better person.”

But it seems that compromising might have taken it’s toll. The two announced their separation on April 1, saying “Sadly our family is separating legally, although we do not feel this takes away from us being a family.”

This is Barrymore’s third divorce. She was previously married to Jeremy Thomas for just a few weeks in March 1994, and was also married to comedian Tom Green in July 2001. Green followed for divorce that December.

While divorce can be a tough time, it seems that Barrymore is moving forward, as is evidenced by the fact that the April 1 statement on divorce also included this: “Divorce might make one feel like a failure, but eventually you start to find grace in the idea that life goes on.”

While a source close to the couple revealed, “She’s disappointed this didn’t work. They both expected to be together forever. Things began crumbling shortly after they were married and the relationship unraveled over time,” it seems that the actress is moving forward.

As she told Pop Sugar, “I had a really hard time a couple of months ago and kind of knew life was heading in a new direction.” She went on to say, “I called someone that I really trust, respect, and believe in, because he has always been the conductor of grace. I said, ‘What’s your advice?’ And he said, ‘You put one foot in front of the other.’ I hung up the phone and I thought, ‘That is why I call this person.’”

Recently Barrymore opened up further about where she is now in terms of dealing with her divorce. “I think nothing is earned easily, but it doesn’t have to be heavy… It’s like, life is heavy enough — lighten up,” she explained. “I just love, like, how happiness seems like this lofty, hippie-dippie kind of notion and it’s not. It’s a really hard-earned thing, and to bestow it on others and to maintain it as a mentality, it takes work and it pays off.”

Focusing on Children

One reason that Barrymore has been able to move forward is because she is focusing on her kids. In their divorce statement, the parents of daughters Olive, 3, and Frankie, 23 stated, “Our children are our universe and we look forward to living the rest of our lives with them as the first priority.”

In fact, she credits her two daughters with completely changing her life. “My daughters have made me behave as the person I always dreamed to be,” she said. “It’s like, I would always climb that mountain and I would fail time and time again have a reaction that didn’t make me feel proud of myself or, you know, you’re just growing, trying to be the best person you can be but God, somehow my daughters have just pushed me over and I still fail all the time and I just get home at night and I’m like, ‘I didn’t lose it, I somehow took the high road cause you forced me to.’”

As she explained, she spends a lot of quality time with her girls. “When I’m with them by myself, which is all the time, they’re like, ‘We want to paint.’ I’m like, ‘I have to cook breakfast, you alone with the paints is going to be such a mess’… we’ll do palettes so they can only get so much paint everywhere.”


And while she’s all about the quality time, she’s also not afraid of letting her kids watch TV. As she shared, “You know what? It’s a good thing to occupy their time. I still love TV, too… but those mothers who are like, ‘I never let my kids watch TV.’ I’m like, ‘Oh, my God, I totally let my kids watch TV!’ Am I a bad mother?’”

Friends as Support

While it’s important to put your children first, it’s also important that you surround yourself with a strong support group if you are going through divorce. That’s exactly why Barrymore insists on her strong group of friends, including Cameron Diaz and Gwyneth Paltrow. “I think good women change your life. Girls were my original family. I didn’t grow up traditionally with, like, that dining room table sort of setting, my girls were my family and I love my journey and my destiny is to raise two daughters.”

She went on to say, “I think that the girls that I know, we work hard on our friendships, we’re not, like, fair-weather friends. We have growing pains. We have moments where for many years we’ve earned our friendship… girlfriends are not just a lightweight thing, it’s pretty deep.”

Moving Forward After Divorce

In addition to having great friends as a support system, there are some other tips you can follow in your moving forward process.


Yup, it’s true, hindsight is 20/20. You have to walk through something, get a far way ahead of it, and only then can you look back and see just how important that process was. At that point you can see the beginning, the middle, and the end, and how that end is so clear and empty of emotional and clutter. Take this new clarity and run with it. That perspective can give you amazing information you need to change your own behaviors and to improve your future relationships.

Gratitude After Divorce

After you lose everything, you take nothing for granted. Divorce can be like losing everything:  past memories, your present marriage, and future dreams. Let that be your determination to survive. But this is also a time to lean on friends and family that stepped up and stood by. They will lift you up, even when you can’t lift yourself. Be grateful for them, and try to show them that you are. If not now, then try to later.

When you have felt pain, you honor and respect that pain in others. Divorce can make you more empathetic towards people facing any form of loss. You will move towards acceptance and forgiveness of your situation and your ex. And with this movement will come the ability to see things from other people’s viewpoints, making you a better friend, and a better person to be in a relationship with (down the line, when you are ready for one).

Divorce wipes away the ego that believes it’s shameful to ask for help. After you admonish this, you will be able to accept help for yourself, and then be able to offer help to others who are in need.

It’s easy to blame your ex, to place the responsibility for the divorce in his or her hands. We also might realize that all too often we have looked to them to provide happiness, or support for making decisions. This interdependency ends with divorce. It’s good to be interdependent, but divorce requires that you learn to be independent. You’re going to be steering this ship on your own. You’re going to have to be responsible for your own things now: happiness, support, etc. Let this empower you though, rather than make you feel lost or scared. You’re completely in control now. You can change. It’s your life now.


Divorce teaches us that no matter how much we want something to be true, we can’t force it into being. All those choice you made have consequences. And maybe now you are being forced to see them. Sure, you might have said “divorce will never happen to me,” but now it has. You’re going to have to admit that it can happen to anyone. Let this “slap” of reality force you to embrace acceptance while also redefining expectations. You’re not immune to anything.

Divorce can be a wake-up call. Often times people realize they were living in a kind of “auto-pilot” mode when they said their “I dos.” The clarity and awareness you have after saying your “I Un-dos” might provide you with a sense of awareness that wasn’t there before. A lot of people turn to meditation and yoga during divorce because it settles the mind to allow for awareness. This mindfulness and consciousness will be helpful moving forward in your new life.

Divorce is also a way to test your abilities… all of them. Your negotiating skills, your financial skills, your balanced budgeting skills, co-parenting abilities. You are the only problem solver now. You will need to work out how to afford your rent on a portion of the budget you once had. You will also need to learn how to co-parent, potentially with an ex you hate (for now). But the more you are placed in these new positions, the better you will become at those tasks.

Wisdom from Divorce
Divorce can be an opportunity for reflection and analysis. You are now raw and ready to learn new ways of doing things, in addition to just learning new ways to move on and cope.

Working with A Family Law Attorney

When it comes to the actual legal process of a divorce, you’ll want to work with a skilled family law attorney There are a number of things that need to be considered during a divorce: child support, spousal support, marital property division, and other things. Working with a skilled attorney can help ensure you get a fair case.  For advice on divorce, child custody determinations, setting up a co-parenting agreement, dividing marital property, and spousal support you need the expert law firm of Divorce Law LA. Schedule a consultation today.

Divorce Law LA, Esq.

Divorce Law LA

33 S. Catalina Ave. Ste. 202

Pasadena, Ca. 91106

(626) 478-3550