Tarek El Moussa and Christina El Moussa are putting on a united front.
One week after Christina graced the cover of People, Tarek is profiled in the magazine's March 20 issue, on sale Friday. "I'll always love Christina," he says. "She's the mother of my children."
Tarek filed for divorce in January, one month after the stars of HGTV's Flip or Flop announced their separation. The El Moussas had secretly split in May 2016 after a dispute involving a gun. Today, Tarek, 35, confesses, "I feel like a huge weight has been lifted since the news came out."
When the couple announced their split, they vowed to remain amicable for the sake of their daughter, Taylor El Moussa, 6, and their son, Brayden El Moussa, 18 months. "We're getting through this by staying great friends and being the best parents possible," he says. "Divorced couples who fight their whole lives really mess up their kids. We had a talk and said, 'We still want the kids to understand we're a unit—that we're still a family even if we're not together.'"
Tarek quietly moved out of his family's Yorba Linda, Calif., home last summer. He now lives in Newport Beach. He estimates he shares custody of his kids with Christina "pretty much 50-50."
Understandably, the divorce has been an "adjustment" for the entire family. Taylor talks about the split "with classmates going through similar things. That makes her feel better," says Tarek.
Both of the El Moussas have dated other people since their breakup, though Tarek claims he's "so far from even considering a new relationship." Even if he were to get remarried one day, Tarek predicts he and Christina will "probably always spend holidays together" with their kids.
For now, Tarek says he's focused on one thing: "Being the best father possible."
When Christina shared her future plans with People last week, she was optimistic about maintaining a positive relationship with Tarek. "There are so many unknowns," she said. "It's invigorating to know I am starting over. It's fun to be able to create my own destiny right now."
"No matter what, I never want to say something about Tarek that my kids would have to read about later," the 33-year-old added. "That's their dad, and it's not my focus to put him down."