Bristol Palin has joined the cast of Teen Mom OG and with that, her private life has been thrust into the spotlight, just as it had, years ago, when she was on a reality show with her ex, Levi Johnston. On a previous episode of Teen Mom OG, Palin and ex-husband Dakota Meyer split up. And, on tonight’s episode, Palin’s son, Tripp, visits his father, Johnston. But, don’t get any ideas. Johnston and Palin are not back together. In fact, Johnston, like Palin, has moved on with his life and he is a married man.
According to Newsweek, Johnston and Palin broke up for good in 2010 and went through a custody battle over son Tripp. Today, the two appear to have greatly mended their relationship, evolving into a friendly co-parenting situation. In an interview with Us Weekly, Palin dished on her co-parenting relationship with Johnston and how they make the long distance work, since Johnston still lives in Alaska, while Palin resides in Texas. Palin revealed that, “We have the same common goal of what’s best for Tripp. It’s taken us a long time to get there, but we’re getting there. He’s definitely a part of it. Tripp goes back and forth to Alaska quite a bit, and Tripp will spend summers there.”
Palin continued, saying, “When Tripp has a long weekend from school, he’ll go there as well. They’ve got a good relationship, and he’s a great dad.”
According to People, it took nearly seven years for Palin and Johnston to settle on a joint custody agreement for Tripp. Upon settling the issue of custody in 2016, Palin wrote the following message on Instagram:
Every child deserves two loving parents, so I will continue to encourage that no matter what. I have never, and will never, keep them from having a positive relationship with their fathers. I did not ‘lose’ any custody case – my son has always spent most of his time with me and he will continue to do so, he is happy, healthy, and knows both of his parents love him. Matthew 5:11
In 2016, Palin’s attorney, John J. Tiemessen, commented on the ex-couple’s relationship, telling People that, “Bristol has encouraged Levi and Tripp’s relationship and would never keep a child from having a relationship with their parent. bristol loves that Levi has an active role in Tripp’s life.”
On Teen Mom OG, fans have seen Palin deal with the fall out of her marriage from Dakota Meyer, with whom she also shares children. Meyer, who has been a stepdad to Johnston’s son, Tripp, has praised Johnston for his parenting. Meyer also said he very much likes Johnston’s wife, Sunny, and that he will remain friends with them even after his divorce from Palin. In an interview with Us Weekly, Meyer said, “I think Levi’s incredible. I have nothing but great things to say about Levi as a father. I consider him a friend. I have nothing but great things to say about Sunny, she’s a loving mother. She cares. I still will continue my friendship with them.”