Ben Affleck feels 'lucky' to have his children with Jennifer Garner

Ben Affleck feels "very lucky" to have his ex-wife Jennifer Garner has the mother of his children.

The 'Justice League' star has Violet, 14, Seraphina, 11, and Samuel, seven, with his ex-wife - whom he split from in 2015 - and has said he's "very grateful and respectful" of the actress as a mother, despite their marriage not "working".

He said: "When you have children with somebody you're connected to them forever. And I'm very lucky she is the mother of my children.

"I'm very grateful and respectful of her. Our marriage didn't work, and that's difficult. Both of us really believe that it's important for kids to see their parents respect one another and get along, whether they're together or not."

Ben, 47, knows the impact divorce can have on children as his own parents split when he was young, and has praised Jennifer for helping to ease the "pain" endured by their brood in the wake of their breakup.

He told People magazine: "My parents got divorced when I was young and I know how painful that is, and I knew that they [my kids] would have to go through that publicly. But kids are resilient. They appreciate the truth.

"It's important for my kids to know that I respect and care about Jen and she treats me the same way. I have a lot of respect and gratitude toward her. And I wish her the very best."

Meanwhile, the 'Way Back' star recently said he "didn't want" to divorce Jennifer.

Ben explained: "I never thought that I was gonna get divorced. I didn't want to get divorced. I didn't want to be a divorced person. I really didn't want to be a split family with my children. And it upset me because it meant I wasn't who I thought I was. And that was so painful and so disappointing in myself."

The star called his divorce the "biggest regret" of his life, as he confessed the breakup had been spurred on by his battle with alcoholism.

He said: "The biggest regret of my life is this divorce.

"Shame is really toxic. There is no positive byproduct of shame. It's just stewing in a toxic, hideous feeling of low self-worth and self-loathing.

"I drank relatively normally for a long time. What happened was that I started drinking more and more when my marriage was falling apart. This was 2015, 2016. My drinking, of course, created more marital problems."