Joe Swash has opened up a past custody battle with his ex-girlfriend Emma Sophocleous over their son Harry, 13, after they split in 2008.

The former EastEnders star went to court with Emma to hash out an agreement, which Joe now saying it was "the best money [he's] ever spent".

The 38-year-old spoke on the podcast Step Life about living as a blended family with his new partner Stacey Solomon, 30 , her boys Zachary, 12, and Leighton, seven, and the son they share, Rex, one.

Speaking of the difficulty he faced after his split from Emma, Joe said: "With me and Harry, it was tricky with his mum.

Joe split from his ex Emma Sophocleous in 2008
Joe split from his ex Emma Sophocleous in 2008

"We had to go to court and stuff like that. So in hindsight it's a great thing, but yeah, me and Hal, it's been a strange one for Hal, he's had to do a lot of adapting. I do feel quite sorry for Hal for what he's had to go through.

"It's just one of those things, his mum and I weren't agreeing on certain things and we had to go to court. We had to do it that. And that's what court's there for, to sort things out. And it's done exactly that. It's changed our lives."

Joe says the custody battle over his son Harry was the 'best money he spent'
Joe says the custody battle over his son Harry was the 'best money he spent'

Joe explained: "Me and Hal, we're in each other's lives on a daily basis now. We talk to each other every day, we see each other every couple of days, he only lives 20 minutes away from me and at the beginning, maybe even five years ago, it's completely different to what it is now."

He went on: "If anyone's going through anything like that, having trouble seeing their kids as well, you've just got to stick with it.

Joe is now in a relationship with Stacey Solomon and they share a son together
Joe is now in a relationship with Stacey Solomon and they share a son together

"You know, I always said to my mum, when I was in court fighting for Hal, I wouldn't want to spend my money on anything else apart from wanting to see my kid. And it's the best money I've ever spent."

Joe and Stacey share plenty of updates on their seemingly picture-perfect life together, making their blended family work.

However Joe admitted: "We couldn't be more blended if you tried. And like you said, it is tricky. It's not straightforward.

"There's lots of people to take into consideration. Some of them people might not be as reasonable as other people, you know, so it's a constant one field of trying to juggle and keep all the parties happy."

He also confessed he was worried that Harry might be jealous of Stacey's sons from her past relationships when they first met, however it seems everyone gets along now.