Richie Sambora: I'm in a "Very Good Place" with Ex Heather Locklear

"Heather and I really respect each other and we've become better friends -- I think, now that we're not married," said the musician

Time has been kind to exes Richie Sambora and Heather Locklear.

More than five years after the Bon Jovi guitarist, 53, and the Melrose Place star, 51, divorced, the former spouses have been able to make amends and become friends again. Sambora and Locklear, who share custody of their teenaged daughter Ava, 15, are apparently much more amicable now than ever.

"We're very good. It's actually even beyond for [our daughter's] sake," Sambora told Access Hollywood Live on Sept. 25. "Heather and I really respect each other and we've become better friends, I think, now that we're not married."

The rocker, whose intimate new album Aftermath of the Lowdown came out Sept. 18, added that the three of them "go out all the time as a family" and that he and his lovely ex-wife are "in a very good place" with each other.

Sambora, who split from his on-again, off-again love Denise Richards in June, also opened up about being a dad to his beautiful adolescent daughter.

"Throughout my parenting I have given her a moral barometer, because when they become teenagers, they're going to be away from you more than they're going to be with you," he explained. "They're going to make their own decisions."

He even acknowledged what it's like to know Ava is beginning to experience teen romance.

"She's dating. She's already dated," Sambora added. "I have a nice big house and I make sure all the kids come over to my place so I get a chance to [meet] them."

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