Helena Bonham Carter believes she and her ex-partner Tim Burton still share something ''very precious'' between them.

The 49-year-old actress and the 57-year-old actor - who have son Billy, 11, and seven-year-old daughter Nell together - announced last December they had ''separated amicably'' earlier in 2014 after 13 years together.

But Helena insists she and Tim have maintained a strong friendship and have been able to avoid many of the usual problems associated with break-ups.

Speaking in the November issue of RED magazine, she said: ''I could write a thesis on what's happened and it is all-absorbing when a relationship breaks down.

''But I think we're coming through it. I think we'll have something very precious still.''

The 'Suffragette' star will always cherish the romance she shared with Tim - who she met while filming 'Planet of the Apes' with him in 2001 - but can accept sometimes couples don't stay together forever.

She added: ''Our relationship was always somewhat special, and I think it'll always remain special. We did find each other. And really, the mark of a successful relationship shouldn't be whether you're there forever after. Sometimes you're not meant to be forever together.''