Divorce Advice: What to do when your teen hates you for taking them away from all their friends

The first thing I would try to do is to not take the kids away from their friends if at all possible. Studies show that the least amount of disruption in the lives of children post-divorce, the better off everybody is. The main disruption beside the fact that the family as they know it has imploded, is pulling the children up from the only home they ever knew and taking them somewhere else to start all over. This can be a recipe for trouble, especially when a parent is oblivious to the child’s feelings and especially when you are dealing with impressionable teenagers whose lives are all about their friends.
If you must move, how about trying to stay in the same neighborhood or zip code where the marital residence is located to allow the kids to go to the same school? Even if you have to downsize for economic reasons, it is possible to stay in the same neighborhood sometimes. Investigate this before you move to the other side of the country. Remember that you are not the only one affected by this change in your marital status. 
Yet another idea is to use a co-parenting strategy that is the wave of the future: share the marital residence post-divorce with your former spouse. This is extreme and is not for everyone obviously. For most folks after the divorce they don’t want to see the other person never mind continue to live with them. But some parents continue to live in the same home: one may move to the basement for example. Or they take turns staying in the marital home. I think the Gosselins (the reality tv stars) share the home. So sometimes Kate is in residence and other times her husband is. Again, this may not be feasible for every body. But if it is something you can do, consider doing it for the child’s sakes so they don’t have to pull up stakes and lose all their friends.
What else could you do? Well, if all else fails, encourage the child to keep in touch via Facebook, Twitter and other such sources. It is not the same as having face to face contact, but it sure is a better option than folks had before there were these social networking options, isn’t it?
Another thing is to consider giving up custody. Yes, this is extreme and probably very tough but if you have to move, maybe the other parent can stay and allow the children to continue to have access to their friends. It calls for making a big sacrifice and obviously, this won’t work for every family. But if it could even remotely work in yours, you may want to consider this option.
If you simply cannot help but move far away and force the children to totally change their lives, at least be sensitive to the fact that you are going to have teenagers who are a little bit unhappy and who may act out because of this – especially if they have trouble fitting into a new school and a new life. Where possible, get them counseling and provide as much emotional support as you possibly can. This is probably not the best time to practice your most intense parental alienation techniques. Try to allow the children to continue a relationship with the other parent where possible.