It wasn’t all that long ago when the Colts snuck out Baltimore in the dead of night and moved to Indianapolis, setting off years of derision and bad feelings that weren’t put aside, finally, until the NFL gave Baltimore the Ravens.

What worked for a billionaire owner and the NFL won’t work in divorce, even after the Judge has signed off on your divorce decree and custody arrangement.

There is no ‘pick up and leave for a new life in a new state’ option after divorce. A custody agreement isn’t an ‘only good for the day it was signed’ document – it remains in force until the children turn 18. All the children.

Like other parts of the divorce resolution, custody can be modified. Like any other modification, it must be presented to the Judge, if you cannot agree to a change. Picking up and moving is not an option ­– it can be stopped (or reversed) by the Court, via restraining orders and through interstate custody proceedings.

It can get very ugly and expensive, quickly, and, like Robert Irsay to this day in Baltimore, no one, least of all the Court, looks kindly on the one who sneaks off.

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If you’re thinking about relocating, even for the best reasons, do not do anything without seeking legal advice first. We mean Anything.

If your ex has been making subtle hints, like “the schools are great in San Diego,” or you’ve picked up the kids for the day and ‘Virginia is for Lovers” brochures are strewn over the coffee table, call a lawyer. Immediately. Don’t yell, don’t cry, don’t try to work it out, definitely don’t yell, just call.

Contested relocation issues must go before the Court. Relocation cases are, unsurprisingly, complicated. The Court has many factors to consider when deciding whether to allow the children to relocate.

Triangle Smart Divorce will evaluate those factors with you and give you advice before anyone takes any actions which the Court may not view as in the children’s best interest.