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Hadrian N. Hatfield
12505 Park Potomac Avenue
6th Floor
Potomac, MD 20854
F (301) 230-2891
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Hadrian N. Hatfield represents clients who want creative, informed, and thoughtful solutions to complex family law problems.  His in-depth knowledge and extensive experience range from cases with high-stakes and strong emotions to interstate and international situations.  Hadrian is fluent in French and has worked on international law issues at the U.S. Department of State.  Local and overseas clients often consult him on international family law matters such as:

  • Divorce litigation in two countries at the same time;
  • Foreign-located marital assets;
  • International alimony and child support issues;
  • Custody and visitation rights in international relocation or parental child abduction/kidnapping situations;
  • Expert Witness Services; and
  • International Pre-Nuptial Agreements.

He is hands-on involved in crafting settlements, trying cases, and arguing appeals in the courts of Maryland and the District of Columbia.  His ability and effectiveness have been recognized by an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell, Fellowships in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) and in the International Academy of Family Lawyers (IAFL), and repeated inclusion among the top family law practitioners by Washingtonian Magazine, Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers. Hadrian also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law teaching "Financial Foundations for Family Lawyers," a course within the university’s newly designed post-JD certificate program in Family Law.

Hadrian represents many clients who are in mediation, and is himself an accomplished mediator.  He has made private mediation part of his practice for over fifteen years, including mediation of international divorce and Hague Convention issues.  Hadrian participated in the pilot ABA International Family Mediation training in 2013.  He is also a member of the Maryland Program for Mediator Excellence (MPME), the Maryland Council for Dispute Resolution (MCDR), and a founding member of the Collaborative Divorce Association, Inc. in Montgomery County, Maryland. 

Hadrian has written articles for publication in French and in English on a variety of family law topics, including international aspects of divorce.  In addition, he regularly teaches continuing legal education on a variety of topics to a national audience of family law attorneys, and for the Maryland State, District of Columbia, and Montgomery County Bar Associations.


Divorce litigation in two countries at the same time

  • Challenge of court jurisdiction on financial issues in divorce based on argument French business owner husband never was domiciled in U.S.
  • Negotiation of financial settlement agreement for international banker after wife returned to live in Brazil
  • Negotiation with U.S. and French counsel of settlement involving division of assets in U.S. and France, including rental apartment in Paris
  • Successful divorce of Taiwanese businessman unable to obtain divorce in home country
  • Collaborative divorce representation of French husband in case involving divorce, alimony, property, and child custody and support laws of U.S., France, and UK, including coordination of advice from foreign lawyers
  • Advising diplomats and their spouses on choice of country in which to divorce between U.S. and Australia; U.S. and France; U.S. and Canada; U.S. and Caribbean countries, and on the consequences of diplomatic immunity in divorce

Foreign located marital assets

  • Successful trial argument resulting in alimony award to compensate for marital share of husband’s foreign pension located outside reach of U.S. court
  • Mediation of divorce for couple with real property interests in Ethiopia
  • Successful negotiation of divorce with property division between Iranian nationals living in U.S. who owned commercial assets still in Iran
  • Multiple cases involving division of International Organization pension benefits

International alimony and child support issues

  • Advising U.S. citizen payor on tax consequences and risks of alimony paid to non-U.S. resident spouse
  • Negotiation of child support paid in France for children of international organization executive and consulting company owner spouse living in both U.S. and France
  • Advice on modifiability of foreign alimony and child support orders after relocation of spouses to U.S.
  • Advising U.S. citizens on consequences and options for addressing child support proceedings started against them in foreign courts

Custody and visitation rights in international relocation or parental child abduction situations

  • Trial preparation and successful negotiation of custody rights and ne exeat order for USC father of child born in South America of foreign mother
  • Trial preparation and successful negotiation of extended access rights to child living in U.S. for expatriate USC mother
  • Trial preparation and successful settlement of custody issues following return to Maryland of child who former spouse had abducted to a Hague Convention country
  • Representation of father in obtaining custody rights to children abducted to District of Columbia from African country
  • Mediation of settlement terms for return of child, future parenting schedule and decision-making rules in Hague Convention cases
  • Trial representation of Brazilian television personality seeking to relocate with children to Brazil for work reasons

Expert Witness Services

  • Expert witness in case where client sought to prevent travel of ex-spouse with children to China
  • Expert witness testimony on Maryland custody laws in Quebec Province court hearing
  • Multiple cases advised or collaborated with co-counsel on risks and dangers related to potential abduction or wrongful retention of children, and on protective measures and wording for court orders

International Pre-Nuptial Agreements

  • Negotiation of a pre-nuptial agreement with international applicability for a Turkish heiress and her American groom
  • Successful defense of a pre-nuptial agreement in divorce trial between Canadian husband and African country wife
  • Frequent advising of clients on the enforceability of civil code country matrimonial property regime marriage contracts in U.S. divorce proceedings




Seminars & Speaking Engagements

  • Case Assessment: Identifying Families for Mediation and Educating Them About the Process, George Washington School of Law Cross-Border Family Mediation Symposium, June 2018
  • When Immigration and Family Law Matters Collide, MSBA Annual Conference, Family Law Section, Ocean City, MD, June 2018
  • Children and International Relocation, ABA Family Law Section Spring CLE Conference, Nashville, TN, May 2018
  • Presentation on Divorce in America, Université du Littoral Côte d’Opale (ULCO), Boulogne-sur-Mer, France, September 2015
  • Destination Divorces: Where to go to call it quits?, International Bar Association Annual Conference, Vienne, Austria, October 6, 2015
  • Money, Taxes and International Divorce: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, The International Family Symposium, sponsored by Montgomery County Bar Association and D.C. Bar Association Family Law Sections, Rockville, MD, January 30, 2015
  • Hide the Baby - International Relocation and Child Abduction Issues, AAML Maryland Chapter, Eighteenth Annual Symposium on Family Law, Ellicott City, MD, November 11, 2013
  • International Mediation: What Makes It Different?, ABA Section of Dispute Resolution, 2013 Spring Conference, Chicago, IL, April 4, 2013
  • International Mediation: Logistics, Language, Cultural Dynamics, and Foreign Law, MSBA Annual Meeting, Ocean City, MD, June 14, 2012
  • The Spy Who Loved Me: When Divorce and Social Media Collide, BAMC Law Day Conference, Rockville, MD, May 18, 2012
  • Hot Tips/Topics in Family Law - The Do's and Don'ts of Pre-Nuptial Agreements, Maryland State Bar Association, Annapolis, MD, March 2, 2012
  • French American Legal Forum - What's New in France - U.S. Family Law, Potomac, MD, February 16, 2012
  • Pre-Marriage and Post Marriage...from Pre-Nuptials to Divorce Planning and Considerations, Society of Financial Service Professionals, National Chapter, Winter Meeting, January 18, 2012
  • Divorce Tax Workshop, Maryland State Bar Association, December 8, 2011 
  • International Abduction/Relocation, Bar Association of Montgomery County, MD, November 29, 2011
  • Cross Border Disputes: Mediating International Custody, Relocation and Child Abduction, American Bar Association, ADR Section, Spring 2011 CLE Conference, Denver, CO, April 13, 2011
  • Cross Border Disputes: Mediating International Custody, Relocation and Parental Kidnapping, MACRO Convention, December 10, 2010
  • Tax Planning for Separation and Divorce, American Association of Attorney - CPA Fall Meeting, Chicago, IL, November 5, 2010
  • Hide the Baby - Jurisdiction in Parental Kidnapping Cases, Bar Association of Montgomery County, Maryland, Family Law Section, April 15, 2010
  • Faculte de Droit de Nice, Nice, France, Major:  International Law, 1984
  • Vanderbilt University School of Law, Nashville, Tennessee, J.D., 1983 Law Journal:  Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, 1982-1983
  • University of Central Arkansas, Conway, Arkansas, B.A. with Honors, 1980
Bar & Court Admissions
  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. Supreme Court
Honors & Awards
  • Martindale Hubbell AV rating
  • Selected as one of the Family Law Super Lawyers in Maryland and Washington D.C. (2007 -2018)
  • Named in Washington D.C.'s "Best Lawyers, A Comprehensive Guide to the Area's Top Attorneys"(2008-2015)
  • Selected for Washingtonian Magazine's "Washington's Top Lawyers" list (February 2004, and December 2004, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017)
  • The Best Lawyers in America (2007-2019)