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. Clients appreciate that, in the midst of the emotional fog that can permeate family law matters, Hadrian has a unique ability to keep them level-headed and focused on their objectives. An international businessman described his experience with Hadrian this way:“Instead of serving as a weaponized legal instrument of my darkness, Hadrian spent a good amount of our time together helping me to be my own higher self. When I pushed him to be ‘more aggressive’, to humiliate my ex, to overwhelm her with chaos, Hadrian held steady, risking a fairly healthy financial engagement, to litigate my matter with honor. He advocated the high road, conveyed a balanced and reasonable position throughout, and still waged a conscious and virtuous war.”
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
Successful negotiation of divorce with complex jurisdiction, implementation, and enforcement provisions for French business owner with U.S. operations.Creative use of U.S. divorce process to solve problems preventing resolution of long-standing foreign divorce negotiations for international business executive.
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
Successful mediation of Hague Convention case involving return of minor children to parent in Japan.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