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Atlantic City Family Law Lawyers Your Rights Are Our Business

Family Lawyers

Protecting What is Most Important To You

Atlantic City family law lawyers at Burnham Douglass are dedicated advocates for families navigating the complexities of legal matters.

Family law is a legal practice area devoted to family relationships, such as divorce, child custody, and child support, and more. The majority of family lawyers represent clients in divorce proceedings and accompanying divorce-related issues such as child support, alimony, and child custody.

However, family law is a broad practice area and encompasses many sensitive issues that you may not at first associate with family law. Our experienced Burnham Douglass Atlantic City family lawyers represent clients with other family matters not related to divorce, such as adoption, emancipation, paternity, and domestic violence.

Sensitive family law matters tend to be emotionally charged for all parties involved, and couples do not always act in their own best interests. Having a trusted attorney by your side to represent you and helps ensure that your loved ones are protected is invaluable to your own best interests.

Do I Need to Hire an Attorney?

If you want to protect your assets or fight for child custody, you should most definitely work with a skilled family law attorney to represent the best interests of you and your children, especially if you are considering:

  • Divorce: During divorce proceedings, each spouse hires separate attorneys who will work develop and negotiate a settlement plan agreeable to each, hopefully avoiding a long trial process. Experienced divorce attorneys are skilled at division of marital property, assets and debts, developing child custody agreements, visitation, and calculating child and spousal support.
  • Child custody and support: Though settlement agreements and court orders during divorce proceedings include child support and custody arrangements, they often require renegotiating as each former spouse’s situation changes and the children age.
  • Adopt or foster to adopt: Adoption processes are complex based on the type of adoption, the child’s origins, state law differences, and more that require the services of a skilled family law attorney. Families pursuing the adoption of a child they are currently fostering does not necessarily require an attorney, but consulting with one before beginning proceedings to determine whether there are special circumstances related to the foster child that may benefit you to have legal representation.
  • Paternity: Paternity establishes the biological identity of a child’s parents through DNA testing. Typically, paternity cases are brought by the mother in order to obtain child support from an absent father but can also be brought by the potential father seeking to have a relationship with his child.

At Burnham Douglass, our years of experience and extensive knowledge of the law to help clients throughout New Jersey resolve complex family law issues. Our seasoned Atlantic City legal team has a sophisticated understanding of a wide range of family law matters and the skills to develop creative solutions to even the most difficult circumstances. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation!

What Matters Do the Atlantic City Burnham Douglass Family Law Lawyers Handle?

Our skilled family law legal team handles a wide variety of cases within and outside the family law umbrella. Whether you are wanting to adopt a child or seeking a divorce, you need effective legal assistance, and we’re just that team. Some of the family law practice areas we specialize in include:


The majority of divorces in New Jersey are deemed at-fault, no-fault divorces, or annulments:

  • Aggrieved spouses can file for divorce quickly in at-fault divorces, as there is no waiting period to file for divorce in cases where one spouse is clearly at fault for ending the marriage.
  • Couples who wish to divorce for equal or shared reasons, not the fault of one spouse, must be legally separated and living apart from one another for at least 18 months before filing for divorce and provide documentation proving the separation when filing.
  • Couples dissolve the marriage the same as in a divorce, except an annulment vacates the marriage entirely, as though it never happened in the first place. In New Jersey, couples must meet certain strict requirements to qualify for an annulment.

No-fault and at-fault divorces have slight differences in process, but distribution of assets, child custody, and other divisions are generally the same. There are no specific timelines on the length of the divorce process as each one is decided on a case-by-case basis.

Child Custody

One of the most contentious issues during divorce is child custody, even in amicable divorces. Parents often find it difficult to reach a custody agreement on their own, which adds even strain to an already emotional process. In New Jersey, child custody arrangements generally include:

  • Joint physical residential custody: Children divides time residing between both parents’ households
  • Sole physical residential custody: Children live primarily with one parent, but have some visitation with the other
  • Joint legal custody: Both parents share responsibility for decision-making for the children on major issues and agree to consult one another on most other decisions
  • Sole legal custody: One parent handles all decision-making for the children without consulting the other parent

Sadly, many parents approach custody as a battle they must win, making the children pawns during the divorce. It is also common for one parent to be considered a threat to the child’s wellbeing, which may be the issue requiring the divorce in the first place. No matter your situation, at Burnham Douglass, our compassionate family law attorneys will fight to protect your parental rights and achieve the best possible legal outcome for both you and your children.


Adoption is an exciting but frequently exhausting journey with many tedious processes. Our Burnham Douglass family law attorneys have over 60 years combined professional legal experience handling the following types of adoption:

  • Agency adoptions
  • Domestic adoption
  • Foster parent adoption
  • International adoption
  • Same-sex couple adoption
  • Stepparent adoption

New Jersey is a sought-after state when it comes to adoption. The state has a very open stance regarding adoption, welcoming all prospective parents, regardless of marital status or sexual orientation and the streamlined process. Adoptions in New Jersey do not require a waiting period as in many other states, and 72 hours after birth, the biological mother can permanently surrender her parental rights and the child’s adoptive parents can take custody.

If you are considering divorce, the most important first step is choosing the right lawyer. Our Burnham Douglass Atlantic City family attorneys have extensive experience negotiating and litigating complex and contested divorces with the matters of division of property and debt, complex child custody issues, and spousal support.

Why Should I Choose a Burnham Douglass Family Law Attorney?

Whatever your family law needs, our Burnham Douglass Atlantic City attorneys will provide sound, objective counsel, and work to ensure your family relationships are free from harm throughout all the legal processes. Our Atlantic City attorneys are available to answer your questions, listen to your concerns, and provide honest assessment and advise you how to proceed with your case. Clients in Atlantic City and throughout New Jersey turn to Burnham Douglass because:

  • We have more than 70 years of combined experience and are multi-lingual in Spanish and Portuguese.
  • We work one-on-one with our clients and treat every case with urgency and professionalism.
  • We care about each and every client’s concerns and strive to protect their rights in everything we do.

Atlantic City Family Law Lawyers at Burnham Douglass Represent Clients with Challenging Family Law Matters

Whether divorcing, adopting, or seeking emancipation, our empathetic and experienced Atlantic City family lawyers at Burnham Douglass will advocate for you. Call us today at 856-751-5505 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Marlton and Northfield, New Jersey, we service clients in Atlantic City, Cherry Hill, Voorhees, Trenton, Northfield, Linwood, Pleasantville and Burlington County, Atlantic County, Camden County, Gloucester County and Mercer County.

The Stories That Matter

See What Our Valued Clients Have to Say
  • I am forever thankful for the legal help Ms. Michelle and Mr. Burnham did for my case.

    “I am forever thankful for the legal help Ms. Michelle and Mr. Burnham did for my case. They brought light to a pregnancy discrimination case that could have been rejected by another legal team. Both, ...”

    - Samantha V.
  • Michelle and Phil are excellent attorneys.

    “Michelle and Phil are excellent attorneys. They take the time to listen, and it is evident that they truly care about their clients. They are very knowledgeable in their practice areas. I felt that I ...”

    - Paige B.
  • I am forever thankful for the legal help Ms. Michelle and Mr. Burnham did for my case.

    “I am forever thankful for the legal help Ms. Michelle and Mr. Burnham did for my case. They brought light to a pregnancy discrimination case that could have been rejected by another legal team. Both, ...”

    - S.V.
  • I could not have been more pleased with the firm or our result.

    “From the first meeting with Michelle Douglass and Philip Burnham, I knew they were the skilled lawyers I needed. After a bad employment experience, I felt betrayed and hurt but Michelle, Phil, ...”

    - Michelle M.C.
  • Both Michelle and Phil made me feel like I was a family member they were representing.

    “This testimonial will be the most honest you have ever read. My journey is case was actually dismissed in summary judgment due to fact I had incompetent counsel previously. Michelle ...”

    - Robert K. Petroski
  • After meeting Michelle, she gave me the confidence I needed to fight for what I deserved.

    “When I first met Michelle, I had so many fears about filing a lawsuit. I was afraid of actually filing against Atlantic City Board of Education simply because what I had gone through was torture. I ...”

    - Maria Marino
  • I never knew compassion, value and honesty could exist in an attorney until I met Philip.

    “I'm hoping there's enough space to comment on my experience with Philip as he assisted me on a very personal matter... I was recommended by two different sources, so I hoped & prayed this would be my ...”

    - Dan
  • She was always very prompt in her follow-up and developed a winning strategy for me.

    “I am very grateful Mrs. Michelle J. Douglass took my case. You demonstrated to me great expertise. She was always very prompt in her follow-up and developed a winning strategy for me. Working with ...”

    - James Runyon
  • Michelle Douglass is a straight shooter and fights for your rights.

    “The firm handled my case in a dedicated and professional manner. Michelle Douglass is a straight shooter and fights for your rights. Her tenaciousness and no nonsense approach quickly set the tone and ...”

    - Dave Daniels
  • Phil's service exceeded my expectations and I found him to be more responsive and sensitive to my situation than the previous lawyer I had used.

    “Phil Burnham is an excellent divorce lawyer! Phil's service exceeded my expectations and I found him to be more responsive and sensitive to my situation than the previous lawyer I had used. He was ...”

    - Abby
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What Sets Our Firm Apart?

The Difference is Clear 
  • Care

    We approach each client with compassion, empathy and care.

  • Experience

    We have an in-depth understanding of the law and how it relates to your unique case.

  • Personal Attention

    We will provide you with the personal attention your case deserves.

  • Flexible

    We offer video, after hour and weekend appointments for your convenience. 

  • High-Quality Representation

    We deliver high-quality legal work because we handle select cases.

  • Dedication

    We have been serving the needs of our clients for over 30 years and are dedicated to your success.

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