• Biography

    Daniel A. Burton devotes his entire practice to matrimonial and family law matters in New Jersey.

    Daniel A. Burton devotes his entire practice to matrimonial and family law matters in New Jersey. Dan represents clients in all aspects of matrimonial and family law, including all stages of divorce litigation, civil union and domestic partnership litigation, divorce mediation and arbitration, custody and parenting time issues, alimony and child support, pre-nuptial agreements, separation and matrimonial settlement agreements, post-judgment litigation, and domestic violence matters.

    Dan has particular experience dealing with cohabitation issues.  Cohabitation is defined as a mutually supportive, intimate, personal relationship, tantamount to marriage, that includes the duties and privileges commonly associated with married couples. A finding of cohabitation by the supported spouse/partner, pursuant to the language in the parties’ Agreement, can impact alimony by either modifying, suspending, or terminating it entirely based upon the facts and circumstances.

    Dan tried a divorce case that spanned 78 days, over a period of eight months, involving complex financial and custodial issues requiring considerable amounts of expert testimony.  Throughout his career, Dan has handled more than 300 contested divorce matters across all counties in New Jersey.  Dan has also argued cases before the Appellate Division.  Dan handles family law matters throughout all of New Jersey.  Specifically, he has appeared in court in the Counties of Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren.

    An advocate for his clients, Dan is accessible and responsive, committed to his clients during one of their toughest times.   The facts and circumstances of each case are different, requiring Dan to get elbows deep into every case and to understand how the facts of a specific case can change the outcome.  As there is no standard playbook or cookie-cutter approach to family law cases, Dan makes it his job to get to know the client and learn the client’s goals.  He understands that most clients have not been involved in family law cases, and he acts as an advocate, teacher, attorney, and litigator to guide them through the process. Dan knows he has done a good job when he receives messages from clients such as, “Just want to let you know for what it’s worth, I have a great sense of relief after our conversations/meetings. I know nothing is guaranteed but to hear positive dialogue regarding my case is uplifting.”

    Dan is co-chair of the Somerset County Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division and serves as an Early Settlement Panelist in Somerset and Hunterdon Counties.  He has lectured for New Jersey ICLE and Somerset County Inns of Court on a variety of family law issues. In addition to being active in the Somerset and Hunterdon County Bar Associations, Dan is a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association and an active participant in its Young Lawyers Division, including being a member of the Young Lawyers Division sub-committee of the Family Law Executive Committee. Prior to entering private practice, Dan served as Judicial Law Clerk for the Honorable Eugene A. Iadanza, J.S.C., Superior Court of New Jersey, Family Division, Monmouth County.

  • Education & Career

    Education

    Widener University School of Law | J.D., 2009
    Duquesne University | B.S.B.A., 2006

    Bar Admissions

    New Jersey
    U.S. District Court

    • District of New Jersey

    Professional Affiliations

    American Bar Association

    New Jersey State Bar Association

    • Young Lawyers Division
    • Family Law Section
      • Young Lawyers Subcommittee

    Somerset County Bar Association

    • Young Lawyers Division
      • Co-Chair

    Monmouth County Bar Association

Announcements

Blog
Legislative Impact on Family Law – A Sneak Peek

I knew I wanted to be a lawyer for as long as I can remember. My father is a retired juvenile detective from New Jersey.  I developed my love for the law through him. Law school proved challenging, requiring round-the-clock studying, but this diligence allowed me to graduate second in my class. Throughout law school and…

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A Modern Family – Third Parties Raising Children

The definitions of  “parenthood” and “family” continue to evolve. Today, it is not uncommon for a child to have a parent-child relationship with someone other than the biological parents. As the needs of children change, and as society changes, so does the law surrounding custody and parenting time. Therefore, a third party who lives in…

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Special Needs Child Support in New Jersey

I often hear attorneys say calculating child support is the easiest part of their job. In New Jersey, we have Child Support Guidelines.  As such, the New Jersey guidelines will be presumably accepted by both the parties and the Court. Child support is based on the parties’ respective combined available net income.  The support is…

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The Role of a Parent Coordinator in Custody Issues

Custody and parenting time issues are highly contentious and hotly contested in many New Jersey divorce cases.  Because of this, a Parent Coordinator can serve divorcing parties well by assisting them in trying to resolve their issues. Often times when either the parties agree or the Court enters an Order regarding same, a Parent Coordinator…

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Prolonged Separation = Divorce Complications

The New Jersey Appellate Division case of Milcarsky v. Milcarsky, confirmed the trial court’s decisions about thorny issues resulting from prolonged separation. In this case, the parties separated after nine years of marriage.  However, neither filed for divorce until 2015, 11 years later. The court treated this marriage as one of 20 years’ duration. The…

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What the heck is a QDRO?

Retirement accounts are often a divorcing couple’s largest asset – the home being another.  A QDRO must be entered by the court to divide retirement assets during a divorce in New Jersey. What does QDRO stand for? Unless you are going through, or have gone through a divorce, you have probably never heard of a…

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Is Living With Your Best Friend’s Brother Considered Cohabitation?

In the world of New Jersey family law, cohabitation is a term of art. It involves a mutually supportive, intimate, personal relationship where parties share the duties, responsibilities and privileges typically associated with marriage. Said another way, it is a relationship that has the hallmarks of marriage, but without the marriage ceremony. Evidence is Key…

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What should you think about if considering a divorce?

  While each case is different, there are general issues every client must contemplate when considering a divorce in New Jersey. Custody & Parenting Time The first and foremost consideration is if there are any children of the marriage. If so, the issues of custody and parenting time must be addressed. There are two different…

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Tax Issues for Divorced or Separated Individuals

The IRS, Publication 504, outlines a host of tax filing requirements for people who are married or separated when filing their annual tax returns. You are considered divorced for the entire year if you are divorced on any day in a given tax year. This is true even if you got divorced on December 31. …

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Criminal Charges: Interference with Custody

In New Jersey, people who interfere with custody can face criminal charges.  While rare, however, it can be effective when someone defies a court Order enforcing custody and parenting time. In a recent New Jersey case (State v. Thomas), a mother was convicted of third-degree interference with custody.  She took her daughter to a make-up…

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Divorce for Police Officers in New Jersey

Growing up as the daughter of a police officer in New Jersey, and now as a divorce lawyer, I have always admired and respected the men and women in blue.  Likewise, I saw the pride my father had every day when wearing his uniform, the respect he received from the public and his satisfaction in…

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Prenuptial Agreements, What’s the Deal?

Planning your wedding can be a lot of fun. There is much to do for the big day — the perfect dress, the matching tuxedo, the ceremony, the reception, the honeymoon and the million other details in between. Let me suggest adding another item to that seemingly never-ending “to-do” list – consider entering into a…

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Does a Child’s Income Impact Child Support?

In a New Jersey divorce, parents have an obligation to support unemancipated children as they are not self-sufficient. Child support is based on ten statutory factors.  But the primary factor in determining child support is the parents’ respective incomes.  In some cases, however, a child may have income or assets of their own. When establishing…

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Collaborative Divorce in New Jersey, say what?

Generally speaking, 97% – 98% of all divorce cases settle. Judges often tell divorcing parties that it is not a matter of “if” a case will settle, it is a matter of “when”.  Some cases settle in days, some weeks and others may linger for years. There are many factors that affect the time in…

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Palimony – Alimony for the Unmarried

New Jersey does not have common law marriages.  However, New Jersey allows unmarried parties to assert a claim for palimony. Often times the parties lived together but never married but have held themselves out as or operated like a married couple.  The expectation of continued support come from promises made during this time. Recently the…

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College Contributions in New Jersey Divorce Law

Divorced parents in New Jersey have an obligation to contribute to their children’s college expenses. On the other hand, married parents in New Jersey do not have the same obligation. The case of Newburgh v. Arrigo provides a list of factors for a court to consider in assessing the obligation of the parents. This case…

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Burkert Limits the Definition of Harassment

Many domestic violence cases center around allegations of harassment. The definition of harassment is when somebody intends to alarm or seriously annoy another person. To successfully obtain a final restraining order, the alleged victim must prove a predicate act of domestic violence.  Harassment is one example of such an act.  They must also prove that…

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Grounds for Divorce in New Jersey

A client may want a divorce, but may be unsure on what basis a court would grant them a divorce.  In New Jersey, there are several grounds for divorce.  The legal term for grounds for divorce is “cause of action.”  In every divorce, a party has to allege a specific cause of action that warrants…

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What is a Marital Settlement Agreement?

  The main goal of every divorce case is to reach an agreement with your spouse. A Marital Settlement Agreement, written and signed by both spouses, is a contract that defines the terms of their divorce. Depending on the issues in your case, the Marital Settlement Agreement must address a variety of issues. First, custody…

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Child Support Guidelines in New Jersey

  In New Jersey, child support is an issue in cases including children.  The tool used to calculate the child support awards are Child Support Guidelines.  The Guidelines must be used as a rebuttable presumption to establish and modify all child support orders. A rebuttable presumption means that an award pursuant to a guidelines calculation…

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Equitable Distribution of Negative Equity

  The factors that must be considered by the court for purposes of determining equitable distribution of assets and debts acquired during marriage are identified in N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23.1. Items included for purposes of equitable distribution are: marital properties vehicles bank accounts stock options retirement accounts mortgages credit card debts automobile loans any other assets and…

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What does imputation of income mean?

  In a New Jersey divorce, it is crucial to know the income of both parties.  It is equally important to know what each is capable of earning. The income of the parties must be known in order to resolve issues like alimony and child support. In many divorces, however, the income-producing spouse suddenly acquires…

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Same-Sex Marriages & Irreconcilable Differences in NJ

  On October 18, 2013, the New Jersey Supreme Court recognized same-sex marriages in the State of New Jersey. As part of that decision, the Court said, “[S]ame-sex couples who cannot marry are not treated equally under the law today. The harm to them is real, not abstract or speculative.”   The rights couples to…

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Custody & Parenting Time Orders – Sanctions for Violating

It is frustrating when the other parent constantly violates a clear Order governing custody and parenting time for my client.  New Jersey court rules and previous cases provide for a host of remedies to enforce a Court Order. For example, a court can award compensatory parenting time in the event an Order is not being…

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Child as a Witness in a New Jersey Divorce?

One of the most difficult issues a family law attorney faces is when a child is a witness to, or has important information about, an issue in his or her parent’s divorce case. I have never had a child provide a certification to the court.  I also never called a child as a witness.  Even…

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Divorce Litigation v. Divorce Collaboration

In reality, the vast majority of divorce cases settle. It is a rare case that is tried to conclusion. The damage done to the parties and, more importantly, the children after a divorce trial is severe and pervasive. I would say it is probably so traumatic that one never truly recovers from the wreckage of…

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Is technology making it hard to find money in NJ divorces?

In some New Jersey divorce cases, one party may use technology to hide or move money.  The good news is that there will almost always be a trail that can be traced. Cyrptocurrency The use of cryptocurrency to conceal assets is a concerning trend. According to Wikipedia, “A cryptocurrency (or crypto currency) is a digital…

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Custody and Parenting Time in New Jersey

Often in a divorce, the main area in dispute is custody and parenting time of a child. Litigants can spend months of their lives and thousands of dollars fighting over their child. Types of Custody and Parenting Time There are two different types of custody – legal custody and residential custody. With regard to legal…

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In a New Jersey Divorce, Who Gets the Pets?

In New Jersey, there is limited case law addressing who keeps the family pets after a divorce. Just because there is limited case law, does not mean there are not disputes and issues when it comes to Poochie. As of now, New Jersey courts view and treat pets as personal property and not a custodial…

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Taking my divorce case to trial in New Jersey, now what?

I author many articles that deal with the settlement of a divorce or family law case. While it is true that most cases settle, there are a small percentage of New Jersey cases (1%-2%) that do not settle.  A Judge decides the fate of the litigants when there is no settlement. While I strongly urge…

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Key Terms in a New Jersey Divorce

Divorce is a scary time for anyone thinking about it or going through it.  Divorce is also something that people do not understand until they are in the process.  Therefore, I have created a list of key terms that are helpful to those new to divorce. Property Settlement Agreement/Marital Settlement Agreement – A written contract…

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Why do I need to hire a divorce lawyer?

Going through a divorce is a life changing event. It is an uncertain and scary time. During the divorce, you will make very important decisions that will affect the rest of your life. The assets you have acquired during the marriage need to be identified, valued and distributed. Your marital lifestyle will need to be…

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Grandparent Visitation in New Jersey

Recently, a judge I appeared before summed up the status of grandparent visitation in New Jersey. He said if a grandparent wants visitation and the parent says “jump,” the grandparents’ response should be “how high?” Sad, but true, this is the current sentiment of grandparent rights in New Jersey. A fit parent has a fundamental…

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Alimony Basics in New Jersey

Generally speaking, alimony is often the hardest part of my job. Unlike child support, there are no alimony guidelines. Alimony is based on statutory factors and case law interpreting these factors. 12 New Jersey statutory factors: The actual need and ability of the parties to pay. The duration of the marriage. The parties’ age, physical…

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Alimony Duration & Exceptional Circumstances

In 2014, the New Jersey statute governing alimony was amended to modify certain provisions.  One of the changes was the alimony duration.  The statute, absent exceptional circumstances, alimony duration may not be longer than the length of the marriage. In the recent Appellate Division case of B.G. v. E.G, the court found exceptional circumstances, and…

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Unvested Stock Rewards in New Jersey Divorce

In a recent case, M.G. v S.M., the New Jersey Appellate Division decided in favor of the plaintiff husband.  The issue was whether or not a restricted stock award from the husband’s employer, which vested after the filing of a Complaint for Divorce, was subject to equitable distribution.  The trial court found that the wife was…

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What are you passionate about? Make time for it!

I am passionate about the practice of family and and am very active in the New Jersey State Bar Association (currently Treasurer). I recently participated in the NJSBA’s Women’s Leadership in the Law Forum at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick. A bonus from the event is the compilation of the insights and…

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Blended Family? Think about this

More than half of the families in the United States were formed by remarriages or re-coupling of relationships. Based on current statistics, half of all marriages in the United States end in divorce.  And, the average length of a marriage is seven years. With the ending of marriages, the subsequent remarriages or the forming of…

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An Emotionally Healthy Divorce in New Jersey

One of my hardest jobs as a divorce lawyer is managing an angry and bitter client. It always troubles me when a client demands that I get them justice or retribution through the divorce process. It is generally a difficult conversation and contrary to every stereotype believed by the client.  Justice is not always, and…

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Does Valentine’s Day cause divorce?

I recently came across this article Day after Valentine’s kicks off divorce season on CNN’s website. It discusses the increase in people seeking divorce, and in one study, this increase was about 40% during this particular season of love. According to the article, some believe Valentine’s Day triggers spouses to make a move in their marriage. It also mentions several other factors, such…

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What Records and Documents Should I Gather if I am Considering a Divorce?

If you are considering a divorce in New Jersey, a wise starting point is to inventory your financial records and documents. Here is a list of 14 records you should gather: Social Security Earnings Statement.  This is a snap shot of both parties’ respective income.  The statement shows a clear picture of the earning history…

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Private School Costs in New Jersey

In a New Jersey case where the parties’ agreement calls for them to “equally divide…school costs,” and one party does not contribute to the costs for years, even though not explicitly asked to do so, a court can enforce the agreement and compel contribution. In the unpublished Appellate Division case of Fanelli v. Hnatowski, the…

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Myths & Facts in New Jersey Divorce Law

Clients are often misguided as to their rights and obligations in a divorce and, because of this, their expectations are often unrealistic. Often, clients will tell me what they believe the law to be; only for me to have to tell them otherwise. Below are 6 of the the most common misperceptions that I hear….

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Super Bowl Sunday – Dangerous Day for Men and Women?

This Sunday, America will be celebrating our non-official national holiday  – The Super Bowl. As a divorce lawyer, I sometimes get asked, “Is it true that there are more domestic violence incidents on Super Bowl Sunday than any other day?” The Myth During my 21 years of practicing divorce law, I have not seen an…

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Protecting Personal Information in a New Jersey Divorce

  The basic presumption in New Jersey is that Court records are open to the public. This means that anyone can go into a New Jersey courthouse and review a divorce file of a relative, friend, or even a stranger. Before irreconcilable differences became a viable option as a cause of action for divorce, many…

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How does New Jersey treat victims of domestic violence?

Wife beating had been a fact of life for centuries. Marital abuse was traditionally acceptable and early common law recognized a husband’s right to beat his wife. Domestic violence was considered proper discipline. An old English proverb “A woman, a horse, a hickory tree, the more you beat ‘em the better they be” was the…

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What is an uncontested divorce hearing in New Jersey?

Statistically speaking, 97%-98% of all divorce cases settle before trial. Of the remaining 2%-3%, half of those cases settle during trial. If you are going through a divorce, it is safe to say that your case will settle. I tell my clients that generally it is not a matter of “if,” but a matter of…

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Parenting Time – Who is Responsible for Driving the Kids?

Often in custody disputes, there are disagreements over who is responsible for transporting the children to and from parenting time. In the Appellate Division case of Devorak v. Devorak, the court held that the parties were to share equally in the driving responsibilities. When the parties’ divorced, both lived in Woodbridge, New Jersey. They agreed…

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College expenses: can a parent get out of paying post-divorce?

In the recent Appellate Division case of M.F.W. v. G.O., the court upheld the lower court’s order requiring the father to contribute to his daughter’s college costs. The court, on motion, allocated the daughter’s college expenses 70/30 and declined to hold a hearing on the issue, finding that there were no issues of material facts…

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Is it worth it to get a prenup if you don’t have money like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos?

There are headlines all over the Internet about how Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos are getting divorced and do not have a pre-nuptial agreement.  Granted, there was no way they could have imagined that their fortune would be at valued at approximately $137 Billion.  I guess this is good news for MacKenzie as she can make…

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Things Clients Should Never Say to Their Children

After fifteen years of exclusively practicing matrimonial and family law, there are things I know for sure about divorce.  If you are already divorced, going through a divorce or contemplating a divorce, please read the following list.  Commit yourself to living by it.   It truly will be the best gift you can give your children. Here…

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Spying via i-Devices May Be Stalking in New Jersey

In this case, the court found the husband to have stalked his wife, adding that his intention in doing so was to gain evidence against her to use in their pending divorce proceeding.

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The Law on Removing a Child from New Jersey

Relocation/removal cases are some of the most difficult and heart-wrenching of all. This change in the law is welcome, and will hopefully reduce the strife and stress in children’s lives.

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Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: How Does it Impact Divorce?

  The recent Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, signed into law on December 22, 2017, by President Donald J. Trump.  The Act leaves family lawyers eager to understand its implications in preparation for an overwhelming number of questions from clients. The Act repeals the deduction for the alimony payments and their inclusion as income to…

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