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Carla M. Calabrese
D Best

Carla M. Calabrese

Area of Practice:


From the Lawyer (Sponsored)

Area of Practice: Divorce and Family Law

Park Cities | Preston Hollow | Dallas | Plano | Frisco

For more than 25 years, Carla M. Calabrese has successfully represented clients in every area of family law. What sets Carla apart is her balance of tenacity and level-headedness and her formative big firm training at Dallas-based Haynes & Boone, LLP.  Carla primarily handles divorces and marital agreements for high-net worth clients with complex property and business issues.  Combining her business background with being highly adept at reading and understanding people’s emotions, Carla strategically counsels clients to protect what matters most to them.

As a Master Credentialed Collaborative Divorce attorney (one of only a few in the Dallas area) and a pioneer of Emotionally Intelligent Divorce®, she skillfully navigates and guides her clients through the tumult of emotions that accompany the ending of a marriage.  Whether in Collaborative Divorce or litigation, Carla, decisive and possessing a rigorous work ethic, goes to bat for her clients. She unrelentingly pursues her clients’ goals yet does not lose sight of the fact that over-zealous representation damages clients and their families.

Carla’s vast family law experience also includes child custody, paternity, child support, modifications of the parent-child relationship, grandparents’ rights, adoption and assisted reproductive technology including surrogacy and gestational arrangements.  Early in her career as a divorce attorney, she knew she also wanted to help bring families together.  To that end, Carla has helped hundreds of clients form or expand their families through domestic and international adoption.

Carla and her partner, Lee Budner (also a former big firm civil litigator), combine large firm experience with boutique attention and focus to create one of the most successful and effective family law firms in Dallas.

Calabrese Budner is a North Texas Leader in divorce litigation, Collaborative Divorce, complex property division, high net worth estates, pre and post marital agreements, child custody and support, modifications of existing child custody and child support orders, domestic and international adoption, surrogacy, egg donor, and gestational agreements, and assisted reproductive technology (ART).

Carla is recognized by her peers and named among D Magazines Best Lawyers in Dallas, D Magazine’s Best Women Lawyers in Dallas, Best Lawyers in America (U.S. News -Best Lawyers®️), Top Women Attorneys in Texas (Texas Monthly), and Super Lawyers.  Calabrese Budner LLP is named among the Best Law Firms in America (U.S. News -Best Lawyers®️).   Carla Calabrese is a Master Credentialed Collaborative Divorce Attorney. Carla is a member of the well- respected international Adoption and Assisted Reproductive Attorney Academy, one of the select few in Dallas. She founded two adoption agencies - A Cradle of Hope ( and the well-known local non-profit, Hope International Adoption and Humanitarian Agency ( 

Our attorneys have expertise in the following areas:


Collaborative Law

Child Custody Support and Visitation

Post-Divorce Modifications/ Enforcement of Court Orders

Pre and Post Martial Agreements

Complex Property Division

High Net Worth Divorce

Paternity and Parentage

LGBTQ+ Families


Assisted Reproductive Technology/ Surrogacy and Gestational Agreements

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