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Texas family law attorney Kris Balekian Hayes recently achieved professional status as a Board Certified Lawyer in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization (TBLS). Kris earned her law degree at St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio after completing her Bachelor of Business Administration at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. She continued her education by earning a Master of Business Administration at St. Mary’s University School of Business. With more than 20 years of experience practicing family law, she is a credentialed mediator in all civil, family and CPS matters. Today she serves as president of Balekian Hayes, PLLC, based in Dallas, TX. 

Because Family Law involves a wide range of family issues including marriage, divorce proceedings, legal custody and adoption, distribution of assets and ownership of property acquired before and during the marriage, and much more, it’s crucial to find a lawyer that has specialized knowledge. A board certified family lawyer will have the knowledge and expertise needed to navigate state laws and codes ( e.g., Texas Family Code) and the trials and appeals of Family Law cases.

According to the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, in order to be certified as a board certified specialist in family law, a lawyer must:

  • Practice law fulltime for at least five years as an active member of the State Bar of Texas;
  • Have at least three years of Family Law experience with a yearly minimum 35% substantial involvement with Family Law matters;
  • Participation in a specific number of contested final trials, court appearances, civil trials, appeals and represented parties in mediation matters;
  • Have qualified vetted references from judges and lawyers in the area;
  • Completed 60 hours of TBLS approved continuing legal education in Family Law;
  • Meet all of the TBLS Standards for Attorney Certification; and
  • Pass a comprehensive 6-hour examination in Family Law

Certification is granted for a period of five years. To maintain certification, a lawyer must again demonstrate that he or she is substantially involved in the practice area; attend CLE seminars in the practice area; and be favorably evaluated by peers.


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