A leap of faith: Why a primary school teacher changed her career to become a divorce lawyer and help minimise the effects of divorce or separation on children
Primary school teacher and mum-of-three Bronwyn O’Loan saw first-hand the physical, mental and emotional impacts of separation and divorce on children in her classroom.
Knowing she had to do something more to help both children and parents, Bron took a big leap of faith: she left her well-paying job, and enrolled in law school. After emerging as a family lawyer, she was determined to make a difference for separating families and vulnerable children. And so, in the middle of a pandemic, the North Sydney resident established O’Loan Family Law.
But she didn’t stop there.
Thanks to the pandemic, statistics show a 314 per cent increase in the number of couples thinking about separating during lockdown in Australia.
Deciding she needed to reach more parents who could be thinking about a divorce or separation, Bron wrote her first book; The Splits: How to help your kids navigate separation and divorce. Launching in August 2021, early copies of the book have received rave reviews — and it has already achieved Bestseller status in Amazon’s Single and Divorce categories.
The Splits provides a gentle how-to guide for separating families. It teaches parents to navigate the ups and downs of divorce and separation, while keeping their children’s needs front and centre.
“Separation can be really challenging for families — especially those with young children,” Bron said.
“My book shows parents how to support their kids through separation, including how to tackle those painful, difficult conversations.”
“It encourages parents to talk to their children and understand their needs, while building a solid foundation for the family to live a better life post-separation.”
The book has struck a deep chord with readers.
“Divorce is tough. Dealing with a relationship breakdown and the impact on your kids and family is even tougher. I was really impressed with the advice that Bron O’Loan provided and recommend this book to anyone who is dealing with a divorce, separation or ‘split’,” said one reader.
“Of all the books to have in your ‘divorcing with kids’ survival kit, this one would have to be top of your list. A practical and easily digestible guide to what to do and what NOT to do, this book is a ‘must have’ for any parent who wishes to provide their children with safe passage through separation,” shared another.
Research shows that children deal much better with separation if both parents minimise conflict and cooperate on behalf of the kids.
“As a teacher, I could only do so much to support children, but as a lawyer, I could make a genuine difference, and support vulnerable families through some of the most difficult challenges in life,” Bron said.
“My core focus is to guide my clients to get through the splits, with their family relationships intact enough to ensure the kids are okay. Writing and releasing this book has been a huge part of that.”
Bron is not your average lawyer. Her firm does things a little bit differently, focusing on the wellbeing of her clients and her staff. Her method has been so successful, she’s even been named as a finalist in the 2021 AusMumpreneur Awards in the categories of Emerging Entrepreneur and NSW Service Business.
“I knew law could be different,” Bron explained.
“With my own business, I could put processes into practice to make an already difficult time even just a little bit easier for families.”
“As a law firm, we take the time to understand an individual’s situation, and consider the best pathways forward for everyone involved. We offer fixed, flexible pricing, assisted DIY separation, and options for online consultations, smart portals and smart forms to make legal support affordable and accessible—which is particularly important for our clients who need transparency and efficiency to finalise their separation.”
“By doing things a little differently, our firm has seen a lot of positive outcomes.”
“It means a lot to be able to help families of all kinds move forward amicably. It feels nice to know we are making a difference, especially while creating a meaningful legacy for my kids.”