'I’d set a New Year’s resolution at least twice to write a book.'
Clarissa Rayward is the Happy Family Lawyer and the Director of Brisbane Family Law Centre, a multi-disciplinary legal practice where her team of lawyers works alongside counsellors and financial planners to ensure their clients have the holistic support they need throughout their separations.
Over the past 13 years Clarissa has helped over 2,000 Australian families through their divorces and she specialises in helping separating families stay out of the Family Courts.
Clarissa found herself in her role as a divorce lawyer giving similar advice and then at the same time ‘putting out fires’ when clients made mistakes in managing their own affairs. For years, she had wanted to write a book that would enable her clients to move through their divorce process with as little pain as possible.
‘I’d set a New Year’s resolution at least twice to write a book; a book that would help my clients work their way through divorce in a way that would minimise the harm for them and their families. I even had a title!’
The book was Splitsville: How to separate, stay out of court and stay friends, a guide to help families navigate the legal issues associated with their relationship breakdown and put them on the path to a successful future.
Splitsville teaches readers:
- How to amicably negotiate with your spouse
- What you need to do to avoid the Court process
- Why it’s better to work with your ex-partner rather than against them to achieve your goals
- The importance of continuing communication and compassion
- How to select the right family lawyer
- Real case studies of couples who chose to work together for the benefit of their children
Reaching 25,000 people after getting published
Since writing her book, she has been able to reach more and more people to change to face of divorce in Australia. Her blog, ‘The Happy Family Lawyer’, has now been read over 25,000 times and almost every client says this blog is their primary reason for choosing Clarissa over her competitors.
She has been featured on Channel 9’s Morning show, the Channel 9 News, ABC612 Radio, The Courier Mail, MX Magazine and more. Splitsville has also led to speaking opportunities and to connections that are broadening her business.
And in 2015 Clarissa was awarded the Lawyers Weekly ‘Thought Leader of the Year’ Award for her work in opening a dialogue for better ways to support families experiencing divorce and separation.
‘I did some numbers. I went back to January, February, March of last year and I compared it to January, February and March of this year, and there’s been a 50% increase in the number of clients engaged in my firm when I just look at those periods.’