Your Divorce Experts

Dominique Bergel-Grant and Sophie Atkinson both have over 20 years of experience as Financial Planners. They specialise in helping women navigate the divorce process and rebuild their lives with confidence.

Dominique Bergel-Grant

My Why

Having been divorced myself, and witnessed my mother fight my father for almost 20 years in Australian Family Law Courts my mission is to help women reclaim their lives after divorce.

Over the years as a qualified financial planner and divorce coach, I have had the opportunity to help women one to one. Tall Poppy Women is about turning my Mother's painful divorce story into a positive impact. It is time that as women we stand tall after divorce, are not afraid to be cut down by words, and redesign our lives exactly the way we want, and most importantly deserve.

We all start somewhere

Listen to Dominique's Story Now

I went from overworked employee to starting my own financial advice practice back in 2011. I often got asked why financial advice? For me, this became an incredibly personal question. To understand why here is my story...

My mother was an amazing woman, a Doctor with a very busy practice in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs. Born in 1940 being a doctor was not the norm and I always admired her for pushing through. I am also incredibly grateful to my grandparents that they held my Mother to the same education standards as her older brother, who by that time was a qualified Doctor.

She had started to build a lifestyle that she defined success by. She had a farm, her home in Sydney along with a range of different investment properties. She was without a doubt doing well for herself.

Just before she turned 40 she got married and I was born shortly afterwards. The reality of marriage, however, was not one of a fairy tale, instead, it was one of deception and lies. 

During the marriage, my Mother continued to try to build a lifestyle by purchasing a property in London, Los Angeles, and Barcelona. Her dream was to be able to travel freely and benefit from years of hard work.

Two years after I was born, my Father disappeared back to Argentina. However, he kept in contact to ask for money. As often is the case with love, she not only helped him with money but went on to set him up in a gemstone business to encourage him back to Australia. He took up the option, perhaps all too eagerly. 

To support this new fledgling business she went on to sell all of her investment properties around Sydney's inner suburb of Glebe. This money was used to buy gemstones in the business. Less than two years later he left the country, never to return again along with all the gemstones. At the time Australia did not have an extradition treaty with Spain which was his newly chosen home.

So then started a long and lengthy family law court case. My Father however was not willing to wait for the result. He went on to strip the house in Barcelona of all its furniture, and illegally sold the property in Los Angeles; his new partner signed the sale documents pretending to be my Mother. A few years later he then went on to sell the Barcelona property again illegally. The one property that remained was the London house.

The years and years of fighting a ghost in the family law court took a toll on my Mother. My Father was unable to be contacted for over 10 years putting a total pause on formal legal actions. In the mean time my Mother had made the decision to keep fighting him with all that she had. She gave up her medical practice and put all her energy into the fight.

She protected me by sending me to boarding school in the United Kingdom, which gave me safety and regularity. However, the downside of this is that it also gave her more time to focus on the fight.

As a child, there was little I could do. However, having witnessed this it just makes me wish there was someone there to tell my mother to stop the fight. In the end, the court case finished in 2003, having started in 1986. The property settlement was confirmed in my mother's favour. However, by this time there was only the London property left. The delay in years had left the London property in a state of disrepair after vandalisation it became a fire sale.

For my Mother, she had put every financial resource and emotional energy she had into fighting my Father. She had nothing left. Within two years of the court case finally finishing she was diagnosed with dementia and passed away six years later. No one knows if the two are linked, but the mental toll the fight took on her I have no doubt possibly contributed to her end diagnosis. 


My focus is on helping women navigate the initial grief, anger and overwhelm following separation and divorce. Showing a path to not just survive divorce, but thrive. I combine my years of financial planning, psychology research, and my own personal experiences to better arm women with knowledge and practical tools. 

I am here to say that life after divorce is yours to claim, so start today!


More about Dominique

Named by Financial Standard as one of the Top 50 Social Media Power Finance Influencers

Winner of the 2014 Business Transformation Series on Sky Business

Financial Expert on Channel Nine Investment Series

Multi-Award Winner as Both a Financial Planner & Mortgage Broker

Can Be Found Skiing Down The Nearest Slopes

Most Grateful For My Passport

Sophie Atkinson

My Story

Listen to Sophie's story now

My first experience with divorce was when I was 23. In addition to all the emotions of divorce and loss of friends, my home had to be sold which left me feeling vulnerable but I was determined to build my own security so that no matter what happened in future, I would always have a house that was my own. 

For the next few years, I worked hard and saved hard. I moved back in with my parents until I had enough from my property settlement and savings to buy a small cottage in the Inner West of Sydney. I rented it out for 4 years as this was the only way I could afford the loan. Finances were scarce but it felt really good knowing I had my own property.

My second experience with divorce happened about 15 years later. I had a 3 year old daughter and a 4 month old son.

Over 7 years I had many legal challenges in the Family Court.  Countless interim orders, two 3-day trials, and an appeal.  Once we had Family Court orders in place for the children, I withdrew my application for a financial settlement. It was a hard decision but I knew if I kept going the fees for forensic accountants, solicitors and barristers could out way the benefit and I was not willing to risk losing my house despite what the Lawyers were advising.

As my children were so young, I found it very hard in the beginning not seeing them when they were with their father.  However, I realised that if I didn’t let go of what I couldn’t control I would be miserable and I had to be ok for myself and for the kids. To keep myself busy I enrolled in a Master’s Degree which was something I had always wanted to do. Over time it became easier for me to be apart from the kids and it helped that I had something else to focus on and new goals to achieve.


My kids are now 15 and 12 and are healthy and happy and so am I. When they spend time with their Dad I enjoy “my” time because being a single Mum can be exhausting! I feel I can be Mum but I can also be Sophie. I spend my time doing things that I feel I can’t do when the kids are at home without feeling worried or guilty.

Although at times things can look extraordinarily difficult, with time it does get easier. I believe you should keep setting goals and making steps - even tiny steps each day to get you to where you want to be. It takes perseverance and determination but if you want it, you can achieve it!

My Career

After I bought my cottage, it didn’t take long for me to recognise that a job on minimum wages was not going to pay the bills. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do so I enrolled in a Bachelor of Business course, majoring in marketing as a mature age student at the same time as operating my business.

3 years into my degree it was time to choose my electives. I was still battling with myself over career options and had nothing planned. I decided to choose Finance as my elective because, if nothing else, I thought it could help me in the future.  Pretty much as soon as I started, I knew this was the area I wanted to work in. I got a job as a Junior Financial Adviser and while I was still on minimum wages, I was in a position to move up and make more money in a role that I loved.

A few a years into my junior adviser role, one of the partners retired. He offered me the opportunity to buy his business. It was a big decision because it meant I had to borrow money and use my house as security. But, I knew that it was the right move for me. I loved the work, I wanted the flexibility of working for myself and I also wanted to determine how much money I made and not be restricted by how much someone else was willing to pay me. So, in the year 2000 I bought my first business.

After 3 years I bought another business and I am still looking after some of those clients nearly 20 years later!

I came up with the name Visualise Wealth which represented visualising the future and the goals that I wanted to achieve.

In 2001 I became a Certified Financial Planner® and subsequently became a Life Risk Specialist® and an Accredited Aged Care Specialist. In 2019 I completed my Master’s Degree in Applied Finance, specialising in Estate Planning. I am currently in the process of completing Certified Money Coach studies.

I feel passionate about financial literacy for my clients and ensuring they understand my recommendations. It is very rewarding to watch someone evolve from being overwhelmed and worried about their money to understanding their finances and feeling in control about their future.

Why working with Tall Poppy Women is Important to me

I have worked with many women who are facing a similar Family Law situation to mine. I feel so much empathy as I understand the stress and worry they are feeling. Uncertainty about parenting orders, the emotions of not being with your children, the anxiety about how they will cope and how you will cope. I understand sleepless nights worried about money.

I am very much looking forward to helping build a community of women that can provide support and information.

Combining my Financial Planning skills with my personal experiences to support and empower women through divorce will provide me a great sense of fulfillment and achievement of another goal!

Tall Poppy Woman is the publisher of this website and is owned by Tall Poppy Creator Limited. Dominique Bergel-Grant is the founder and owner of Leapfrog Financial Pty Limited trading as Leapfrog LIFE and Sophie Atkinson is the founder and owner of Visualise Wealth Pty Limited and both individuals authorised representatives of Crown Wealth Group Pty Limited which holds Financial Services License, number 494274.


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