Bruce Law Firm June 2019

June 2019

A Day on the Ocean

There’s nothing like being on the ocean on a warm summer day with just the right amount of breeze to cool you off. Getting out on the water clears my mind unlike any other remedy I’ve found. Both Ashley and I love the ocean, and each of us grew up with a natural appreciation for it fostered by our parents and our proximity to the water. It was one of the main ways I connected with my dad when I was a kid. During fishing trips and days on the boat, I got to hang out with him for hours at a time, and we had conversations that somehow didn’t happen as naturally on land. A lot of my life outside of work and school was spent on the water. Going out on a boat with my dad taught me how to appreciate the fact that the ocean is so accessible here in South Florida. We’re incredibly lucky to be near it.

Ashley’s mom has a place in Fort Pierce, and each summer, we take the kids up there to an intercoastal area where the Indian River intersects with the ocean. Certain sections of the river are several miles wide, and scattered across the shallow water are little islands. We’ll take the boat to the islands and enjoy our day exploring and cruising around. A rich array of wildlife exists there. The mangroves on the shores of the Indian River serve as homes for many creatures, and we often see dolphin families swimming nearby, as well as sea turtles, manatees, and pelicans. Russell and Ruby get so excited every time we spot a dolphin fin or a pelican landing close by, and it’s a joy to share this special place with our kids. Something we started doing with Russell and Ruby a couple years ago is picking up debris we see on the beach. We want to manage our own footprint and keep this area pristine and beautiful, so the next person who comes along can enjoy it as we have. We want to do our part to preserve the natural habitat for the wildlife that call this place home. We’ve seen too many beached whales, their stomachs full of garbage, and have heard too many accounts of sea turtles confusing plastic bags for their preferred meal of jellyfish to not do our collective part to make things better for the creatures that were here first. Ashley and I have long supported the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA), an organization dedicated to advising and educating people about the conservation of marine resources. For a while, I even served as the president of our West Palm Beach chapter, but between raising two kids and running a law firm, we haven’t been as involved in the last few years as we’d like to be. Their mission still resonates with us, and we’re looking forward to getting back to the CCA as the kids get a little older. Caring for our natural environment is a value Ashley and I share, and it’s important to us to do all we can to maintain and preserve the beautiful natural area we’re lucky enough to have here in Florida. When we imagine Russell and Ruby enjoying these marine areas for years to come, we know the only way to guarantee they can is by doing our part to maintain the land and share our love for the ocean with our kids.

– Chris and Ashley Bruce

We love and respect the ocean

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Boundary Testing During Divorce

How to Put a Stop to the Manipulative Cycle


In many of the divorces we come across, spouses will “boundary test” or see if they can control you and your lawyer. We see this especially in cases where control issues have been a pattern in the marriage, and though the behavior isn’t exclusive to men, we do see boundary testing more often from manipulative, controlling husbands.

Our advice? Be assertive but don’t be a jerk.


The key is to halt the previous relationship pattern of your spouse controlling you and the marriage. Don’t let this continue into the divorce. Show your spouse their control ends now. If your spouse sees that they can control you or your lawyer, the divorce process is going to be tough. I know it’s not easy. Start one day at a time. It can be as simple as not following his rules anymore. As you stand up for yourself, your spouse may accuse you of being controlled by your lawyer or someone else. But you know what? It doesn’t matter. As you feel stronger, you will know you are taking steps toward a better life. Don’t engage in manipulative conversations with your spouse; they’re a dead-end street. If your spouse gives you ultimatums or makes demands, let your lawyer deal with it. That’s what you’re paying them for! Know that boundary testing may be an issue during the divorce. When you can, take small steps now to stand up for yourself. If you don’t already have a therapist, consider finding one to help you through the divorce process. Take a look at therapists we have listed on or call our office, and we’ll reach out to our network and find qualified people for you to consider.

Setting some time aside to be with family is important, but it can be difficult when everyone is always on their cellphones. Constant cellphone use has become a global problem, and the habit is hard to break because we rely on mobile devices heavily for work, school, and keeping in contact with friends and family. Luckily, there are plenty of apps that can reduce how often you’re on your phone and minimize distractions. SIEMPO After you install Siempo on your phone, it will ask which apps are likely to distract you. Once you select them, the app will move those apps away from the home screen and place the important ones, such as the messaging, contacts, email, and calendar apps, on the first screen. You can also designate times for specific apps to be used throughout the day. STAY FOCUSED Stay Focused is like Siempo, but there are some significant differences. You can set times to access certain apps and put the most distracting ones on lock. Stay Focused also has a “strict mode” that prevents you from uninstalling it, so be sure to think carefully before activating the lockdown because you won’t have access to those specific apps until the timer runs out. FOREST In the time that Forest takes control of your device for a set time limit, the app starts growing a tree. Once the tree is fully grown, your time is up, and it joins the other trees that were grown during other breaks. If you pick up your phone and try to access an app, Forest will send you a notification asking you if you want to kill your baby tree by giving up. Who says guilt isn’t a good motivator? BESIDES APPS Aside from using these apps, silencing your phone and putting it in another room, leaving it in your car if you’re out at dinner, or keeping it in your purse or back pocket during a social event can also reduce your screen time. Having your phone out of sight and out of reach will keep the temptation of pulling it out at bay.

We cover boundary testing and other topics on our website and have all of this information available in videos.We know divorce is not easy, but you will get through this!

Is your friend or client in need of a guide as they prepare for divorce? our divorce strategy book can help! The book can be downloaded for FREE at If your friend or client lives in the South Florida area, we will mail them a hard copy of the book upon request.

Spending time with your family is crucial, and with these apps and tips, you’ll enjoy each other’s company without too many screen distractions.

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Giving Some TLC to Our Beaches


As we shared on the cover, we are passionate about preserving the beautiful area we call home. One way to do this is to leave no trace when we visit our beaches, as well as pick up any debris we see while we’re there. Even the simple act of removing a plastic bottle has a difference; it means one less sea turtle or pelican will mistake it for food. World Ocean Day is on June 8, and many local organizations are participating by coordinating beach cleanups. This is a great way to give back and maintain the beautiful natural areas we all enjoy. If you and your family and friends want to get involved, here are a few local cleanups you can participate in. Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) Trash Tournament June 1–8 Various times and locations The first ever CCA Trash Tournament pits caring folks against caring folks in the battle to save our oceans. The reward for trash collectors? Cleaner beaches, the glory of knowing you contributed, and cool prizes for those who collect the most trash! The concept is similar to that of a fishing tournament, except instead of fish, you submit trash collections! Participate throughout the week and log your entries in the iAngler

app. Download the app ( to register or reach out to Amanda Krpan at 352-278-2708 or

Florida World Oceans Day Beach Cleanup June 8, 1–5 p.m. West Palm Beach

Join the Ocean Blue Project, a grassroots nonprofit with the goal of saving the ocean one beach cleanup at a time, as they meet to tidy our beautiful beaches! They’ll bring the buckets and gloves; you bring your friends, family, and anyone who wants to prevent plastic from harming our oceans and the wildlife that inhabits them.

Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful Various dates and times

This nonprofit organizes beach cleanups throughout the year, including monthly meetups and events. Visit their website,, or Facebook page for dates and additional details.

From all of us at Bruce Law, thank you for doing your part to keep our oceans beautiful!

have a LAUGH

Zucchini Salad With Toasted Hazelnuts


1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped

3 small zucchini (3/4 lb.)

1/2 tsp lemon zest, grated

Mint leaves, for garnish

3 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano- Reggiano, for garnish

3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste


1. Using a mandolin or very sharp knife, slice zucchini lengthwise into extremely thin, wide ribbons. 2. Arrange zucchini ribbons on a plate, sprinkle with lemon zest, and drizzle with juice. 3. Drizzle oil over zucchini, season with salt and pepper, and toss. 4. Scatter hazelnuts over the top, garnish with mint and cheese, and serve.

Inspired by Food & Wine magazine

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1601 Forum Pl. Ste. 1101 West Palm Beach, FL 33401

A Day on the Ocean page 1

Take a Break From Your Smartphone

The Woman’s Guide to Divorce page 2

Let’s Celebrate World Ocean Day! page 3

Take a Deep Breath page 4

An Ancient Solution to Modern Problems The Truth About Meditation

Close your eyes and take a deep breath.

and patients who habitually meditate report less chronic pain. Another study published in the same journal found that regular meditation also fights depression.

This is the first step in every meditation session. Though often associated with the New Age metaphysical movement, meditation isn’t all about incense and healing crystals. Meditation is an ancient practice that strengthens your mental focus, and recent research suggests that it offers real solutions to modern problems.


Meditating is as simple as sitting in a quiet place, closing your eyes, and focusing on your breathing for a few minutes. Whenever your mind starts to wander, gently bring it back to your breath. You don’t need to climb a mountain or pay for a week-long retreat to start meditating.

WHAT IS MEDITATION? Meditation has strong roots in various religious and cultural traditions, but anyone can find value in practicing it. The purpose of meditation is to strengthen your mind by promoting mindfulness, focus, and awareness. DOES MEDITATION WORK? It depends on what you mean by “work.”Will meditation allow you to defy gravity and hover above

That said, there are plenty of resources that help beginners build a strong foundation for meditation. Popular apps like Calm or Headspace are available on any smartphone and offer guided courses you can start anywhere, anytime. You could also check online or at your local community center for group classes if you would like some in-person guidance.

Meditation isn’t a magical ritual that will cure all that ails you, but plenty of research suggests meditation does provide tangible benefits to our mental and physical well-being. Maybe one day, meditation will be

the earth? Probably not. But there are so many benefits that will leave you feeling lighter in another way. A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that mindful meditation lowers stress levels,

as commonplace as daily exercise.

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