Bruce Law Firm - September 2019

September 2019


In July, Chris and I embarked on an adventure-filled rafting trip along the Rogue River in Oregon. As you likely have sensed, we’re the type of people who prefer woods, cabins, and rapids to resorts and beach lounging. It’s not that we don’t enjoy those vacations, but we like a trip that gets us a little out of our comfort zone and into a front row seat with Mother Nature. This vacation provided both. Even if we’d wanted to use our cellphones, we couldn’t have. We were totally off the grid and on the river.

We set out on our three-day journey on the raft just after Independence Day along with four other guided boats in a group of about 15 people. It’s interesting how dynamics change when you don’t have your cellphone to default back to. Because you’re disconnected from the rest of the world, you get to know people really well. You talk face to face and have genuine conversations. There’s no text messaging, so it’s just you, your companions, and nature. We spent three days and two nights on the river, winding through federally protected land and experiencing the intoxicating beauty of this preserved area. The river was breathtaking, full of twists, turns, and gorgeous views. Spring had brought new life, and we saw evidence of this in families of mink, ducks, and geese, and a close-up view of a little deer with its mother. We also saw three bears on our journey. One of our guides is studying to be a wilderness specialist. They take people outside and help them tune in to nature through experiences they wouldn’t have in their everyday life. “Wilderness therapy,” they call it. It’s an interesting concept, isn’t it? The practice hinges on the idea that nature can restore and heal us. Being on the river, I feel these concepts at play. You remember to be grateful for life as you consider your own existence in the grand scheme of things. You see fossils and feel gratitude for the people who came before you and appreciated and preserved beautiful areas like this. Of course, as beautiful as the river is, she’s not without her tests. We encountered plenty of rapids, mostly Class III, but there were a few Class IVs that got a little hairy. This part of the journey can be scary, but it also makes you feel alive. There’s a self-rescue aspect to rafting that forces you to overcome your fear. If you fall out, people will try to help you, but, ultimately, you have to help yourself. The guides can only do so much. In our divorce law practice, we are much like the river guides. Like the guides, we are there to protect our clients. We help them navigate the best path through turbulent times. Like the guides, we maneuver clients carefully through the rapids of their divorce and around the rocks, safely to their takeout. But it takes courage for our clients to get out of their comfort zones and exercise their own self-rescues. I’m so grateful we were able to experience this incredible river and get a little out of our comfort zone. It was an amazing trip. It’s good to be home, but, of course, we’re already fantasizing about our next adventure. – Ashley and Chris Bruce 561-810-0170 • 1

Know the Basics The First Steps in Your Divorce Case While your divorce court process may be designed to avoid litigation, it’s still important to have a general idea of what will likely happen through the court system if your case is not resolved quickly. You don’t have to know everything about the proceedings — leave that up to your attorney. You just need to know the basics of timing and process so you can be prepared to carry out an effective strategy for a smooth divorce. Here is an overview of the initial stage of most divorce cases. THE DIVORCE LAWSUIT FILING AND RESPONSES The first part of most divorce cases is filing and responses. A divorce case starts by filing a petition for divorce, which is technically a lawsuit against your spouse. So, just like any other lawsuit, it will appear in public records. This will take place in the last county where you and your spouse resided as a married couple. Location may vary if you recently moved after a divorce petition was filed. The other spouse will typically file their own petition, as well. Usually, there is a 20-day response deadline from the other party. If you’ve been served, be sure to respond within that time period. If you need more than 20 days, talk to an attorney. These petitions are basic documents and don’t detail everything that happened in the marriage. When I file them, I keep them straightforward and only include the information the judge needs to know to get you divorced, with requests for different things you want in the divorce, like alimony and division of property. Next month, we’ll take you through the next phase in proceedings: the initial exchange of financial records. You can find more information and resources on our website,



School is back in session, but your child may be bringing home more than just random facts. Germs and bacteria that spread the common cold and flu are most prevalent in schools, but while these illnesses are strong, prevention is simple. Teach your kids how to prevent the spread of bacteria this season with these helpful tips. BUT MOMMY DOESN’T COVER HER NOSE! Kids learn more by watching what you do rather than listening to what you tell them to do. Get in the habit of covering your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze, and then wash your hands. Make hand sanitizer and facial tissues readily available in your home and be sure to wash your hands before every meal. In addition, stick to healthy habits when you do feel sick. Drink fluids, get plenty of rest, and seek medical attention when it’s warranted. If your children see you taking care of yourself, they will be more likely to do the same for themselves in the future. AHH ... AHH ... ACHOO! Hand washing and nose blowing are about as fun as …well, just that. It’s no wonder children don’t want to take time out of their busy play schedules to combat nasty germs. Instead of making these important steps a chore, make basic hygiene fun. Use fun songs to teach the proper way to cover a sneeze, or do a science experiment to teach your children about how the germs spread through just one sneeze. (According to research, sneezes can travel anywhere from 19–26 feet at 100 miles per hour!) For crafty kids, let them decorate tissue boxes or hand sanitizer containers to give hygiene some flair. Soon enough, you’ll find them being smarter about their health. As kids pack into classrooms this fall, germs will fly faster than this past summer did. Prevent the spread of the common cold and flu by learning more tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention online at

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.

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Wilderness Therapy

Getting Outside to Recharge

As Ashley and Chris shared on the cover, spending time outside can be restorative and makes us feel happier and healthier. Moreover, it’s just plain fun. You don’t have to go on a three-day raft trip to reap some of nature’s benefits, either. Just a small amount of time outdoors can clear your mind and boost your mood, and it has been shown to reduce blood pressure and the production of stress hormones. Nearby, we have access to many beautiful natural areas, including preserved swamplands, rivers, and the ocean. Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge , for example, allows you to connect to the Everglades — an ecosystem unique to Florida that contains a plethora of wildlife. In addition to walking and hiking in the refuge, you can canoe and boat in designated areas. It’s a truly unique place.

paddleboarding, this can be a fun, interactive way to experience the outdoors. A morning kayak trip may be just the peaceful restart you need. Boynton Beach is one of the many great areas where you can do this, and you can enjoy a meal and shopping experience after your water playtime. Riverbend Park has nearly 10 miles of trails, and it’s a beautiful area for biking or hiking. Get in touch with nature as you connect with an aspect of Palm Beach history. The Second Seminole War took place in this very park, and features of it pay tribute to this moment in Florida’s history. If you’re feeling stressed, try heading outside. Whether you take a walk around the block or enjoy a morning on the water, chances are you’ll feel more at ease and better prepared to handle life’s challenging moments after a dose of nature. Go on, spend some time outdoors!

How about a day on the water trying out a new activity? If you’ve never tried kayaking or stand-up

have a LAUGH

Cacio e Pepe


3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, ideally Parmigiano-Reggiano

6 oz pasta, ideally spaghetti or bucatini

3 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed and divided

1/3 cup finely grated pecorino cheese

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Kosher salt, for pasta water and to taste


1. In a large pot, bring 3 quarts of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stopping 2 minutes short of desired doneness. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water. 2. In a large pan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add pepper and cook until toasted and aromatic, about 1 minute. Add reserved pasta water and bring to a simmer. 3. Transfer pasta and remaining butter to pan and reduce heat to low. Add Parmesan cheese and cook until melted, tossing pasta throughout. Remove pan from heat and add pecorino, continuing to toss until cheese is melted and sauce coats pasta. 4. Transfer to bowls and serve.

Inspired by Bon Appétit

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

Our Rogue River Adventure page 1

Teach Your Kids Flu Prevention

Divorce Court Proceedings: First Steps page 2

Find Your Nature Scape page 3

Honoring the Canines of 9/11 page 4

The 4-Legged Heroes of Ground Zero Honoring the Canines of 9/11

In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, thousands of New Yorkers took to the streets to clear rubble, offer supplies, and search for survivors. It was a powerful act of resilience in a deeply trying time, and while most of the individuals helping with the disaster stood on two feet, more than 300 canines also answered the call to service.

the dogs during their shifts. Some dogs that found deceased victims refused to eat or interact with other animals. Search and rescue dogs became increasingly stressed and depressed the longer they searched without any results, mirroring their handlers. It wasn’t uncommon for handlers to stage mock “findings” of survivors to keep the dogs’ spirits up. Fortunately, the sacrifices these dogs and their handlers made did not go unnoticed. Many dog owners were inspired to earn their search and rescue certifications after the events of 9/11, promising to aid in future disasters and hopefully lessen the impact of such catastrophes. After 9/11, various researchers conducted many studies examining the effect this kind of work has on animals, both physically and mentally. Many of these studies wouldn’t be possible without the AKC Canine Health Foundation, so if you’re looking to give back this September, visit them at their website to see how you can help: .

Dogs of all breeds and backgrounds, including search and rescue dogs, police dogs, service dogs, and therapy dogs, were brought in to help find and care for survivors in the wake of the destruction. They worked tirelessly alongside rescue crews as they searched through the debris. Search and rescue dogs and their handlers worked 12–16-hour days, searching for survivors and victims. They worked through dangerous

conditions: Many dogs burned their paws as they dug through hot rubble, and both handlers and canines inhaled toxic dust. The task was both physically and mentally exhausting for

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