Bruce Law Firm - June 2020

June 2020

Like Sunshine After the Rain

When the relationship is finally over, they are freer and feel more alive. They appreciate the freedom and sunshine so much more than they did before. It’s a very welcome breath of fresh air. When you’re in the midst of a situation that’s holding you back from being free and from living your best life, it can be helpful to focus on the next chapter. Once you’ve acknowledged that a relationship or situation is no longer serving you, you can begin to focus on what comes next. What does your best life look like? We’ve had clients tell us they’ve booked trips after their divorce, like cruises that their spouse never wanted to go on. One person we worked with had always wanted to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, but their spouse hadn’t wanted to entertain the thought of that trip. After the divorce, our client made their dream come true. They climbed that mountain.

Instead of buying a new place after their marital home is sold, other clients decide to live a nomadic lifestyle for a while and travel the world. They reclaim their freedom by undoing all those tethers. One client’s dream was to get a sailboat and sail around the Keys. Their spouse hadn’t wanted a boat, so instead, they bought a luxurious condo while they were married. The condo was sold as part of their divorce case, so our client bought their dream boat and finally traveled around the Keys.

“Throughout their divorce, we encourage each client to visualize what their best life looks like so that when they’re free, they can get to living it.”

Ruby, visualizing her takeoff and flying free

You know that feeling after it’s been raining all week with days of endless gray clouds, and then suddenly the clouds dissipate and the sun comes out? Isn’t it a great feeling? You feel freer, lighter, and ready to go outside and embrace the world. And you appreciate the sun so much more after not having seen it for a while.

There are things we take for granted until they are taken from us. We’ve definitely felt that through the pandemic: We wouldn’t have thought twice about a trip to the grocery store, a small luxury, before all this. That’s not to mention bigger luxuries like going on vacation. We’ve been dreaming of camping trips in the Great Smoky Mountains and visiting state parks again.

Throughout their divorce, we encourage each client to visualize what their best life looks like so that when they’re free, they can get to living it.

Whatever phase of life you’re in, it’s worth asking yourself what your best life looks like. Imagine what you would do if you just had the freedom. What does your best life look like?

There’s nothing quite like freedom being taken from you to realize how important it is to living.

By starting here, you can start to live it.

Many of our clients experience this sense of renewed freedom, of clouds being lifted, after a divorce. They’ve been restrained from doing what they love because their marriage has been holding them back from living their best life.

– Ashley and Chris Bruce

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Alimony and Child Support

Where to Start When You’ve Lost Your Job

If you or your former partner have lost your jobs because of COVID-19, you’re probably concerned about child support or alimony. Do you have to pay if you can’t afford to because of a job loss? The quick answer is yes. Failure to pay can lead to your assets being liquidated to make payments or even jail time. Even filing for bankruptcy will not exempt you from owing child support. However, while you can’t simply stop paying alimony or child support, you can request to reduce payments or modify support in the face of job or income loss. Here are some practical and legal steps to take after you’ve lost your job and are unable to make payments. First, gather evidence to demonstrate that your job loss was due to economic circumstances, not your performance. Ask your former employer for everything in writing, including your severance agreement. Next, do everything you can to find another job and restore your income. (Yes, we realize you’re probably already on this.) Keep records of the job applications you submit and the recruiting websites you sign up for. The next steps are legal actions you’ll want to take in order to request modified support. First, file the appropriate petition for modification and seek a temporary abatement. Make sure you do this before your next payment is due. For child support, you’re required to file a financial affidavit with the petition. Don’t forget! Otherwise, you risk having your case dismissed and allowing missed support payments to accumulate as vested rights. Next, you will serve the other party with a lawsuit and comply with mandatory disclosure requirements. From there, most cases enter the negotiation phase, where you may go to mediation with your former spouse or co-parent to come to an agreement about modifying support. If you’d like to learn more about options for modified support because of a lost job or reduced income, attorneys Ashley and Chris Bruce have written a guidebook on the topic. It covers your legal rights around modified support and how to navigate the process. See below to get your copy!

Commercial space travel might still be the stuff of science fiction stories, but thanks to computer programs and augmented reality, your family can still experience what it’s like to explore space. NASA and other organizations provide a wealth of free resources that make space exploration come to life for stargazers and future astronauts alike. Take some time to explore a few of our favorites today. TOURING THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION First launched in 1998, the International Space Station is a multinational space research laboratory. Nineteen different nations have sent astronauts, cosmonauts, and space tourists to the space station to conduct scientific experiments. It’s truly the stuff science fiction dreams are made of! In 2012, Expedition 33 Commander Sunita Williams filmed a full tour of this amazing floating lab and even included a quick lesson on how to work out in zero gravity. “Visit” the space station for yourself at EXPLORING DEEP SPACE VIA VIRTUAL REALITY On Jan. 30, 2020, NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope concluded its 16-year mission researching exoplanets, which are planets outside our solar system. This data was used to create Exoplanet Excursions, an immersive virtual reality experience that lets your family experience the Spitzer’s discoveries and control the telescope yourself. These incredible excursions are available on Oculus or Steam, so visit to start your adventure and explore deep space today! PLANET-HOPPING WITH NASA Have you ever wondered would it be like to stand on another world? Then “book” your next vacation with the Exoplanet Travel Bureau! This program takes you on digital tours of real exoplanets NASA has discovered. Though we don’t know what the surfaces of these worlds look like, artists have used scientific data to create 3D landscapes to explore. See them all, from Kepler-16b to TRAPPIST-1e, at NASA TAKES YOU ON A (VIRTUAL) SPACE ADVENTURE

Is your friend or client in need of a guide related to recent job or income loss? The book can be downloaded for FREE at If your friend or client lives in the south Florida area, we’ll mail them a hard copy of the book on request. OUR SUPPORT MODIFICATION BOOK CAN HELP!

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3 Easy Steps to Visualize Your Goals

And Make Them a Reality

What does your dream life look like? Are you living it? If not, what’s standing in your way?

on goal setting at Dominican University found that people are 42% more likely to achieve their goals when they write them down.

VISUALIZE IT Once you’ve written down the elements of your dream life, begin to visualize it. You might create a vision board and put some of these images onto paper to serve as a daily visual reminder of your innermost dreams and goals. To create one, give yourself a couple hours of quiet, uninterrupted time. Visualize your three core desires and dreams. Find a sturdy piece of paper, some old magazines or newspapers that you don’t mind cutting up, and cut and paste words and images that resonate with you. Put your vision board where you’ll see it daily and repeat the visualization process when you look at it. SHARE IT Bring yourself closer to your dream life by sharing your goals with someone you trust. Researchers at Dominican University found that people who have a “partner in believing” — someone you share your goals with who believes you can accomplish them — were even more likely to achieve them. Maybe this is a friend, family member, coworker, or mental health professional. Find someone you trust who will encourage you to stick with your dreams.

These are some of the questions you will ask yourself this month as you begin to make your dream life a reality. Here are three steps that will help move you closer to the life you want to live. WRITE IT DOWN Your first step toward making your dream life a reality is to chart it out on paper. Use a journal or big piece of paper or poster board to do this and give yourself time and space to write down the elements that make up your dream life. You’ll start noticing that something powerful happens when you put your goals to ink and paper: Instead of just daydreaming about your goals, writing them down helps your brain connect to real-world opportunities that will help you achieve them. A study

Take these steps this month to begin your journey toward your dream life. It will be worth it, and you deserve it.

have a LAUGH

Fig Caprese Salad

Inspired by

It’s sweet. It’s savory. It’s the embodiment of summer!


8 oz buffalo mozzarella or fresh mozzarella

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Flaked sea salt, to taste

Coarse ground black pepper, to taste

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8 oz ripe fresh figs, quartered lengthwise Handful of basil leaves, roughly chopped

Olive oil, to taste



Tear mozzarella into bite-size pieces. Arrange on a platter. Place quartered figs, flesh up, around mozzarella.


Sprinkle basil leaves over top.


Season with salt and pepper to taste.



Drizzle with olive oil.

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

What Freedom Feels Like page 1

Go Planet-Hopping With NASA

How to Navigate Alimony and Child Support After a Job Loss page 2 Make Your Dream Life a Reality Fig Caprese Salad page 3

Help Local Nonprofits in Challenging Times page 4

The Best Ways to Help Local Nonprofits In Challenging Times

ADVOCATE Even if you don’t have time or resources to give, you can become an advocate for important causes around your community. While it might not seem like much, sharing information about local nonprofits on social media can make a genuine difference. Nonprofits need exposure, which is greatly boosted through community support. Sharing useful information about nonprofits — or sharing their posts — increases their visibility so more people will take action.

Over the past several months, families, businesses, and nonprofits have had to navigate life in this challenging “new normal,” and it can be hard to support your favorite nonprofits when times are tough. Here are a few ways you can help these important entities, even when you don’t have resources to spare right now. DONATE While many people donate generously during the holiday season, remember that nonprofits need donations throughout the year, and different nonprofits need different things. A monetary donation can often go a long way, but never feel obligated to give money, especially when your budget may be tight. Instead, consider cleaning out your closet. What clothes, shoes, or other accessories can you part with? What about dishware or small appliances? When you clean out your home and donate unused items, you benefit those in the community who need them most. VOLUNTEER In a time of social distancing, volunteering may be discouraged, but nonprofits still need volunteers to operate. The good news is that many nonprofits need volunteers for positions that maintain social distance, such as driving. Food banks and kitchens need drivers to pick up donations or ingredients from donors and to deliver food to people in need, such as the elderly or those with disabilities.

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