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Lighting Fireworks In Your Life: Ready to Take the Next Step

By:  Ashley Dillman Bruce, a divorce and family law attorney at Bruce Law Firm, with offices in West Palm Beach and Wellington

Ashley’s children are apprehensive before a fireworks display but ultimately enjoy the show

For the Fourth of July, I often head out of town for the weekend to relax with my family. Lately though, I have been exploring the tradition of going to West Palm Beach to watch the fireworks. It feels like a special way to celebrate the freedom we enjoy and appreciate the troops who’ve helped to protect it. 

Just like many of us remember feeling nervous as kids, my two young children also get a little scared at the beginning of the fireworks show. But in the end, they love it. We’re close to the huge, intercoastal display, and we love watching the bright lights illuminated against the night sky and reflection on the water. At first, it’s a small sprinkle of lights. Then suddenly, they burst outward, and a wide range of colors is visible. It’s beautiful.

Everything about this display and how my children feel makes me think of my divorce and family law clients. People come to me at different phases of their lives, and my colleagues and I at Bruce Law Firm are there to support them and provide guidance. If they’re sure they want to move on toward a better life, we give them the tools to get there. When someone is hesitant and isn’t certain they’re making the right choice, we urge them to try counseling and visit www.staymarriedflorida.com to find therapists and counselors in their area. Ultimately, we take direction from our clients and are there to provide the right guidance and support. 

Some clients come in and are ready to begin right away. For them, we know the weight of the decision will be lifted once they complete the process, so everyone on our team gets right to work – the client lights the fuse right away! For others, the hardest part is striking the match and putting it to the fuse. Even when they acknowledge their marriage isn’t working, it is what they know, and to some extent, it is comfortable. It can be hard to accept the end, even when it hasn’t been a loving marriage. For these clients, verbalizing that they want a divorce and filing the papers can feel like jumping out of an airplane.  There is a lot of hesitation and leadup.

I recently met with one of our clients who is in this place. She wants to move forward and start a new phase of her life in which she is no longer married. She wants to be free. But she asked us to hold off a little while on filing the divorce papers because she wants to make sure everything is settled in the other parts of her life. While she has accepted the fact that her marriage is over, she’s still apprehensive about this next phase of her life. We understand. Divorce is a very big step and one that inevitably has unknowns — no matter how well you’ve prepared for it and how many of my firm’s free divorce information books that you read.

At the end of the day, my colleagues and I give our clients the legal fireworks, matches, and instructions, and when they’re ready, they get to light them. They set off their own display. Taking that next step is up to them, and part of our job is empowering them to make their life a colorful display to remember.

For this client, her new life will begin when we file her divorce papers. That act will represent a new chapter, and it’s when her fireworks will begin.  I can’t wait to see her show. I know it’s going to be beautiful and will represent her freedom.

Like all other moms, I wear lots of hats.  From getting the kids ready for school in the morning, feeding my animals, meeting with my divorce and family law clients looking for a better life, to heading up everything household-related, I feel like I do it all.  What I enjoy most during the day (of course besides my family) is meeting with clients at my law firm, Bruce Law Firm.  I practice law with a team of divorce lawyers in West Palm Beach and also handle family law in Wellington.  Many of my clients are women in search of answers and ultimately a better life.  What I enjoy is providing tools for these women to live, what I like to call: The Best Life.  One of my favorite things to do is to compare the person who I meet with for the first time, to the person at the end of their divorce case.  They seem like two completely different people.  Their evolution of self-confidence and control over their own life is amazing.  It truly inspires me to continue helping people.

On the weekends, you can find us enjoying our new rescue horse who we board at a barn by our house, enjoying the intercoastal, checking out Wellington’s food trucks and concerts, the Royal Palm Beach Green Market, Scott’s Place and Shark Wake Park playgrounds, and scurrying the kids to and from their sports and events.  During the winter and when we are not camping in our travel trailer, we enjoy spending Saturday nights at the Winter Equestrian Festival.  We have a strong love for the City of West Palm Beach, as that is where I feel in love with my husband, who asked me to marry him on the docks downtown, and so we often visit the Green Market and enjoy walking up and down Clematis and Rosemary Avenue.

For more information about Ashley and her divorce and family law practice click here.

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