Sunshine After the Rain


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

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. I have been dreaming of camping trips in the Great Smoky Mountains and visiting state parks again. There’s nothing quite like freedom being taken from you to realize how important it is to living.

 Many of my divorce and family law 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. 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?

 I’ve had clients tell me 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, my 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 my client bought their dream boat and finally traveled around the Keys.

 Throughout their divorce, my colleagues and I at Bruce Law Firm 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? By starting here, you can start to live it.

 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 GreenMarket, 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.