Angel's Blog

One size does not fit all.

It's easy to think that all lawyers approach cases the same way and embark upon litigation when necessary. The reality is that some lawyers have an approach that is more skewed towards negotiations and mediated settlements versus the adversarial litigation process. Within that adversarial litigation process there are also lawyers that are more open to negotiate once litigation has begun.

Not all clients are the same… Not all lawyers are the same and clearly not all judges or mediators approach matters the same way.

Finding the right fit for you is critical in family law, contrary to, for example, using a real estate lawyer to buy or sell your home.

A skillful lawyer takes time at the beginning getting all of the relevant facts and truly understanding the nature of the scenario with your particular family. That lawyer also knows what questions to ask in terms of financial disclosure, both of yourself and those questions to pose to the other side.

The knowledgeable lawyer understands the need for certain evaluations and whether expert evidence is needed to determine an issue. For example, determining the annual income of someone who is self-employed is a difficult process and is not simply based on the income tax return. Self-employed people often write off expenses that are truly not related to the operation of the business and are therefore personal, which needs to be added back into their income and grossed up accordingly because no tax is paid on this amount.

The good lawyer needs to know not only about your finances, assets and liabilities and sources of income, but also about the needs of your children and how to find a solution that is in their best interest which may include protecting them from another spouse.

Any lawyer can write letters and simply listen to you and do as you wish them to do (the cheerleader), but that is not a real lawyer who is going to make a meaningful difference in your case.

There are also small things that are easy to notice when you meet a lawyer, namely:
  • Are they on time?
  • The appearance of their office and how they communicate with their staff.
  • How promptly they get back to you.
  • The manner in which they communicate, not only to you but to the other lawyer.
  • Finding the right fit is not easy and at times people need to shop around to find the right advocate for them.
  • Choose the lawyer who will provide you with a thorough and honest opinion and properly advise you on issues where you as the client may be overreaching.
Finally, it is oftentimes appropriate for you to bring a second set of eyes and ears, particularly to the first few interviews, and that includes either a relative or friend joining you to seek their opinion on the respective lawyer.

This is not a simple exercise and making sure that you have the right fit takes time and effort.

Paul S. Pellman



Paul has practiced family law for the past 36 years and is the head of our family law department. He has sat as a Dispute Resolution Officer in the Superior Court of Ontario and has served as a member of the Children’s Rights Panel through the Office of the Children’s Lawyer. He is a certified specialist in family law.

Paul’s practice includes not only negotiations and preparation of marriage contracts and separation agreements but litigation, mediation and arbitration. He acts for a variety of individuals, both men and women, and has a special interest in grandparents’ rights.

Paul is extremely involved in his community through Ted Reeve Arena where he operates their house league in the tyke division. Paul has worked in the disabled community for many years.

Paul has always been of the opinion that an effective advocate needs to be a chameleon, being reasonable when the events suggest such, yet dogged and determined when the actions of parties require that level of conduct. He is extremely experienced as an advocate, having appeared in many courts and participated in many trials and appeals. He is a detail-oriented individual who takes client’s concerns seriously.

He is energetic, enthusiastic and always wishing to take on a new challenge.
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How To Do It Nicely

When Couples Counselling doesn’t work it’s time for

“How to Do It Nicely” Counselling

(ending a marriage and keeping both you and your spouse’s dignity in tact)

Relationships do end and the concept of “breaking up nicely” can be attained and allows you, your spouse as well as your family to heal in a much more civilized and cost effective manner.


Couple Therapy

Couple therapy is very important when your relationship is starting to run into some road blocks, the number one breakdown is communication.  If you and your spouse are not communicating your feelings to each other and it is affecting your sex life and your friendship, don’t wait for days, months or years to pass.  Waiting for changes to occur may never happen and suddenly you are not talking.  You realize you have nothing in common anymore and you start living as room-mates. Is this what you want in a marriage? Making excuses that you are staying in a non-communicative relationship that has no more love, kissing and sex is a marriage that is over.  Can it be saved?  Absolutely. Now the mistake most couples make is they wait too long to get into a counsellor’s office and talk about the concerns of the marriage.  It is never too late if both of you want to make the changes.  Worrying is not proactive, calling a couples counsellor is. 

“How To Do It Nicely” Counselling

Respectful Uncoupling Counselling; The concept of respectful uncoupling has been helping couples end marriages in a safe and cost affective manner with a third party in the room. Angel offers individuals tools to heal separation and couples ways to separate that leaves everyone's dignity in tact.


Angel Freedman B.S.W. RSW

Individual, Couple, and Family Counsellor

Separation & Divorce Recovery Counselling

Parenting Educator

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Kissing, and I don’t mean a peck on the mouth, I mean necking, French kissing, intimate long lasting kissing.  The kind of kissing that many couples did early on in the marriage.   



I want to encourage you to look at kissing as a very important part of a relationship.  It is closeness, it is the intimacy between two people that keeps the sexual desire alive for each other.



What happens when the kissing stops?  The answer is the marriage or relationship needs to be checked on.  Couples often tell me that the kissing stopped about the same time the relationship did.  People have often admitted that they haven’t kissed their partner intimately for years. 



“Stop kissing and your marriage is over.”  This very bold statement is to awaken your sexual self, your relationship and what you want and need out of the relationship you are in.  Are you still lovers and best friends?  Do you both need to broach the conversation about the relationship together or with a counsellor?  Kissing often ends and with it the sex will eventually be once a month or often over altogether. 



Kissing is one of the most important parts of a relationship.  Remember the first years of your relationship; you would neck for hours! How much fun was that?! Why would you ever give that up?  You don’t have to.  Have a conversation, start kissing one night, and enjoy the closeness you once had. Rekindle that romance with intimate kissing.


Relationships do end, and that is very normal.  One of the most common reasons that couples stay together and are no longer lovers and best friends is that they become room mates. Ask yourself: is this why you married your partner, and is this what you want from the relationship you are in today?


Check in on your marriage when the kissing stops.

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What does it mean, “In the Best Interests of The Children”? If you are a separated or divorced family, you may have used this term in your agreement. I want to start from the beginning when you were married and how this term can relate to anyone who is in a relationship, be it married, common-law, or raising children together.

The Commitment to Children
When you decided as a couple to have children, you made a commitment to them to raise them the best way you possibly could. You made a promise to feed, clothe, parent, keep safe and love your children.

Relationships do end. As we see statistically, almost half of marriages end in divorce. When you divorce your spouse, the commitment you made to your children in the beginning does not change, except now you and their other parent are no longer married, and that is between two consenting adults. Children do not get divorced, parents do.

What happens to children when parents decide to stay in unloving marriages? Parents teach children that unloving marriages and relationships are normal and okay. This means, if you are no longer lovers and best friends with your partner, you are separated in your marriage and now your children are learning that dysfunctional relationships are normal. Children know when relationships are not going well. Children, as young as 5 years old, can tell you if their parents are having a good marriage. When children witness ignoring, silent treatment, no kissing, no hugging, parents not sleeping in the same bedroom, never spending time together, parenting separately, and speaking loudly to each other, children start to believe this is a “normal” relationship behaviour. Was this your intention when you got married and then had children?

Now, think about a child’s future. Now they are in their first relationship, and what they witnessed in your unhappy and unloving relationship, they deem normal. I am hoping that we want to show our children very loving, happy relationships that are respectful, mutual and kind.

Staying for the children could be detrimental to their perception of what a healthy relationship is. When in reality your relationship is very unhealthy, do them a favour; leave for your children, so they can live authentic, happy lives.

If you feel you are separating in your marriage, don’t wait, get help right away. If you are no longer best friends and lovers with your partner, start a conversation and check in with your partner to see if the marriage is worth working on, or if the marriage is over, and now the children are your top priority.

Parents who put their children first in a separation and divorce, have a better chance at an amicable separation and divorce at a reasonable cost.

Children who have parents that decide it is better for them to separate and keep the commitment they made to them from the beginning, will have a safe and loving atmosphere in both homes to grieve and heal the separation, because both parents are available to love them and parent them, and they themselves, as parents, take time to grieve and heal.

Happy parents have happy children.

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You Think You Are Married, But You May Be Separated








It all starts with the vows we take at the onset of the marriage.  All the promises, the infatuation, the gifts and the excitement of being a couple.  It’s like having your best friend sleep over forever.  


It seems that many books, articles and people in general call the first few years the “honeymoon stage” - a phrase we hear all too often.  What happens after the honeymoon stage is what I want to talk about. 




When you meet that ultimate partner, intimate lover, your everything, the idea that you will slowly separate would never even cross your mind. How does it happen?  Let me go back to the beginning. When you met your partner, did you know exactly what you wanted in a relationship and/or life partner?  Did you have your list of what you wanted in a partner?  Did you take any courses on “how to be in a relationship”?


If the answer is no to all my questions, that is why I believe that relationships/marriages are faltering more and more every day.  In our grandparent's generation, people married for a purpose, a reason, as well as it was the social norm.  Husbands needed their wives and wives needed their husbands to survive.  Today, why do people get married?  Perhaps you would answer to have children, or to build a life together, or not be alone - in many ways, the same reasons our grandparents married.  Then, why is it that more than half of the population is getting divorced? 




Love relationships are based on two premises: 1. Best Friend and 2. Lover. This concept has nothing to do with children or society; it has to do with actually liking the person you are with and wanting to have sex with that person.  If either the “best friend” or “lover” part of the relationship starts to falter, then it is time to check in on your marriage. 




I would say that most couples I see in my practice endure many years of no sex, no talking and no fun, before they search for ways to rectify what they may not have had in the beginning. Many couples will dismiss the relationship, saying that it is what it is, or they may just ignore the relationship in fear of the inevitable.




You are worth a wonderful life and so is your partner.  Your primary relationship is the most important and it affects everything around you.  Intimacy cannot be put on hold, nor can enjoying one another’s company.  If you are separating in your marriage, don’t wait to spend your life savings getting divorced.  If your marriage is not loving, respectful, full of joy and sex, you may be legally married, but you are ultimately separated.




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