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One Size Does Not Fit All - by Paul Pellman LLB

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 S. Pelman
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 in Separation & Divorce

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

803 Hits

When the Kissing Stops Check in on Your Marriage.




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.

956 Hits

"In the Best Interest of the Children" In Marriage, Separartion & Divorce

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


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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New Counselling Office In Markham


 I am pleased to announce I am moving my private practice to Markham as of


September 1, 2015 to join Dr. C. Noble & Associates.



My Counselling hours will be 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.



location address: 8A Centre Street, Markham, Ontario L3P 2N8


Telephone: 905-201-1859 ext. 3 Cell: 647-242-6068




 Private Insurance Accepted






The following workshops will be available, if you are interested please contact me to receive more information.



-Mid-Life Love


-How’s Your Love Life?


-Parenting after Separation/Divorce


-Parenting Your Teenager




Separated in Your Marriage? How to Reconnect 




Separation & Divorce Self-Help Group will commence on Thursday, September 10


at 7:30 p.m. Cost $20.00.  Group will meet every two weeks. Location: 8A Centre Street, Markham. Please RSVP on Meet-Up or my website


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Parenting After Separation/Divorce Workshop July 8





Parenting After Separation/Divorce Workshop






Your children can continue to thrive in a happy and well-run home even if you are separated or divorced and parenting is being juggling from two households.




Social worker Angel Freedman’s straight-forward, practical tips and concrete advice have transformed the lives of divorced and separated parents who felt they had no resources or people they could turn to for help. Angel’s professional training and real-life experiences will help bring calm to your household and ease everyday parenting woes, including:




  • arranging effective family meetings;

  • creating chore charts, schedules, rule lists and setting curfew and allowance;

  • finding a parenting plan that suits you and your family so that everyone in the home feels a sense of belonging and worth.


    About Angel Freedman | B.S.W, RSW


    Angel Freedman is a York Region-based Social Worker with a private practice in counselling individuals, couples, children, youth and families. Her extensive professional training and practical experience, enhanced by her own life experience and sense of humour, deliver workshops that are both illuminating and enjoyable. 


    Date & Time:

    Wednesday, July 8, 2015

    7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.


    Location: Lebovic Campus – Meeting Room B

    9600 Bathurst St. Vaughan


    Tickets: $40.00


    For more information and tickets please contact;

    905-780-8119 or 647-242-6068   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



781 Hits

Cellular Phones during a Divorce are like kryptonite to Superman

Cellular phones have become a tool to use in the moments of anger, rage and sadness at any time, day or night to either write your ex-spouse and or receive messages from them.  More times than not the messages are not kind, and often quite vicious.  Why? For what purpose?

How many of you who are separated and/or divorced have copied messages from your ex-spouse and handed it over to your lawyer?

I want to discuss the innate desire to pick up your cellular phone and write emails and text messages full of pure “hate mail” rather than an “email” to the father or mother of your children, your first love and the person you exchanged vows with.  The fact of the matter is your relationship ended, writing messages of pure viciousness is nor healthy or a tool to self-care.

One of the worst devices in separation/divorce today is our telephones.  We look at them all day at work, while we are travelling and often when we are supposed to be sleeping.  Waiting, yes waiting for a message from a person that you are supposedly not married to any longer.  It can be defined as an addiction, the message comes in, your adrenaline starts and without even thinking you start typing.  You type, often not even reading what you wrote and press send.  Then out of pure anger (fear) you then send it to your lawyer and anyone else that will listen.  That one text/hate mail just cost a lot of money in legal fees because you are hurting, frustrated and angry.

How are you taking care of your emotions?  Are you using your cellular phone to heal a very traumatic time in your life? 

Separation and divorce is a very different type of trauma, the person was someone that you spent 365 days a year with and usually over ten years of your life or longer. 

I am often asked how long it takes to heal/grieve a separation/divorce and my reply is always at least three years or more.  If you choose counselling and working on your feelings, you can find the peace you are seeking. 

Let’s put cellular phones away, they are not a tool to heal a separation/divorce. 

Lawyers are about the law and health care professionals are about the journey to healing and grieving the emotions.

You are worth it. 

Angel Freedman B.S.W RSW

Individual, Family and Relationship Counsellor

Parenting Educator

1058 Hits

Separation & Divorce During Holidays

Holidays can be stressful enough and when you add in that your relationship has ended or is ending, you may be feeling rather overwhelmed. Many people choose not to separate during the holiday season, to keep the “status quo” during the holidays. This is very difficult for the separating couple because they now have a secret as they sit down with family. Couples are unsure what to do and feel sad, but want to ensure that others are not burdened with their news.

It is very important to self-care during the holiday season, especially if it is your first holiday without your spouse. If you have made your family aware that you are separating this allows you to let the people that love you know that you may not want to discuss the separation on that day or evening. Surround yourself with safe and caring family and friends. Create a new tradition, perhaps a new Christmas ornament or a new Menorah for Chanukah. Journal how you are feeling, call a friend that will listen, and remember one day at a time. Recite the serenity prayer.

Did you know that January is “divorce month”? Many couples feel that when the holidays are over and the stress of the holidays has subsided, it is time to be honest about their relationship to everyone including their partner/spouse.

The Separation and Divorce Self-Help Group is meeting on Monday, December 22 at 7:30 p.m. For more information

We will be discussing how to survive the holidays and ways to self-care. Be gentle with yourself and remember that you are not alone. Separation and divorce is a traumatic time in a person’s life. We will be discussing ways to start the healing process.


963 Hits

Separation & Divorce is Normal

Separation & Divorce is Normal

If half of society is ending relationships through separation and divorce, does that not mean that, separation and divorce is “normal”?

After facilitating the Separation and Divorce Self-Help Group of York Region for the past four years and working with individuals, families and children who are going through separation and divorce I believe it is time to look at separation and divorce as “normal”

It is time to stop whispering that you are separated and/or divorced, it is time for all of us to accept that people who are in a committed relationships no matter, five, ten or twenty years long has come to an end for one reason or another.

If we start to normalize separation and divorce people may start to become aware and start looking at their relationships before the end becomes “high conflict” and high priced.

Separation and divorce is not a death, it is a break up of a relationship that simply does not function with civility, respect and love.

The question is, why don’t we accept the facts, that separation and divorce is normal? I understand that failure, disappointment and guilt starts to take over and the road ahead looks grim and uncertain. The fact of the matter is separation and divorce is a very sad and traumatic time in a persons’ life. How to deal with it is what needs to happen next.

In the Separation and Divorce Self-Help Group of York Region we discuss tools to grieve this time in a person’s life.

Angel Freedman, BSW RSW

Social Worker

Individual, Couple and Family Counsellor

Specializing in Separation & Divorce

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
877 Hits