Legal Advice and Professionals

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Our collaboratively trained experts have specialized skills and can provide legal advice that will help you manage the emotional and financial aspects of your separation.

Are you looking for legal advice because you and your spouse are considering a separation? Do you want to avoid the costly court costs associated with divorce litigation, but you need help resolving some of your disagreements?

Legal Advice

At Collaborative Divorce Waterloo Region, we use the collaborative family law process to help you and your spouse achieve the best outcomes for your unique situation. During the collaborative family law process, your lawyer will work closely with you to provide legal advice and coaching to ensure that all issues are settled in an efficient and cooperative manner. You and your lawyers’ sign agreements that commit you to finding resolutions without going to court. This agreement ensures that all are absolutely committed to finding the best solutions.

If you are looking for legal advice as it relates to the best interests of your children, the collaborative family law process can help. In situations where children are involved, an agreement is made to act quickly to resolve issues to promote a caring, loving and involved relationship between the children and both parents.

Our collaboratively trained experts have specialized skills and are able to provide legal advice that will help you manage the emotional and financial aspects of your separation. In addition to a legal professional for both parties, your collaborative team may also include financial and family planners.

Consult with one of our legal professionals at Collaborative Divorce Waterloo Region today for assistance deciding whether the collaborative family law process is the best choice for your family.

How Collaborative Divorce Waterloo Region Works for You

Unlike adversarial legislated processes, we work together to advocate for a peaceful and respectful process for everyone involved. Built with neutral family and financial professionals, meet the team who are able to generate the best option for your family through these difficult times.

Family Professional

Annette Katchaluba MSW, RSW - Director of Child Centred Divorce Services, By Peaceful Waters, Inc

Address: 60 Baffin Place, Unit 4, Waterloo, Ontario, N2L 5V4

As a family professional, Annette works with the collaborative family law team to achieve respectful, timely, and cost effective resolutions.

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Annette specializes in helping separated parents develop effective means of resolving disputes, to ensure that their children successfully adjust to the family transition. Annette provides mediation to achieve child-focused parenting plans, parenting coordination, reunification counselling, child interviews obtaining views and preferences, section 30 assessments, and domestic violence screening. Annette’s approach is informed by her professional training, play therapist practice (2001-2007), her service on the panel for the Office of the Children’s Lawyer (2003-present).

Patricia Bidgood – Patricia Bidgood & Associates

Address: 213-900 Guelph Street Kitchener, Ontario N2H 5Z6

Patricia Bidgood is a registered Individual and Family Therapist, and accredited Family Mediator with more than 25 years of experience.

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Patricia helps parents generate creative parenting plans and solutions that enhance effective co-parenting relationships, while mitigating the negative effects often associated with divorce on families. Patricia provides: divorce coaching, adjustment counselling with children and teens, parenting coordination, family reunification, and domestic violence screening for mediation/arbitration. Services are covered under many extended medical benefit plans. Patricia lives in Waterloo region with her husband and has a blended family of six adult children.

Kris Pryke, Ph.D, C.Psych & Kris Pryke Psychological Services

Address: 439 Park St. Unit #2, Kitchener N2G 1N4

Dr. Kris Pryke is a clinical psychologist, registered with the College of Psychologists of Ontario. After several years working in mental health and education, she now provides assessment, consultation, and therapy services on a private basis.

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She has extensive experience working with a variety of families, helping them manage very stressful events. Her role on the collaborative team can include interviewing the children about their feelings and preferences, providing therapeutic support to the children, co-ordinating parenting plans, or facilitating the process as the “family professional” at all necessary meetings.

Barbara Dyszuk, B.A.Sc., B.Ed., M.Sc. AccFM

Address: Cambridge, Ontario

Barb is an Accredited Family Mediator who has been working with families and children for more than thirty years in Waterloo Region, finding peaceful resolutions and healing conflict.

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She has clinical and management experience in counselling services, public health, children’s rehabilitation and teaching. Barb has been on the panel of the Office of the Children’s Lawyer since 2009, completing custody and access assessments, voice of the child reports and assisting lawyers to represent children. Family law lawyers often comment on Barb’s skill and talent interviewing children and adults, her thorough and child focused assessments and reports, and her ability to inspire individuals to see things from a different perspective and believe in the positive difference they can make in the lives of children. Over the span of her professional career she has been recognized for her creative and collaborative ability to bring together diverse individuals and focus on strengths and finding solutions that result in better outcomes for children and families.

Sarah Brulseema, BA, MSW, RSW – By Peaceful Waters, Inc

Address: 60 Baffin Place, Unit 4, Waterloo, Ontario, N2L 5V4

Sarah is a Registered Social Worker with over 18 years of experience working with families in conflict at points of significant transition in their lives.

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She provides mediation services including a focus on families transitioning through divorce and separation. She is a passionate believer in child-focused parenting plans and agreements. Sarah provides mediated parenting plans, parenting reunification services, parenting coordination, and screening for domestic violence and power imbalances. She has a strong background working with and treating mental health and trauma and maintains a vibrant psychotherapy practice with By Peaceful Waters, Inc. Sarah is a team player, excels at time management, is responsive, and works hard to achieve cost effective and high-quality agreements that work for families. As a Registered Social Worker her services are covered by most insurance plans.

Sarah Bruulsema, BA, MSW, RSW
Registered Social Worker
Family Mediator with Child Centered Divorce Services
[email protected]

Wendy J. Ashby, SSW, BAhons, BSW, MSW, RSW

Wendy is a registered Mental Health Counsellor and Psychotherapist. Wendy identifies as Metis and Settler and has extensive specialized Anti-racism, Trauma Informed and Suicide Risk Assessment training.

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Wendy works within various settings with diverse groups in a culturally safe and trauma informed practice model. Wendy has experience working with children and families in Child Protection and understands the challenges that families face when under pressure. Wendy has three recent degrees, two from The University of Waterloo and one from Wilfred Laurier University.
Wendy understands the importance of meeting the client where they are, through a respectful and self empowering practice style. Wendy is proficient in Narrative therapy, DBT, Solution Focused and has certification in CBT. Wendy specializes in Anxiety, Depression, OCD, as well as self esteem and confidence issues and practices through a culturally competent lens with respect to marginalized communities including BIPOC and LGBTQ2+. Wendy connects easily with children and families and is uniquely skilled at connecting with people, easing client tension, as well as working through uncertainty and worry.

Shelley Smilek, BA, MSW, RSW, CCVE – By Peaceful Waters Inc.

Address: 60 Baffin Place, Unit 4, Waterloo, Ontario, N2L 5V4

Shelley is a Registered Social Worker and Canadian Certified Vocational Evaluator with over 20 years of experience.

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Shelley provides mediation services to help parents develop child-focused parenting plans and agreements that set the stage for effective co-parenting relationships. As a Certified Vocational Evaluator, she can work with the other members of your Collaborative Family Law team to provide support in determining spouses’ vocational potential, earning capacity and imputing income. As a Registered Social Worker her services are covered by most insurance plans.

Angie Murie

For the past fifteen years Angie Murie has been providing counselling, mediation and parenting coordination services.

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Specializing in high conflict divorce and parenting she has worked with hundreds of parents to create workable parenting plans, decrease conflict, improve communication and work through issues that arise as barriers to co-operative parenting. Angie Murie is a trained provider of therapeutic reintegration as well as interdisciplinary collaborative family law.

Beyond high conflict scenarios Angie Murie specializes in working with individuals struggling with the impact of abuse, whether from parents or partners, youth experiencing anxiety issues and identity issues.

All of Angie Murie’s work is grounded within an anti-oppression framework. Whether working for an issue, with a community, an individual or a couple looking to co-parent she is invested in a positive outcome for all parties, for improving the situations of all involved.

Financial Professional

Rob Hehl - Chartered Business Valuator with BDO

Address: 150 Caroline Street South, Suite 201 Waterloo, Ontario, N2L 0A5

I am a Chartered Business Valuator with extensive experience in the area of Family Law.

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Working with the other members of your Collaborative Family Law team, I can support you in determining the value of any business assets that you may own, provide support in determining income for support purposes and assist in developing your financial profile for the purposes reaching a settlement in a timely, supportive and cost effective manner.

Tim Rickert - Chartered Business Valuator with BDO

Address: 150 Caroline Street South, Suite 201 Waterloo, Ontario, N2L 0A5

As a chartered business valuator and chartered professional accountant with over 15 years of experience, I can assist you with business valuations, income for support analysis and determination of net family property.

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I can be your independent financial advisor trained in collaborative family law and alternative dispute resolution. I enjoy working in the collaborative environment helping couples resolve their financial issues to help them move on to the next phase of their lives.

Vivek K. Joshi - Pollard Gagliardi Navickas LLP, Chartered Professional Accountants

Address: 490 Dutton Drive; Suite C1, Waterloo, ON; N2L 6H7

Vivek’s area of practice is focused on marital disputes involving family businesses as well as assisting couples in completing their financial disclosures. He completes assurance engagements, corporate reorganizations, and personal/corporate tax planning.

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Vivek qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2011 after graduating from McMaster University with an Honours Bachelor of Commerce. He joined PGN LLP in 2014 as a Manager and became Partner in 2021. Vivek is also a part-time practice inspector with CPA Ontario. He holds a public accounting license in the Province of Ontario.

Vivek’s community involvement includes volunteering with CPA Ontario as a mentor. He guides new students through the CPA professional program. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking and cycling with his wife.

Louise Poole

Address: London – 785 Wonderland Road South, Suite 220, ON N6K 1M6

Phone: (519) 673-3141; ext. 1242 | (800) 668-2167 Fax: (519) 645-1646 Email: [email protected]

Louise Poole is a Chartered Professional Accountant, Chartered Accountant, Chartered Business Valuator,
and is certified in Financial Forensics. Louise graduated from the Ivey Business School at Western
University with an Honors Business Administration degree, joined Davis Martindale in 2017,and became a Valuations & Litigation Partner in 2020.

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Louise has presented several seminars on business valuation topics to lawyers, bankers and business professionals. She has been involved with the community as a Board Member of WIL Employment Connections and as a committee member for The Big Bash in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters of London and Area. Louise is a proud member of the Board of Governors for Fanshawe College.

Dan Elliott, CPA, CA, CFDS - FairFifty Divorce Financial Solutions

Address: Web-based from Aurora, Ontario

Since 2020, Dan has been assisting individuals, couples, collaborative teams, mediators, and lawyers with financial and tax issues related to separation and divorce.

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As a Chartered Financial Divorce Specialist (CFDS), he is specifically trained to assist with preparing financial disclosures, property division, balancing financial awareness in the couple, calculating support, and collaboratively developing financial solutions that are tailored to the interests of the clients and family. A financial solution that looks fair today may not be fair in the long-term, and Dan has the tools to test solutions for durability and fairness from a cash-flow and net wealth perspective. Collaboratively trained, he is an advocate for alternative resolution processes. Having been through a separation himself, Dan can empathize with the many emotions experienced by his clients. Dan especially enjoys his work on Collaborative Practice or mediation files from beginning to end, where he feels he delivers the most value.