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Ian – Yeah and and by the way uh for those folks that are listening that is one thing that I would strongly urge, is that when you’re going through a divorce you want to pick people uh intelligently but don’t be afraid to have conversations because I realized that the more conversations that I had the more at ease the more peace I had with the process that I was going through.

Nicky – What’s up Corrnation? Welcome to another episode of coin for thought. Today we have Ian Kerr here on the show and he is a senior business development manager for BMO. So Ian’s going to be telling us his story about his own divorce right now and he’s also giving us some tips and tricks and how to maneuver divorce and something that he’s learned recently which we’ll get into on the show. So thank you so much for being here Ian.

Ian – It’s my pleasure pleasure thank you Nicky.

Nicky – Yeah thank you so um so you want to you want to kind of tell me about your marriage I mean it wasn’t for long it was only a year and a half but um you want to tell me how it kind of came to that point where you decided that it wasn’t supposed to be.

Ian – Yeah that’s a great question to start off and um you know we all remember that day it’s we always remember that day and that day happened when I asked my ex-spouse, would you like to come and get some therapy with me through corporations which are great and I’ve had the privilege of working with corporations who really care about their their employees and uh we had uh we had uh physical therapy, uh physiotherapy, we had psychological therapy available to us as needed mm-hmm uh as part of our benefits, and so 

Nicky – Yeah your group benefits

Ian – Yeah and so you know I thought wow this is a great opportunity I never thought I would have to actually exercise those benefits but here I was in that situation and and again to your question the turning point was when she said I’m not interested. So when you hear from your spouse that they’re not interested in going down the road to help make amends and improve that relationship uh that was a pretty strong signal to me that we’re at the end of the runway.

Nicky – Why do you think she was I guess not interested in going for therapy?

Ian – Well with all due respect too um you know I always say it takes two to tango. Um some people during a uh breakdown of a marriage or relationship the one thing that I know and I think a lot of us know out there is that the timeline that the person is on the individual people are on is often very different

Nicky – Right

Ian – so I believe at that particular stage that she had already made her full decision that this marriage is no longer going to continue. Whereas I had the mindset that no I would like to work on this relationship because I thought it was very much worth working on. So that’s what I mean by having individuals quite frankly that they’re on different timelines as far as that path to the ultimate day when they’re divorced.

Nicky – Wo when did that happen in the in the year and a half would you say? When did you kind of broach her about therapy?

Ian – Oh that was um I mean quite frankly that was right at near the beginning stages when things were getting a little bit rough and I thought a lot of it was to do with the fact that we had just moved into a new home moved into a different neighborhood her her children from her previous marriage were also being enrolled in different schools. So there’s a lot of dynamics going on and I thought you know what let’s give the benefit of the doubt here and that a lot of the dynamics that were present with that moving in and getting into a new home etc new schools I thought that that might have been just a sort of a stress point that we could work through but it ended up being a stress point that remained and it just kept growing.

Nicky – Now different couples I guess fight differently some people you know just really go at each other or maybe you have one person that’s really aggressive or one person that’s really mild and then you have people that really don’t communicate. How would you define your communication I guess during your marriage with all of this going on?

Ian – Well you know given also we have to maybe take a step back first of all and my role as a senior business consultant with the financial services industry uh has me on the road quite a bit however though um in the formative years of my relationship that was very well established so to to offer that up to this morning and say that that well my being on the road was the it was the impetus to the demise of my relationship wouldn’t be the case. So communication was already there I just think that um the communication started to take on different forms.

Nicky – Okay

Ian – What we communicated about um was very much different uh than some of the communication and conversation strings we would normally have before we ended up getting married.

Nicky – Okay I see so if you were to give an example say

Ian – Oh well well quite frankly I mean when you move into a new home there’s there’s a lot of initial expenses so

Nicky – Right

Ian – um what happens there is that you you all of a sudden find that the the need uh your budget um is a little bit different it might be stressed for a little while

Nicky – So you’re always talking about money

Ian – Yeah and quite frankly let’s be honest and we all know this uh in our world in a relationship money is one of the major issues and if you can’t have a healthy relationship around money with with the person you’ve chosen to be with and they’ve chosen to be with you I believe that it doesn’t set up very well, it doesn’t bode very well for a a you know a successful relationship going forward.

Nicky – So tell me about that last day you know did you move out did she move out you know how did it all go down?

Ian – Well listen I was brought up with great moral constitution for my two parents and uh you know it was always it was the right thing for me to move out. I did not want to uh disrupt the uh the children’s living arrangements

Nicky – Okay

Ian – That’s just not something that’s just not what he incurs all about so I moved back I moved back I moved out and moved back in with my parents temporarily while we went through the divorce etc. My parents and my siblings were very supportive of me as I went through that particular phase um so it was nice to get back to the family

Nicky – Yeah because you had that support you had people to talk to 

Ian – Absolutely

Nicky – Yeah

Ian – and and by the way for those folks that are listening that is one thing that I would strongly urge is that when you’re going through a divorce you want to pick people intelligently but don’t be afraid to have conversations because I realize that the more conversations that I had the more at ease, the more peace I had with the process that I was going through and a lot of that comes from and again picking people carefully that your morals are aligned.

Nicky – Yeah

Ian – So that the information and the feedback they’re providing you is to nurture and nourish your soul

Nicky – Right

Ian – If you pick wrong people i.e do not go to your favorite watering hole as a solution for your divorce because it doesn’t work. You wanna you wanna go and see your friends right meet in a neutral uh setting right not in a not in a setting that can take you away from um having a good conversation about what is really intimate to you at that particular time.

Nicky – Okay so during that time you had your friends who had your family and how long was that process of your divorce

Ian – You know it’s amazing because I thought that you know one thing I’ll say for sure anyone listening a divorce does not is not an overnight process the old saying about rome was not built in a day

Nicky – Yeah

Ian – Divorce do not happen in a day.

Nicky – Yeah

Ian – And no matter how simple you might think your situation is or uncomplicated it might be um 

Nicky – It’s hard to break up a marriage

Ian – Yes it is because there’s a lot of dynamics that now come to the fold yeah there’s the monetary there’s the asset splits there’s things of that nature and everyone by the way goes from um a more rational thinking to a thinking that I’ve got to survive what is my future going to look like going at it myself

Nicky – Right

Ian – And so as a result of that

Nicky – Well they have to plan right and a marriage is a legal and financial union first. Before it is a union about love but that’s not something that you know people really think about when they choose a life partner.

Ian – Exactly well because because you know what quite frankly I think that um most of us walk around and feel like well that’s not romantic to talk about money

Nicky – No it’s not romantic

Ian – It’s not romantic at all but you know it’s funny how um when you look back in that 2020 rear view mirror as I did going through the divorce well you know what it probably would have been a great idea to have more concerted conversations with my ex-spouse about money and I think that would have served us both well I mean as I’ve always said to anyone worth listening it does take two to tango. So you’re not going to hear from me today that it was her fault or it was my fault we both we we both put together and made that solid call of the called a divorce

Nicky – Yeah so are you pro prenup are you against prenups? Where where do you stand like if you were to obviously you’re single now and you know if you were to do this again how would you go about doing it?

Ian – I I can tell you that um I’m still a romantic at heart. So the prenup stuff quite frankly no um what I think is really more necessary in all of this is just to really have um honest conversations right from the start.

Nicky – Yeah

Ian – So you know immediately after my divorce was settled you know you’re out and about and you meet folks I was very very uh steadfast with telling them the absolute gospel and absolutely how I feel and what I would like going forward. I did not want to open up a relationship and start anything without them knowing the raw true facts and I think that a lot of relationships the demise of them is baked in because a lot of people go about and make a lot of effort to hide certain things from their from their spouse or partner.

Nicky – Well because they might be embarrassed or they’re really insecure you know

Ian – Right

Nicky – Yeah which is natural really

Ian – It is very natural but I always I’ll say this for the benefit of the audience because I’ve been through the experience. Take a look at what’s going on there when you’re having those hard conversations at the beginning

Nicky – Right

Ian – And then project you with an individual that you didn’t have those conversations with from the start and ask yourself where do you think you would end up with those great conversations. It does bode well for a healthier relationship

Nicky – Yeah

Ian – The avoidance of those relationships however bodes very not very well for a poor relationship right and I think that we have to develop just as individuals out there we need to develop more courage to be more honest as you mentioned. We’re maybe a little embarrassed or what have you

Nicky – Right

Ian – We should have more courage to be more honest

Nicky – More vulnerable

Ian – Yeah

Nicky – Yeah

Ian – Yeah this is this is how I am and quite honestly what I found is that in the in the um in the efforts and the vein of being very raw and honest yeah it’s really amazing the quality of the responses you end up getting

Nicky – Yeah you you build more quality connections

Ian – Absolutely absolutely

Nicky – And people respect as a woman I can say I would respect that

Ian – Right

Nicky – Yeah

Ian – And and I think at the end of the day it’s just about laying your cards up

Nicky – Yeah

Ian – This is who I am you know I mean when I when I ended up with my divorce I um you know when I meet people yeah I’m x years of age I’m divorced move back in with the parents. How do you like me? 

Nicky – Yeah

Ian – When you’re when you’re honest with individuals after divorcing you you want to let them know you want to authenticate yourself you want you want to put yourself out there as an authentic authentic individual. I’m not scarred uh by the divorce per se but I am putting myself out there as an authentic individual and quite frankly you want to do that because those that will respect you that’s how you can get a relationship started. If they don’t respect you for your honesty from the get-go and they’re looking for certain material pieces uh to your puzzle as an individual then you want to run quick

Nicky – So how did you know like how much time did it take from you signing those papers and then trying to get into the market and trying to date somebody? Was it fast did you feel like you already you know had that closure that you needed before you even signed those papers? You know just to make it final or did you feel like you still needed more time and how did you know that you were ready to say okay I’m ready now to kind of like put that stage in my life behind that really sucked and I’m ready to kind of start new with somebody else and I’m ready to look now?

Ian – Yeah you know you know what I could say quite frankly I learned is that if you the moment that you speak about your ex-spouse to someone else

Nicky – Right

Ian – And the and you don’t feel a tinge of anger, resentment, sadness, that’s when you’re ready to that’s when you’re ready to go out

Nicky – That could be years for some people

Ian – So some people it can be that’s one of the reasons why I say that it’s the vein of anger yeah because within that vein of anger you’re also awakening that reptilIan side of your brain and if that reptilIan side of your brain is being awoken by your still negative angry stance towards the relationship that you had there is no way there’s no way that you have a runway ahead of you that allows you to go forward with a new relationship. You have to leave that baggage behind I mean that’s that’s that’s one flight where I’m happy to lose my luggage.

Nicky – So did you go to therapy after? Did you feel like you needed therapy after your divorce to kind of get to a better place?

Ian – Honestly I didn’t but I also believe that and I don’t want to be so dismissive of that therapy but um I think I was I benefited from the fact that I surrounded myself be it consciously or subconsciously

Nicky – By people that love you

Ian – With good people with good people who who have the same morals and the same what I call moral constitution as far as life is concerned right and and really at the end with all of that support it really wasn’t necessary for me to see uh someone in the you know professional uh psych psychotherapist or psychologist

Nicky – Okay so you went to this seminar recently or you went to this workshop or tell me about that you learned something about the red brain blue brain. What is this you know red being blue brain business?

Ian – Yeah absolutely and um with the work that I do every day I certainly have the privilege of really meeting and going through and working with some really high level professionals that really understand the business and not only the business but the business in the context of being a human being

Nicky – Right

Ian – No matter what you do for a living you’re still a human being.

Nicky – Well you have to bring humanity to what you do

Ian – Absolutely and so these folks and I want to make sure that um you know I give them a nod um these are very smart people at a company called optima and we went through a sales training session recently

Nicky – Okay

Ian – But what it did it wasn’t so much about sales it’s again it’s about the human the human capacity right the human condition while you’re working and do whatever it is that you’re doing in your daily capacity and so one of the learning modules was about hey you need to be conscious that your brain is divided about 50/50. You’ve got what’s called the red brain which we are called the reptilIan brain right which is very defensive, okay. So when people are starting a divorce they tend to be using a lot of their reptilIan or the red brain side. As you go through the process and you start getting legal counsel and you start talking to friends and family you’ll realize that you’re starting to tap into the other half of your brain which is the blue brain

Nicky – Right

Ian – Because after you go through that huge amount of anger resentment etc you have to create some semblance of order.

Nicky – Right

Ian – You’re better or it’s not going to work out very well and in order to get that semblance of order you really need to be conscious of activating your blue brain that’s the side of your brain. That is rational in thought right quells a lot of emotions that are really serving nobody’s purpose 

Nicky – So you’re in a stable place really

Ian – Absolutely

Nicky – It’s kind of like your stable side I guess

Ian – Absolutely it’s that rational side it’s that side that allows you to get what and take what I call a 360 degree view of your situation.

Nicky – Right

Ian – When you’re using your red brain quite frankly you’re really not getting that 360 degree view of the situation you’re currently going through. So the blue brain if I could leave it at that and say simply as a sound bite quickly, that blue brain is going to give you a lot more peace it’s going to allow you to start to heal

Nicky – Right

Ian – But if you’re preoccupied with the red brain healing is not starting

Nicky – Right

Ian – As a matter of fact there might be even some deeper scarring happening at a subconscious level that you’re not even aware of

Nicky – Right

Ian – Making it very critical and crucial for you to really have a conscious understanding of the red brain and the blue brain uh within your within your mind

Nicky – So how how did learning all of this kind of make you kind of in hindsight think about your divorce?

Ian – You know what quite frankly you know and it’s it’s it’s really funny along the way again a lot of friends and folks that you know you come across

Nicky – Yeah

Ian – Ian I know what you’re going through. You know it’s going to get better it’s going to get better. I can’t tell you how many times a week I heard it’s going to get better

Nicky – Yeah

Ian – and at the end of the day when you’re in the soup

Nicky – Was that frustrating for you to hear all the time?

Ian – It it it wasn’t necessarily frustrating I just felt that you know what thank you but no no no thank you you know like yeah it’s gonna get better. Okay great but I’m in a kettle of fish right now

Nicky – Yeah

Ian – I’m in the soup now. Don’t talk to me about three weeks from now or three months from now

Nicky – Yeah because you’re trying to get through every single day right and you’re trying to make it through the day

Ian – Exactly 

Nicky – It’s tough

Ian – And one of the key aspects as well and um certainly would like to share some notes on that it goes back to the blue brain red brain and that when I was back and you remember through all of this process you still have to work. We still have to earn income.

Nicky – Right

Ian – But the one thing as a professional that I could not do I could not present myself and walk into offices and deal with my valued clients by bringing that baggage with me. So as a result of that you are forced to shut the red brain off right and really focus on the blue brain because that’s also really quite frankly that’s part of you surviving because there’s nobody really, people are sympathetic perhaps to you going through divorce right but it’s not their problem.

Nicky – I find that men sometimes are have the have a better ability to compartmentalize than maybe women do. Do you agree with that or what’s your stance on that?

Ian – If I had if I had the privilege of being inside a lady’s brain i’d be able to answer you the answer that question you know quite frankly but I I can’t really answer that question. Um I I you know there are there are there are qualitative aspects to our life there’s quantitative aspects to our life

Nicky – Right

Ian – Quite frankly um I think that ladies and women you have a better ability to actually blend the two together I find that some of us men we tend to be focused on one side the quantitative okay and we will then ignore the qualitative. The qualitative being the emotional side of things as well being able to share how you feel as opposed to having that caveman um response.

Nicky – Well it’s hard because sharing how you feel makes you vulnerable right and you want to be able to share in a space where you feel safe and I don’t know if that’s always the case you know maybe upbringing or whatever the case is you know people are taught uh that it’s not safe to be able to share and to be open right so it kind of really depends on the person.

Ian – It does and you make a very very astute point about the background and your upbringing I mean again that’s where my moral constitution comes from I’ve always said people say Ian you’re a gentleman. Well I am that’s because my mom she raised me to be gentle and my dad raised me to be a man. So I’m a gentle man. So to answer your question to go back with that right we tend to as men it’s more about the quantitative. We need to get house, food, money, clothes, car. Women we’re gonna get the house, clothing, car,

Nicky – Yeah

Ian – but we’re gonna do it in a way that makes everybody have a nice experience when they do it

Nicky – Okay

Ian – You know when I go and buy a car I’m not too concerned about the experience of buying a car but I would think that a lot of women when they go and purchase an automobile they also appreciate the experience that they have when purchasing the automobile. Whereas men tend to be like, what’s the best price?

Nicky – Right

Ian – I don’t want that coffee, you’re going to charge me for the coffee, aren’t you?

Nicky – Right

Ian – Right that sort of thing.

Nicky – Yeah

Ian – And but but at the end of the day it’s that rhyme and reason it’s it’s the two halves that should come together and that’s where successful relationships happen. I don’t want to have the completely negative here yeah you know successful relationships what are they all about. Well they’re all about having an understanding and appreciation for each each other’s um strong suits if you will.

Nicky – Yeah so have you been dating now

Ian – I have yes and uh actually um you know I was dating um for well over a year and a half 

Nicky -Okay

Ian – And um you know I’m still in a relationship but it’s up and down okay you know kind of like the toilet seat it’s up and down that’s what I always say but it’s something that um I’m really appreciating working on and um quite frankly the good thing is is that um I’m not letting the hangover of the divorce have any part of the relationship that I’m in right now and they are completely mutually exclusive but it took a lot to get there again including that discussion about really be having an understanding about the red brain versus the blue brain.

Nicky – Right

Ian – and having a conscience being conscious about that

Nicky – Right

Ian – And all you have to do is just become conscious of those two halves of the brain and I believe for those folks that are listening in that are currently going through divorce or maybe in a separated situation right now. Just that alone should give you a real good boost about how you’re going to go through this particular process

Nicky – Okay so did you hire a lawyer through your divorce? Did she?

Ian – Absolutely we did try to go through a more amicable route um there are for folks out there listening in uh there are there are other avenues.

Nicky – There’s mediators

Ian – Exactly yeah exactly we tried that but um we just never got to uh to uh I guess an 

Nicky – Alignment

Ian – Alignment that yeah that both of us want to go that route.

Nicky – Well I think mediation is great for if both people are really aligned and they’re willing to come together and you know but if there’s a lot of that you know uh wrestling back and forth you just might need to hire a lawyer because they have more pull I guess.

Ian – Absolutely and I know that a lot of folks go oh gosh here we go we have to hire a lawyer I mean that’s part of the impetus for the for the mediators coming on board because a lot of people are

Nicky – Really

Ian – Not um they’re not really enamored with hiring lawyers anymore for divorces

Nicky – Right

Ian – But one of the things that I will say in the defense of of hiring a lawyer is that it also depends on how busy you are as far as making a living and again as an investment wholesaler and a senior business sales manager, I’m very busy and I felt that the best decision for me to make at that time is to pay for the expertise.

Nicky – Right

Ian – I talk about that every day when I sit down with advisors in the invest in the investment world. There’s nothing wrong with paying someone to do something that is going to get done correctly so that you can focus on what you do best.

Nicky – Right right

Ian – So a lot of folks will say oh you know mediation is cheaper it’s cheaper but how much time are you taking away from work are you are you truly staying focused on taking care of your clients

Nicky – So for you it was the greatest decision

Ian – Absolutely it was it was a critical decision so if you’re busy I would strongly suggest you hire a lawyer let hire them pay them to do the work.

Nicky – So how did you go about finding somebody that you really connected with you know

Ian – Well again it goes back to building that you know that moral constitution. So who are the folks in my life that built moral constitution and that includes my parents but in this particular case they never been through a divorce my friends. My friends who have the same moral constitution I do I spoke to several of them you know anybody that’s been through oh yes he and I do you might want to speak to these folks and they specialize in this area etc etc so you get a little short list and you make your decision but the one thing I would say is that make a decision. Don’t sit on the list make that decision, make a call, get engaged

Nicky – What’s a couple of things that you would recommend that people do during a divorce situation that helps them sort of reduce the financial burden of a divorce?

Ian – Well first of all I would also I would take a look at making sure that you’re just more conscious of your budget because during the process of a divorce expenses can pop up here and there and you want to be well prepared for that

Nicky – Right, well you have to move out on your own you have to pay full rent you’re not splitting expenses with anybody

Ian – exactly

Nicky – and oftentimes that’s why people stay in marriages that they shouldn’t be in right to be able to to split that because they can’t afford to maybe stay on their own

Ian – Absolutely absolutely that’s the case uh in many in many regards the other the other piece that I was focused on is you want to take a look at your arrangements you have with that with your spouse at that time as you the spouse you’re going through the divorce with

Nicky – Right

Ian – And make sure that there are you understand all the legal ramifications of those arrangements in other words we have a joint credit card what do you do about that

Nicky – Right

Ian – So things of that nature joint joint bank accounts. How do I do that? What are the legal ram what are the legal ramifications going forward of that arrangement? What are the possible conclusions to that arrangement through this process? And really take a a hard look at your monetary instruments that are part of your relationship because that’s going to be the oil that drives the process

Nicky – Mm-hmm yeah

Ian – It’s really important

Nicky – So now you you work in the segregated fund sort of arena. Why do you think seg funds are really great for people going through a divorce or you know they’re looking for that estate planning and you know they’re looking to go in that direction? Why do you think seg funds would be a solution for them?

Ian – Well sake funds um you know quite frankly what they do is they allow you to do estate planning yeah um through through a financial instrument which is called a segregated fund yeah and and you can name direct name beneficiaries other than your spouse for example to certain um to certain um accounts right and and you’re really talking about a trilateral agreement it’s between the insurance company, the annuitant right of course and the owner of the contract 

Nicky – Right

Ian – and and and you can’t break that trilateral agreement. So if you’re looking for what I would call um certainty and stability uh segregated funds with the ability to name beneficiaries such as your child or or it could be even a um you know a niece or a nephew it gives you the ability to direct assets to to the people that you want to actually get the assets

Nicky – Right

Ian – So in essence it’s a very simple way in which you can do estate planning without even involving a lawyer and going through a complicated process of a will

Nicky – Right, right

Ian – So it does allow people and as you astutely point out going through a divorce or what have you, it does allow them the ability to do what I call estate planning. Taking baby steps.

Nicky – Right. Ian thank you so much for coming on the show. Everything you said was amazing and I’m sure everybody loved all the information that you provided. If you’d like to watch more videos make sure to like subscribe and hit that notification bell for more videos to come. Thanks and have a great day. Bye!