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Season 2 Episode 10: Conscious Coupling – A New Approach to Prenups with Andrea Vacca

andrea vacca

 

Andrea Vacca no longer litigates divorces, rather she focuses on mediation and protecting families throughout the process. In this episode, she takes us through ways that prenups can contribute to both smoother separations and healthier marriages.

 

The main trend that Andrea has identified is one of pragmatism when it comes to marriage. She notes that Millennials are waiting longer to get married, begin to accrue financial assets before marriage and have likely been impacted by divorce at some point in their lives. This has resulted in a shift towards what she calls “conscious coupling”.

The term conscious coupling stems from a practical approach to marriage, not unlike the pragmatic divorces, referred to as “conscious uncoupling”. More individuals are going into marriage knowing who they are and what they want their future to look like. They are more likely to ask their future partners what they envision for the future and not assuming it will be the same.

 

There are many different views on money, debt, saving, spending, etc that need to be addressed well before getting married. Drawing up a prenup is the start of these important conversations. Partners can plan their futures together with a collaborative approach versus a defensive one. And of course, if the marriage does end, the chances of a peaceful smooth divorce are higher and will have less of a negative impact on your family.

 

 

Andrea’s Tips:

  1. Have the necessary conversations when you are engaged, if not before. Do not wait until planning the wedding. This should take place at least 6 months ahead of wedding.

  2.  

  3. Listen to yourself, don’t get too caught up in other peoples opinions.

  4.  

  5. Find out about your current family’s future in terms of estate planning before entering a prenup agreement.

  6.  

  7. Let your fiance know that you would like to write up a prenup, instead of suprising them with one.

  8.  

  9. While both parties should consult lawyers respectively, prenups should be approached in a collaborative way.

  10.  

  11. Prenups can be mediated with a shared third party, complimented with legal advice for each individual.

  12.  

  13. What’s covered in a prenup?

  14.  

    • Spousal support

    •  

    • Debt/liabilities

    •  

    • Agreements regarding unborn children, with the exception of NY

    •  

    • Life insurance

    •  

    • Estate rights

    •  

    • Sunrise/Sunset timespan – some prenups expire after a certain amount of time or are only enacted after being married for a certain amount of time.

 

About Andrea

Andrea Vacca is certified as a mediator and collaborative lawyer. She is a leader and member in many professional organizations that reflect her interests in dispute resolution and family law issues including:

  • President of the Board of Directors of the New York Association of Collaborative Professionals

  • Associate Director of the National Association of Divorce Professionals

  • Member of the Board of Directors of the New York Women’s Bar Association

  • Member of the International Association of Collaborative Professionals

  • Member of the Family and Divorce Mediation Counsel of Greater New York;

  • Member of New York City Bar Association

  • Member of the New York State Bar Association

 

Andrea graduated from SUNY College at Buffalo with a B.A. in Journalism and from Albany Law School of Union University with a J.D. She was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1993 and to the Federal Bar, N.D.N.Y. in 1994. In 2013, she also received a Certificate in Positive Psychology.

 

Epsiode Transcript

Jennifer: Welcome to Divorce and Other Things You Can Handle a branded podcast by Worthy. I’m Jennifer Butler and I’m your host. According to a survey done by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 62% of the lawyers they’d uphold had seen an increase in the total number of clients seeking a prenuptial agreement during the past three years. The old understanding of what a prenuptial agreement is, and the intentions behind a couple choosing to create one seem to be shifting significantly, especially among the millennial population. Yet there continues to be a great deal of stigma and judgment around the topic as a whole. Andrea Vacca from Vacca Law and creativeresolutionsblog.com is here today to talk to us about why it is so important for us to begin having a more modern and thoughtful conversation around the topic of prenups. She says that a prenup can be a conscious way to enter into a marriage and a beautiful exercise in communication for the couple as they prepare to enter into a lifelong partnership together.

 

I am excited to bring this conversation to all of you listening as I know it will expand your mind and give you something new to consider. We’re going to take a quick break and then we’ll be back with Andrea Vacca.

 

Jennifer: Our guest today, Andrea Vacca, is the founder of Vacca Law and Mediation, a law firm in Manhattan that focuses exclusively on non-adversarial divorce and family law matters. Andrea regularly lectures, writes and blogs on the topics of collaborative law, mediation and topics related to non-adversarial family law. After practicing traditional litigation focused family law for many years, Andrea’s from now works only with clients who want to keep their divorces out of court and want their prenuptial and postnuptial agreements negotiated in a non-adversarial manner. In addition to having a BA and JD, Andrea also has a certificate in positive psychology and regularly applies what she has learned to help her clients navigate their divorces, including having a growth mindset, being resilient and encouraging mindfulness.

 

Andrea is the author of the chapter on collaborative law in the book Onward and Upward, a Guide For Getting Through New York Divorce and Family Law Issues. She serves as president of the New York Association of Collaborative Professionals, is associate director of a New York City chapter of the National Association of Divorce Professionals and is a board member of the New York Women’s Bar Association, and I’m happy to say that she is going to be contributing her writing and her expertise to Worthy very soon. Thank you so much Andrea for being here with us today.

 

Andrea: Thank you.

 

Jennifer: It’s a pleasure to have you.

 

Andrea: Thank you, Jennifer. I’m very happy to be here.

 

Jennifer: So I said a mouthful. You have so much expertise in this area and you really live your work, you really stand in your work. So tell us just a little bit more about yourself and why you do what you do.

 

Andrea: Well, the reason I do what I do and what I mean by that is why I don’t no longer litigate my cases that are in divorce. I no longer want to go to court, I don’t ask judges to make decisions for our clients. And the reason I do that is, because I truly believe that if a couple can communicate with each other, even during this very difficult time in their lives, when their marriage is ending, that they are better able to create an agreement that’s going to be best for them and their children. And I apply that same rationale to prenuptial agreements, and when I’m helping clients before they get married, I also want to encourage that conversation, that communication, that understanding so that their agreement meets both of their needs as much as possible, and they can have the security they need as they move into their future together.

 

Jennifer: Yeah, that’s so powerful. And this whole conversation today, this episode was sparked by an article that you wrote on your blog about how millennials are making prenups the norm. And as I researched after reading your article, millennials might be kind of kick starting it, but it seems to be spreading beyond them at this point. What are some of the reasons that you think that, that might be happening?

 

Andrea: Well, I feel I’ve, you know, I’ve been practicing law about 25 years now, so I’ve been doing prenuptial agreements for a long time. And the difference that I’m seeing now with people in their thirties say, let’s talk about people in their thirties when we’re talking about millennials. They are coming to their marriages with much more pragmatism. They also one or both have experienced divorce as a child of a divorce. They don’t want their parents’ divorce. Even if their parents divorce was an ugly and bitter and a knocked down drag out fight, they know how painful it can be. So they want to be more prepared. They want to go into their relationships more aware of who they’re marrying, what their priorities are and have an understanding. So I think they are leading the way in and not being afraid to have these conversations and to let their spouse or future, you know, their fiance know what they want. They’ve given us a lot of thought.

 

Jennifer: Do you think it has a little bit to do as well from what I’ve heard as they are waiting longer to get married as well?

 

Andrea: Yes, definitely. Because people who are marrying in their 30s or so, they have been working maybe 10 years or more. They’ve been, they have assets, they have retirement accounts, they’ve saved and maybe they own homes. They have cars, they have less debt than they had and maybe when they got out of college, but now they have different types of debt.

 

Jennifer: Right.

 

Andrea: They’re closer to thinking about having children. You know, if they’re going to have children they’re going to have to do it sooner than later. So they’re more aware of real life.

 

Jennifer: Right, right.

 

Andrea: And they’re not going into this blind, and you know, thinking like they’re finding their prince charming, or you know, a princess to marry them. They’re more realistic.

 

Jennifer: Right. It’s like it’s less romanticized or something.

 

Andrea: Yeah.

 

Jennifer: So this pragmatism, this desire to be prepared, it’s really a brilliant way for them to be more conscious and more thoughtful about entering into marriage. You know, this lifelong commitment and you talk about it in a very unique way, because you talk about prenuptial agreements, and the process of getting married as something called conscious coupling.

 

Andrea: Right.

 

Jennifer: And I love this. I love this idea. We’ve heard about conscious uncoupling, and I love that you are seeing this at the beginning as conscious coupling. So you know, what is that conscious coupling and how to prenuptial agreements fit in to that idea?

 

Andrea: Well conscious coupling, the way I think about it is, well we have what we talked about before, you’re not going into this blindly, and you know, finding your, you know, prince and knight in shining armor to save your life and take care of you forever. Conscious coupling is more, look, this is who I am, this is where I’m coming from. This is what’s important to me. Tell me about you, I don’t want to make assumptions. What are you thinking about for our, not just our wedding. People put so much thought into their wedding-

 

Jennifer: Yeah.

 

Andrea: And not a lot into their marriage. So this is more talking about we’re making this commitment to each other to get married and hopefully stay married forever. What does that mean to you? It’s not just about the vows you say on your wedding day, it’s how do you want to live your life? Let’s talk about money. Everyone has a very different experience around money, and they’re not making assumptions about the way I view money is the way you do.

 

Jennifer: Right.

 

Andrea: People have very different reactions to debt, to saving, to spending. So there’s a, you need to be more conscious and aware of who you’re marrying in that regard and talk about what your expectations are. You know, about if we do have children, do we both plan to work? How much do we want to put into savings? What if we have different views? How will we balance that out? And might mean going to therapy before you get married, just to, you know, fine tune any differences. So that’s what I mean by conscious coupling and why the prenuptial agreement can then capture all of these different ideas that you might have and put it into legal terms so that if the marriage should end, it’s not as difficult to end it. And hopefully the marriage won’t end, and you’re living your life and living your marriage with much more ease because you’ve talked about these things.

 

Jennifer: Yeah. I mean it seems that these are such big issues, and they’re not even issues they’re just themes, right? They’re just life, they’re pieces of life that we all live with and really need to understand about each other. And it just seems like when things are wonderful, and you’re feeling so loving toward one another, that it really is the best time to talk about this stuff.

 

Andrea: Yes. And it’s, sometimes people start talking about this before they’re even engaged.

 

Jennifer: Yeah. Yeah.

 

Andrea: I’ve had a couple of clients that say, “Look, we want the Prenup, then we’ll get engaged.” I give those people so much credit, they are really stepping up and talking about some hard things, but also as soon as you get engaged, if you haven’t had this conversation yet do it then, because not when the marriage, the wedding is getting planned, and your parents are putting this pressure on you and you don’t know where everyone’s going to be sitting and it’s getting more expensive and the date is approaching and you know, life. The wedding planning, it’s so stressful. So you don’t want to have this conversation in the middle of all that. There’s a lot of tears, it can be very difficult. So do it when you’re happy, do it when things are calmer and you’re excited about the future.

 

Jennifer: Yeah. You know, I feel like this really lines up with what kind of seems to be a bit of a shift happening even in the type of love that people are looking for. You know, it’s less about that, you know, falling, and you know from way back being in a relationship to have two people, somebody working, somebody to caring for children. Like everything’s shifting, and it seems like people are entering in more conscious ways, you know, consciously choosing into love more than falling.

 

Andrea: Yes. I think you’re absolutely right. And of course this applies to all types of couples, you know, whether they’re heterosexual, homosexual, and you know, sometimes they already thought about who would not work if we have children or how we’ll juggle work and family. Sometimes they’re pretty sure that it will be the lower earning spouse who happens to be, you know, the husband or one of the husbands in a heterosexual family. It could just be they say, “Oh, were pretty sure he’s going to be staying home, and I, wife in this family will be working more because I can make more.” And that’s a real shift, I like that. I haven’t seen that in previous generations that I’ve worked with that they’re open to who might stay home and what, how this might work. So they’re looking at all kinds of options together.

 

Jennifer: Yeah. And so you know what I love about the way you speak about this is that it really, I think some of the stigma around prenuptial agreements before has been, you know, you’re setting yourself up to fail or how can you think about it ending, that’s not real love. You know there is all these kind of stereotypes around it and love isn’t supposed to be pragmatic and, but the way you talk about it is this really expansive way of loving each other. It feels so engaging and open and thoughtful and caring.

 

Andrea: It is, it’s caring for each other and yourself. Right? It’s not putting somebody else first, it’s not ignoring your gut and your needs. I don’t think there should be any stigma around this at all. I think you should be proud if you engage in this kind of conversation with your fiance and have this difficult conversation at a time when you don’t want to, no one wants to do this.

 

Jennifer: Right.

 

Andrea: You know, it’s not fun to think about, but it pays off. I don’t think there should be any stigma around prenuptial agreements. It says romantic because you’re trying to have a better marriage. You’re trying to, you know, communicate more effectively and learn from those, from how you’re communicating now, so will let fewer problems come up later. And what’s really like lovely about it is if your marriage does end you’ve worked out so many things early on, there’s less to fight about. You can hopefully move on not hating each other. Your children won’t be as damaged, you won’t be fighting, you might still have a relationship with your in-laws, and your extended family, who knows what’s possible?

 

Jennifer: Yeah.

 

Andrea: Like you’re not destroying everything in its path because you didn’t want to deal with it earlier, right?

 

Jennifer: Right. It’s like you’re more likely to consciously uncouple if that is to happen.

 

Andrea: That’s right. And I think that is more romantic, actually.

 

Jennifer: Yeah, absolutely. So as a collaborative lawyer, how do you go through the prenuptial agreement process differently than just, let’s say a regular attorney?

 

Andrea: Yeah, it’s sort of regular attorney, a traditional attorney. You know, traditionally, I’ll talk about that first. So traditionally prenups are presented in this way. The higher earning or the spouse with the higher net worth would go to his or her lawyer and say, “I want a prenup. I want to protect my self.” So this is about me protecting myself. So lawyer puts together an agreement that will protect me and then will present it to my fiance. Well that’s like the shock and awe approach to prenups, it’s not helpful at all. You know, it’s just devastating. Let’s talk in a traditional way.

 

Jennifer: Right.

 

Andrea: Man making, you know, has more money and then presenting to his fiance who is a woman, she is devastated. Like what is this? We’ve never talked about this, what does this mean? You’ve handed any 40 pages of this contract, I don’t even know what this is. It’s very, very difficult. That’s the traditional way, and that still happens, and I don’t encourage it at all, at all. What I encourage is a more collaborative approach and that means my client would come in and talk to me and yes, maybe they’re coming to me because yes, they want to protect their assets. So I want to engage in a conversation with them about, well, what do you think is important to your fiance? How do you think he or she will feel about this?

 

Well, how do you imagine your marriage and your life and what happens when you start buying things together? What are you thinking? And then I would have them think through these questions and then hopefully if they’re comfortable with it, talk to their fiance about it. So kind of coach them on how to have this conversation now that I’ve helped them think this through. And often they will do that, they’ll have that conversation. And then the next step, in a more collaborative approach would be for the fiance to find an attorney who’s also hopefully collaboratively trained, understands mediation and understands what we call interest based negotiations rather than positional based negotiations.

 

So we want to expand what’s possible, look at all the options to make sure he’s okay, she’s okay or they’re okay, whatever they are. And that both of them are feeling secure enough to agree to terms that we can put on paper and that they can sign. So that happens through more conversations usually with the attorneys in the room to help guide them. That’s the most productive way I know of to come to an agreement and for prenuptial agreement.

 

Jennifer: And so just to clarify, there still does need to be two attorneys because one attorney can’t represent the both, correct?

 

Andrea: That’s correct. And in a more collaborative approach, maybe you need some help advocating for yourself, really explaining what’s important to you so you would have your two non-adversarial attorneys there to help you.

 

Jennifer: Okay.

 

Andrea: Another approach that I think is great and I do this a lot is mediate. So if a couple, both members of the couple feel very comfortable talking about their needs and their concerns, but need a third party to help them have the conversation, they can go to mediation. And I help a lot of couples come to an agreement that way where the three of us sit down and it’s also very, it’s a collaborative approach but without the collaborative attorneys in the room.

 

Jennifer: I see.

 

Andrea: And then they would have that agreement reviewed. Hopefully they’re consulting with attorneys outside my mediation room, because you do want some legal advice. You want to understand the law, you want, you need your own advice but you can add, you can negotiate on your own. So mediation is a great process.

 

Jennifer: Yeah, absolutely. I love that there’s, you know, different ways of going about it. And at the end of the day the more educated you are, the more conscious the choice you’re making.

 

Andrea: That’s right. Exactly.

 

Jennifer: So we’re going to take a quick little break here and when we come back we’re going to talk about the prenup itself. And you know, what the couple can choose to sort of put in that prenuptial agreement, because I think it’s more than what people think. So we’re going to take a quick little break and then we’re going to be right back with more from Andrea Vacca.

 

Jennifer: We’re back with Andrea Vacca discussing a new understanding of prenuptial agreements and an idea created by Andrea called conscious coupling. And what I’d love to talk about now is the actual, you know, the prenuptial agreement itself and that it can include more than what I think most people tend to think. So what can go in there?

 

Andrea: So what can go into the agreement in our role, the traditional terms having to do with finances and how we’ll define marital property and separate property. I’m in New York, so we use, we divide assets in the divorce and debt in a divorce based on equitable distribution. So we have to define marital and separate property. So your prenup can be very, can define those terms very broadly or very narrowly. So that, we will definitely do that. So everyone will know if every dollar you’re earning during the marriage is going to the marital pot or the separate pot.

 

Jennifer: Right.

 

Andrea: How do you get credits back if you put money you had from prior to the marriage into your new home, what kind of return on your investments you get. For example, is a dollar for dollar or is it, is it based on or you know, increase in value of the investment that you need. We would talk about spousal support. Will it be waived? Will it be paid? How will we determine if it will be paid? And how may we determine what will be paid? You can address any or all of those things. If you fail to address or don’t want to address any of those things, you can specifically say we’re waiving them, but you can tell, we’ll talk about it at that time.

 

Jennifer: Right.

 

Andrea: If the marriage ends, we’ll discuss support at that time. We’ll talk about debt and liabilities. If you’re coming into the marriage with student loans or credit card debt, how will that get paid during the marriage? What pod is that coming out of? What if there’s debt incurred during the marriage and it wasn’t for marital purposes, it wasn’t for the family. It was something somebody chose to do unilaterally, how will that be paid? The one thing you can’t talk about it in a New York prenuptial agreement is children, if they haven’t been born yet. So you can’t, cannot agree on if we have children we’ll share custody or if we have children, this is how we’ll pay support, you know, we’ll support them. You can put things, you can say, we intend that our children will go to private school and that will come from this source of money, but it’s not enforceable, you know.

 

Jennifer: Right.

 

Andrea: So I usually just encourage my clients not to even try to address children. However, if you had children from a prior marriage or your fiance does, you might want to address that. How is money for child support being paid. You know, we deserve money coming from your former spouse and your children from that prior marriage. So that’s something we should talk about because I’ve seen divorces where it wasn’t talked about and there’s a lot of resentment into how much money went out the door to that previous family. You know, because there was an obligation that you had a judgment of divorce telling you what to pay. So if that’s the situation, we should address it or know that we’re not addressing it, one way or other bring it up.

 

Jennifer: Right.

 

Andrea: So those are some of the things that you would, you know, that we’ll address. We’ll talk about life insurance, will it be covered during the marriage? What are your state rights in the event of death, or do I have normal, you know, the regular rights of any spouse if one of us should die during the marriage or are we waiving those rights and only relying on what might be in a will, so that’s another issue we’ll definitely talk about in a prenuptial agreement.

 

Jennifer: You know, it’s interesting as I’m listening to you speak about all these topics, what’s coming to me is that not only does this prepare if let’s say God forbid they end up deciding not to stay together and consciously uncouple. But I would imagine that it also removes some of that, you know, conflict that occurs throughout marriage.

 

Andrea: Yeah.

 

Jennifer: While people are married, it seems like there’s so much argument about money and where, you know, past child support or spousal support, all these things that couples tend to fight about during the marriage. You know, everything that you’re speaking about really kind of lays the groundwork for removing that. You know, that challenge in the marriage.

 

Andrea: It does. If the client comes in and I hear some of these trigger issues that they’re not understanding, it could be such triggers later while everything is fine.

 

Jennifer: Right.

 

Andrea: We definitely want to, you know, I want to encourage them to think this through. What will it feel like? What will it, you know, during the marriage or after. You know, sometimes a couple knows that they might be relocating. Well, let’s think about that. Will you be able to work in the new location if it wasn’t your choice or your job that’s moving you? What will that be like if you choose to uproot your life instead of just being, you know, the kind of a tag along fails. Do you want to talk about having some money paid to you so that you can continue having savings and retirement savings built up even though you’re not working for a while? Like how will we address this so that there’s not this feeling of lack of equity in the relationship?

 

Jennifer: Yeah.

 

Andrea: So we’ll think ahead. I like to help my clients kind of think ahead. Not about every possible situation of course, but what we know and working, pretty much guess might happen.

 

Jennifer: Yeah. Really going in with a very clear, clear vision, which is really powerful. So for any of our listeners that are considering a prenuptial agreement and hopefully their minds are expanding and kind of opening up to this idea, what do they need to begin doing?

 

Andrea: Well, the first step would be to let your fiance know that you want a prenuptial agreement, test the waters. See what, you know, have a conversation and in a place, you know, face to face conversation. I wouldn’t suggest, you know, doing this when you’re fighting and you’re drunk. I don’t know, just like in a calm, like, let’s talk about this. Have you ever thought about it and like see what they’re thinking, and when you’re sure that you want one or if you’re thinking you might, contact an attorney as soon as possible, as soon as possible, as close to the engagement date. Maybe it’s before, like some of those couples I mentioned, but hopefully soon after the engagement and I would suggest at least six months before the wedding date if possible.

 

Jennifer: Right.

 

Andrea: If you have that much time that’s, you want to use it effectively, talk to an attorney. And then be involved in the negotiations. Don’t be that man or woman that says, “Hey lawyer, draft this prenup and then you go talk to that other lawyer and you two work it out.” That still happens, I still have spouses of my clients who do that. I don’t recommend it that the attorney’s work it out.

 

Jennifer: Right.

 

Andrea: This isn’t our marriage it’s your marriage. And then make the agreement as simple as possible. Now you might be going, “Wait, didn’t she just go into all these details about what can be in a prenup?” But it’s going to be tailored to your life, so not everything I mention might be in one prenup. Some might go on one track, some on another, but overall you want to make it as simple as possible and not get too in the weeds on any of the issues. Remember this is your life, it’s your relationship. It’s not your parents’ marriage, it’s not your friends, it’s not your coworkers, like that [Greek 00:27:51] chorus that will be there to help you. Maybe saying, “Why do you want a prenup? It’s not romantic.” Or, “Make sure you don’t give her anything.”

 

Jennifer: Right.

 

Andrea: You know, that’s the other one. You don’t want to listen to those people, just listen to yourself as much as you can. And then prepare a list of assets and liabilities. You want to be really clear on what you owe and what you own and what might be coming. Talk to your parents, might you be inheriting something soon? Are they going to be giving you gifts during their lifetime? Do they already know you’re in your grandmother’s will and you’re going to be getting some inheritance? I mean, try to find out about the future as much as you can so that you can, this agreement can help you with that planning.

 

There’s a lot of other things you should do and all the issues that we talked about previously that can go into your prenup. You want to start giving them some thought, with the help of your lawyer, perhaps just with conversation with your fiance. The other thing is think about how long you want the prenup or certain parts of the prenup to be in effect. So sometimes people will have what we call sunset or sunrise clauses. A sunset clause might be, you know, if we’re married for five years or 10 years after that, this prenup goes away. Like we’re going to share all our property, you know, it’s sunsets. Sometimes it’s a sunrise clause, like you’re not going to be entitled to any of my assets until we’ve been married at least a certain amount of time, then everything’s 50/50. So, it can go one way or the other.

 

Jennifer: Right.

 

Andrea: So think about it is that, sometimes people need more security.

 

Jennifer: Yeah.

 

Andrea: [inaudible 00:29:31], thankful. I really want to make sure she’s marrying me for the right reason or that we’re making the right decision. Sometimes the issue of children will play a role in that timeframe. So those are the things I would suggest thinking about. And then your attorney would have a longer checklist of really all the issues that a prenup can cover. You know, there’s so many different things we touched on them here, but there’s more details in all those categories.

 

Jennifer: And so just to highlight though, do you suggest that people sort of keep their ears open and search for a collaborative attorney, is that an attorney who’s going to be more open to really coaching them through the process and being less adversarial about it and more of a, sort of conscious way of going about it?

 

Andrea: Absolutely.

 

Jennifer: Okay.

 

Andrea: You know, if you can find a collaborative attorney, they just know how to help their clients think in a broader way about what’s important to both parties.

 

Jennifer: Yeah.

 

Andrea: Not just the one sided agreement. So there’ll be so much easier, if that’s the kind of marriage you want and that’s the kind of agreement you want, that’s the kind of attorney I would encourage you to find.

 

Jennifer: I imagine too. I mean, just less conflict and probably less money spent, right? Because the less you fight the quicker it all goes through.

 

Andrea: Yeah. Because truly all those one sided agreements, they take so long because there’s been no, there’s no conversation. There’s no priming, there’s no, you know, it’s just person tick with this thing and their parents are about to write $100,000 check, you know, for the wedding. And there’s so much pressure and duress, that could take so long to sort out.

 

Jennifer: Yeah.

 

Andrea: It’s not productive at all. It’s kind of the cowards way to get a prenup and no one’s happy in the end. So this is a, this is definitely a way to save some time and money and energy and love. And all those things you need.

 

Jennifer: Yeah, no, I love it. So we have to wrap up. I’ve loved this conversation. Final question though, and you kind of touched on this, but how my signing a prenup prior to marriage set the couple up to succeed in their marriage.

 

Andrea: Well, if they’ve had this type of agreement, you know, a prenuptial agreement that where they’re encouraged to talk to each other and really listen to each other, they’re going to be having learned a lot about each other and their ideas around money and spending and borrowing, debt, and all kinds of things around money and finances. So that’s, and then also understand emotions about how the other person deals with money. So not just the how, but the why, right?

 

Jennifer: Right.

 

Andrea: So that’s going to help them in their marriage because those are the huge cause of divorce, money issues.

 

Jennifer: Right.

 

Andrea: They’ve created an agreement hopefully that gives them both security. So when times get tough, they might not be thinking, “Oh my God, I’ve got to end this marriage now because I’m going to get that raise soon. And then he’ll be entitled to even more of my money if I don’t end it now.” But if you have this prenup, you can get through that tough time because you know what you’ve already agreed to, you know what you’re going to do. There’s just less fear in a marriage, if you have a prenup that’s been negotiated in a more contesting collaborative way, just having the understanding between you, it just opens up more ability to communicate about other issues that might come up in your marriage, and when you start having children or in-laws start bothering you or whatever it might be, you’re just able to communicate in a different way.

 

Jennifer: Yeah, I mean, it’s definitely a really powerful and beautiful exercise in communicating about uncomfortable things and marriage is filled of communicating about uncomfortable things. This has been so awesome. Okay, so how can our listeners connect with you?

 

Andrea: Well, they can connect with me and find me through my website, it’s vaccalaw.com, V-A-C-C-A-L-A-W.com. They can call me into my office in New York, 212-768-1115. And they can find me on Facebook, on LinkedIn, probably the best is to reach me through my website.

 

Jennifer: Thank you to Andrea Vacca for joining us and to all of you for listening. Make sure you subscribe so you can catch every new episode of Divorce and Other Things You Can Handle in your weekly feed. If you like what you hear, rate and review us to help other women like you be able to find us. I invite you to head over to our Facebook group Worthy Women and Divorce to join our growing community of women where you will find support, information, and wisdom.

 

 

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