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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.


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


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


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


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


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


  13. What’s covered in a prenup?


    • 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.



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