Tiffany Hughes – Is Having Your Day in Court Worth It?

Are You Ready for Divorce?

TAKE THIS QUIZ and Find Out. 

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Episode Description

Your spouse wronged you and it’s time for you to get what’s yours.  But are you really prepared to take your spouse to court and have a full-blown trial?  Or would you benefit more by forgetting about having your day in court and just settling amicably?  

Tiffany Hughes, the seasoned attorney who has been called a Shark in Stilettos, explains why going to trial might not be your best option, even if all of the ‘facts’ point in your favor.

She explains the complexities of the trial process and why the cost of going to trial is so high.  As Tiffany puts it, winning a case doesn’t depend on whether you’re right, but on what you can prove.  Going to trial is always a risk – and it will never give you the emotional satisfaction that you are looking for.

Tiffany discusses the differences between litigators and trial lawyers, and how to know whether the divorce lawyer you hire can actually try your case well.

Listen in and discover what you need to do to have a truly successful day in court.

Show Notes

About Tiffany
Tiffany M. Hughes
 is a divorce attorney and Managing Partner of The Law Office of Tiffany M. Hughes. Recognized as a Top 100 Lawyer in Lawyers Magazine in 2018 and 2019, Super Lawyer from 2016 to date, and in addition to numerous other accolades, Ms. Hughes represents individuals in all aspects of family and matrimonial law proceedings, including litigation, mediation, allocation of parental responsibility (formerly known as custody), parentage, divorce and other child-related matters.

Where to Connect with Tiffany
You can find Tiffany on Facebook at
The Law Offices of Tiffany M. Hughes, on Instagram at Tiffany Hughes Law, and on Twitter at The Law Offices of Tiffany M. Hughes. You can also connect with Tiffany at her website, The Law Offices of Tiffany M. HughesYou can also email her at [email protected]

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Is Having Your Day in Court Worth It?


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Tiffany Hughes, Karen Covy

Karen Covy  00:03

Hello, and welcome to Off the Fence, a podcast where we deconstruct difficult decision making so that we can figure out what keeps us stuck. And more importantly, how do we get unstuck?

I'm your host, Karen Covy, a former divorce lawyer, mediator and arbitrator turned coach, author and entrepreneur.

And with me today is a fellow Divorce Lawyer, Tiffany Hughes. Tiffany is a divorce attorney and the Managing Partner of the Law Offices of Tiffany M. Hughes. Recognized as a top 100 lawyer in Lawyer’s magazine in 2018 and 2019, and a super lawyer from 2016 all the way through the present time. Tiffany helps her clients in all aspects of family and matrimonial law proceedings, including litigation, mediation, allocation of parental responsibility, which was in Illinois, it was formerly known as custody, parentage, divorce and other child related matters.

Tiffany, welcome to the show.

Tiffany Hughes

Hi, Karen. Thank you for having me.

Karen Covy:

It's my pleasure. I have been looking forward to this. I know we have talked. We've known each other but for the benefit of our audience, I want to dive in from the very beginning and ask you, why a divorce lawyer? What brought you to this path?

Tiffany Hughes:

Why did I want to deal with all of this fun craziness? Right?

Karen Covy:


Tiffany Hughes  01:28

It's a very loaded question. I'm going to step back and take you kind of through this timeline of my life that led me to where we are today and why I am where I am today. My parents got divorced when I was seven. And it was traumatic generally, not only because of the divorce, but my dad was an alcoholic and a narcissist and my mom struggled. I had a guardian ad litem that was appointed during the case. So, I was represented. And as we continued on, my mom raised me and my dad was not really, you know, he was working. So, it was like, every other weekend kind of schedule.

I really learned that throughout this entire thing of watching my mom and dealing with all of the repercussions of the divorce and the negative speaking about the other parent and living through it. When I got into college, I started working with like a domestic violence group, and we would provide assistance to women and children and men and everybody who needed help with domestic violence in their home and in their life.

So, I started working and doing this pro bono through this clinic. I guess, I don't know. There was something so fulfilling about that. I mean, I watched with alcoholism came verbal abuse, came physical abuse, things that I saw that I probably should have never seen that no child should see. It was a very, very heart wrenching experience childhood generally, just to be completely honest. I felt for those people. When I was sitting there, and I was talking to them, and they were saying, “Tiffany, I'm going through this and I don't know what to do, and I can't go home. And I know I'm going to come home, and he's going to be drinking and he's going to be doing this. What if he, you know, and he's got a gun and what happens?” I'm just like, literally, my heart is like, I don't even know what to do. I can't do anything, right? I have no power. I have no ability to help. All I can do is help these people fill out this paperwork, that I really don't know how to fill out, but I'm going to do whatever I can to help them, right?

I don't know. I couldn't step away from that. I couldn't step away from the fact that these people needed help and didn't have it. As I continued, throughout my undergrad, I studied a lot and learned a lot about narcissism, mental illness, bipolar, that was something that my mom unfortunately struggled with, which was another layer of the childhood and layer of having to grow up really fast to take care of my mom at 13 and working full time at 16. And not going to high school like normal people. Working full time my junior and senior year to take care of my mother and to make sure we didn't lose our home and things that no kid should do. There's something very fulfilling about helping people in an area of a divorce and helping children in a roundabout way. When I represent children, obviously I'm representing them and I'm able to help them directly. But then indirectly help them through the process of a divorce and help the individuals get out of abusive relationships or get out of a relationship generally that's just not good for their mental health, and dealing with people that have problems with mental health and alcoholism, and drugs and all of those things.

And so, when I got into law school, my goal was to really focus on this. And I'm telling you is talking about coming around full circle in life, my first divorce case, and this is no joke, and I want to do a shout out to him, his name is Elliot, and he's retired now. But my first divorce case, opposing counsel was Elliot. And Elliot was my dad's divorce attorney. My first divorce case, first ever, was my dad's divorce attorney. My mom represented herself. So, she didn't have counsel.

I mean, talk about how this was supposed to be? Like how it was meant to be, right? I mean, you just can't make that up. It's just unbelievable. And that’s how I got here. And every day, it feels like I can make a difference. I know that sounds maybe cliché, but I am.

I love what I do and I love helping people. I love getting them outside of their box. I can see what it looks like outside, but they're so stuck inside and I can help them get out of that. I can help them start a new chapter. I can help them get out of all of this and not only guide them in the divorce, but I also, you know, “Hey, you should go see a therapist. I think that would be really good for you.’ Kind of not anywhere like you do with coaching, but able to help generally with that situation.

Karen Covy  07:15

That is amazing. I mean, you really have touched my heart. I had no idea how deep this went. And that you could take all of the pain and all of the things that you survived and you live through and roll up what had to be a really painful childhood in a lot of ways, and turn that into helping others is really beautiful. That's something. I think that explains a lot about what you do. I mean, we've been in the same business and we all know lawyers who do things very different ways, right? They approach the practice of law very differently. One of the things that you do and that you excel at is being a trial lawyer. I know that trial lawyers, especially in divorce, get a bad rap. Everybody says don't litigate, don't litigate. I think that you would agree with me in saying, ‘Yeah, if you can settle your own case, if you can mediate or stay out of court, of course do that.’ But there are some cases where that's not possible, or that's not the best idea. Can you speak to that? Like what kinds of cases really need to be litigated?

Tiffany Hughes  08:36

I think that when you have factual issue about income, the only way you're probably going to get a resolution with that is if you are going to have a trial and have a judge hear the facts, and then the judge to rule on the facts. Otherwise, if the husband is over here and the wife is over here, and you can't seem to bridge the gap through settlement, there's just certain things like that, like dissipation is another one. And dissipation, for everybody out there that doesn't know what that means, is when you have marital funds, you use funds during the marriage for a non-marital purpose. And a very good example of this, a common one, would be you take a trip with your girlfriend, the husband takes a trip with the girlfriend or spends money on lingerie and gifts and those kinds of things. And so, when you have a situation like that, the other person isn't going to say, ‘Oh, yeah, that's what I used it for.’ Now, maybe. But even if they do, they're not going to agree that the other party's, the other spouse is going to get their portion of what was spent.

I like to lock people in at depositions with certain things and use that as a means for settlement. But income dissipation, when you're really far apart on even parenting time, unfortunately, decision making, you can do what's called a pre-trial conference and ask the judge to give a recommendation. But those recommendations are not binding. Judges are hesitant in doing binding pre-trials, I was just talking to one of my associate attorneys about this before we hopped on about what did the judge say about my recommendation of a binding pre-trial? And no, the judge wouldn't do it. So, at least that way, you can all come in and have an agreement and say, ‘We're going to take the judge’s recommendation.’ We don't have to then prepare for an entire trial. But unfortunately, when you're so far apart, and you won't take a recommendation from a judge, it could really be a lot of things.

The money things are easy. The money things like he didn't pay child support, that's black and white, right? It's not really factual. You either did or you didn't, and you got proof of it, or you don't. But when you start to say, ‘Oh, hey, Joe works at this warehouse, but he also coaches in the evenings and he gets paid cash. And then he does mechanic work that he gets paid cash for on the side. And sometimes he does construction work on the side, and he's got all this money, but there's no way to prove it.’ You need to bring in all these people to tie in and make this whole picture, the whole story. So that's where you get stuff.

Karen Covy  11:41

Yeah, that makes sense. It sounds like with all of the experience that you've had with domestic violence, with narcissism. I know a lot of people ask me this question, so I'm going to ask you. If you're in the situation where your spouse is a narcissist. Is it better to go to trial or is it better to try to settle? Because in a settlement situation or mediation situation, the narcissist is just going to spin you in circles. But if you go to trial, that seems to be where they shine and what they thrive on. They thrive on the drama. So, what do you think about that? If someone is married to a narcissist, which way should they go?

Tiffany Hughes  12:27

Well, remember, there's different kinds of narcissism. So, that's one. And two, usually, when they have to start paying out a lot of money, the narcissists tend to step back, because they're realizing that their money is going to be spent on this. Now, it's all fun and games at the beginning. A lot of that spinning all around, not agreeing, refusing to even accept the most reasonable things, and having to literally what we call try and have a hearing on every single thing. That usually happens in the beginning. And then there is an obscene amount of money spent on attorneys’ fees, and then it starts to die down. When you get to a trial, you're looking at a lot of work. It's a full production of a lot of things and it's a lot of money, because it's a lot of work. So, when you hear trial, you hear litigation, you think dollar signs.

Usually, as soon as the attorney that he's working with or she is working with says $50,000 for a trial retainer, that usually helps. But the problem is I don't have control over what his attorney or her attorney is saying.

Karen Covy  13:56

100%. That gets to a really good point, because I think people know, sort of, conceptually, that trial is expensive, right? But what you can call expensive depends. It depends on your income level, your situation and blah, blah, blah, but trial, you and I both know how much work goes into a trial. I don't know that the general public has any idea of what going to trial really means. If you could speak to that in terms of cost, not just financial cost, but emotional cost and cost to the kids. If the kids are involved in the fight, if you're fighting about some sort of parenting issue or parenting time versus just money. What about that?

Tiffany Hughes  14:49

So, let me start off by saying that trial generally is similar, sort of, to what you see on TV, where you have the person sitting, and you have the person sitting in the witness seat, and you have the judge and you have the black robe, and you have the attorney questioning the person that's sitting in the witness seat, and you have the court reporter, and it's very similar to that.

To get to that point, you have to have everything prepared. To where you go into trial, you have the testimony ready for each witness, you have the cross examination of witnesses from the husband or the other party you may have, right? And you have to tender a witness list and draft one and include all the things that everybody is going to talk about at the trial. You have to prepare all of the documents that you are going to be using, you have to print them, you have to hole punch them, you have to tab them, and you have to put them in binders, and have four copies of them ready. One for me, one for the witness, one for the judge, and one for opposing counsel. That alone is a huge task. First, finding out what documents are relevant, and then how do you get them in? A lot of them are what is called hearsay, which is an out of court statement, use the truth of the matter asserted. And if it's a hearsay document, you have to have the person in court to be able to testify to what the document is. Otherwise, you're not getting in. So, all of these things are happening. Drafting of testimony, witness lists, witness disclosures, exhibit lists, trial, trial binders, all of the exhibits that need to be printed, all of these things have to be completed, then you start getting into motions that have to be filed before trial. A lot of them are called motions in limine. Your dissipation claim, that has to be filed before trial and before discovery closes. You'll have an entire order that will list out all of these deadlines. Deposition dates, did you depose them? Make sure you have your transcripts, so you can impeach them. Again, the testimony alone is just depending on the facts of the case are just a lot of time.

Karen Covy  17:25

Yeah. What I really want people to hear is how much work that goes into properly preparing a case for trial, because number one, for those people who have like the idea that they're going to do this on their own. I mean, you have no idea what you're doing. And you could hear Tiffany, from what you're saying how complicated it is, how much is involved in preparing it, and also why the lawyer wants $50,000 for example, for a trial retainer. It's because there is so much work involved.

I also wanted to clarify. You were talking about getting things, getting them in, right? And you mean admitted into evidence in front of the judge, because the judge can only make a decision based on the evidence that is admitted to him or her, right? That's another thing I think that a lot of people don't understand that they can't put everything into evidence. There are rules about what can go into court, what can't go into court, and some of the things that they think are so obvious, can't be proven based on the evidence that's allowed in. Has that been your experience as well?

Tiffany Hughes  18:49

Absolutely. It's okay. I don't expect you to know the rules of evidence. I didn't know the rules of evidence before I went to law school, I wouldn't expect you to know that. But at the end of the day, it just goes to show on the level of complexity that we're talking about. It's one thing to know, and it's another thing to prove it. So, you may think all day long that your husband is cheating on you and has been spending all this money and using all this cash. But it's not about what you know. And you probably are right, right? You would know, right? I mean, I don't know. You're probably right. But you know what, it's not about if you're right, it's about what you can prove. That's where people don't understand that just, “Here's the document,” and it's like, no. It's simple things like a vehicle. Well, the vehicle is worth 15,000 on Kelley Blue Book. Guess what? The Kelley Blue Book estimate that you got offline, that's hearsay. You can't use that. Now, you want to testify that you believe it's worth 15,000. But if the other lawyer is a good lawyer and you start talking about how you got that amount, and that you got it from Kelley Blue Book, your statement alone would be hearsay. You are talking about something that is hearsay. It's actually double hearsay in the rule.

So, evidence is something that fascinates me, trials fascinate me. I love them. It's not because I like anybody to spend a lot of money. But unfortunately, when you get to that point, you want to make sure that you have somebody who's really, really, really good at what they're doing. Because being a divorce attorney and being a trial attorney are not one and the same at all. In fact, most cases settle. So, most attorneys in family law don't know how to try cases.

Karen Covy  20:46

What you're saying here is gold for people to hear because there's a huge difference between being a litigator, which is what most lawyers would call themselves if they do any kind of court work at all versus a trial lawyer. A trial lawyer is a lawyer who actually can do a really good job at trial, who tries cases. The question I have for you is you and I both know that there can be a big difference between those two things. But when you're in the position of a client, and they're going to a lawyer to say, “I think I'm going to need to try my case. My spouse is unreasonable. I just think that I need a lawyer who can try the case, if it comes down to that.” How can they tell? How can they figure out if the lawyer in front of them is a litigator or is really a trial lawyer?

Tiffany Hughes  21:43

Yeah, that's a really good question. I would hope that the attorney would be honest about the fact of how much trial experience they actually have. I know of a lot of attorneys that avoid trial like the plague, because they are not trial lawyers, and that's okay. That's absolutely okay. And I also know, family law attorneys that are trial attorneys, and they're good. I've had cases with them. I've tried cases with them. But I think that you just need to find out from the attorney directly, and ask, ‘How many cases have you actually had that went to trial? How long was the trial?’ I've had cases that in front of Judge Schuster, 11 days long, in front of Judge Walker, five days long. How many cases do you have like that? How many cases did you actually try, which is i.e., go to trial on versus litigating is like when you do a hearing. When you do a hearing, you can argue anything you want. You're not putting anything into evidence. We used to call it in law school, the evidence dance, putting all the things in evidence, right? The do the do, you got to do the steps, right? People don't know how to do that. And they wouldn't know how to do that unless they have experience in it. I think that that's the big difference. Because when you go to trial, it's all about what you can prove and you have to know how to get exhibits into evidence. You need to know how to get testimony into evidence, what can be testified to, the people you're going to have, they're going to testify to it, objections that are going to be made, all of those things.

Karen Covy  23:33

Yeah. How you respond to those objections.

Tiffany Hughes  23:35

Correct, yeah. And privileges, Fifth Amendment rights to not incriminate yourself. I've had cases. I have a case right now in Campbell County that is set for five days, five full days, and it will go all five days. One of the things my client asked me was, “How much experience do you have in cases like this?” And I said, “Well, I have a lot of experience, but I think the question is, is your case going to go to trial? And am I going to be able to try your case?” Yes. I was the one who offered that because people don't think about that. Well, you're a lawyer, you can do all the lawyer things. Right?

Karen Covy  24:20

Right. I mean, it's true. I mean, lawyers are all trained. Theoretically, we can all do the same thing. But not all lawyers do the same thing. And I think they're very different skill sets. I mean, I was always more of a mediative bent, but I went to school to be a trial lawyer and I know how to try a case. I've tried juries, right? But it's a different skill set. Are you good at it? Do you enjoy trying a case? Or would you rather, it's like you said most lawyers, a lot of divorce lawyers will run like the plague from a trial because that's not their strong suit. And that’s, like you said, totally okay but it's about knowing who's who and what you need. So, the question though is because trial lawyers are always, always depicted as sharks. They're depicted as the ones who they're just churning. And I see you smiling, right? They’re burning the case and making the fight. Is that true?

Tiffany Hughes  25:21

No, not at all. However, I do love that saying about them being a shark. I do like that. One of my clients said, he defined me as a shark in stilettos, is what he called me, based upon my trial work. I don't know. I don't like the negative connotation to it because shark can mean that you're trying to like churn a file and just drag it out and take a case to trial, which is the complete opposite of my entire approach. And it's never been. Again, going back to how I got to where I am today, it was all about trying to help and the passion that I have for what I'm doing, which then leads into the trial work that I do. And the passion and the love that I have for it, which makes it so enjoyable. Where a lot of people would be like, ‘Oh, my God, I don't want to do that. I don't want to do that. We need to settle.’ Or if they go, they're hating every minute of it. So, they're not really given you 100%, but you're sure paying 100%, right?

I'm not going to lie. I know attorneys that they treat this as a business, and they will churn every single thing they can. And unfortunately, there's a good amount of them out there. My practice is not that way. My practice is very much of I'm so fortunate in that I get to choose the clients I work with, and I get to choose who I don't work with, and what I do and what I don't do. And that took a long time to get there, but I pride myself on having that connection, and having that really super close personal relationship with each and every one of the clients that my firm has, whether I have an associate that's in contact with them mainly, and I'm in the background, and I'm working with them more so via email than I am on the phone. I have a connection. I have a relationship with them. They know me. I'm involved in everything. And so, I think when you start to work with somebody, I think you'll start to realize that. Whoever your attorney is, you'll get a feel for who they are as a person. And you'll be able to figure out if whether that shark is a good thing or a bad thing.

Karen Covy  28:03

Yeah, 100%. I think the other thing that I have found, in my experience, you tell me whether I'm off base or not, but sometimes there are tough cases, we've all had tough cases. And the only way to settle a tough case is by being ready to go to trial, right? Because if the other side senses your weakness, senses that you don't want to go to trial, then it becomes they push for settlement on terms that you might not want to settle on. I mean, how do you feel about that? Has that been your experience?

Tiffany Hughes  28:39

Well, yeah. Say, for example, you have a final agreement and there's some issues that remain. And you just say, ‘Oh, no, I'll agree to all of them.’ I was just talking to a client today about that. And I said, ‘Well, if you do that, it might present a red flag as to what are you hiding? Why are you doing that? And why all of a sudden, are you just willing to give everything up like that?’ That's an issue. And he's such a nice guy. He's one of those clients where it's like, I got to rein him in from like, giving his wife everything. Right? And I'm like, ‘I wish you were a little bit younger, and that you didn't work as much because I would date you.’ I mean, he's just such an amazing guy, but he's a little too old for me, and he works way too much.

I think that a lot of times when you start giving in and being sharing too much information, it makes you look weak and makes you look suspicious and people feed off that and they will use that to your disadvantage. So, you have to be careful. Everything is kind of like a chess game. It's very strategical. It's like moving this and moving this and moving this. And if you do this, then something over here might happen. And how do you make all the pieces fit together? I think at the end of the day, I would say the saddest part as far as financially for a client is we do all this work for trial. We prepare everything, and you have spent an exorbitant amount of money, and you are ready, like, we've prepped you. All this money has been spent, you're ready to go. And then we settle in court on the first day. Like, I wanted my day in court. I just spent all this money for a trial that didn't even go, like, what is this? And I'm like, I get it. I have a client right now. He's like, ‘Well, if that's going to happen, we're just going to go to trial. I'm not going to settle at all.” I'm like, that's A. I mean, if you want to do that, it's your case. I'll advise you what I think and you get to decide from there.

Karen Covy  30:57

Yeah. I've always told clients that if you're going to settle, it makes the most sense, to the extent that any of this makes sense, to do it before the lawyer has spent, tens of thousands of dollars, and you've spent tens of thousands of dollars, preparing for trial. However, to your client's point, I mean, what he got by settling even though he didn't ever get his day in court was certainty. Because part of what you bring to the table for your clients is your knowledge of the judge, your knowledge of the law, too. But you kind of have a feel for how this might go based on the facts, based on the law, based on the judge. But you never ever know. Right? And you and I am sure both seen, I know I have, decisions come down from a judge where you're looking and you're thinking, ‘How? How did you come up with that?’ So, even though you're going, you're all ready for trial, going to trial is always, always a risk.

Tiffany Hughes  32:04

It's a gamble. I tell people that all the time. I can't tell you with certainty. Anything I can tell you based upon my going on 12 years of solely practicing in the area of family law of what happened and in all of the counties in which I practice, and I've been before, but you don't know. I mean, a judge is a person. I'm not going to say this in a derogatory way, but it may come off like that, but the judge could have a bad day, and really not like your client, and be like, ‘I'm going to slam this person. I don't like this person today.’ It could be based upon that. Family law judges, they have a lot of deference under the law, which means that when they get appealed, they're usually whatever they ruled upon is usually affirmed. Because they have so much deference, the appellate courts look to them for the facts, for the information. They are the fact finders. They are the ones that are in a position to provide and rule upon the situation the best. So, they have a lot of power. You just don't know what's going to happen.

Like you were saying, Karen, I mean, I'm a trained mediator. I got my mediation training from Northwestern University. I wear a mediation hat. I wear a trial attorney hat, and I wear a litigator hat. And I'm always trying to put all the hats on, you know what I mean? And I do. Sometimes I have to do that. I'm thinking about settlement. And I tell clients, “When you go to trial, you don't have certainty. When you go to mediation, you have the power to be able to create.’ Settlement, that's creative. You have movement. With trial, it's like you're conformed to essentially the four corners of the law. There's no creativity. That's it.

Karen Covy  34:11

Right. And whatever the judge decides, because at the end of the day, that's what a judge does. When you can't decide something with your spouse for yourself, when you can't resolve a dispute, that's what the judge does is to decide. And whatever the judge decides you're stuck with. Right?

Tiffany Hughes:


Karen Covy:

So, it always, in my opinion, kind of bring bringing it full circle to what this podcast is about is decision making and how to make effective decisions. It sounds like one of the most important decisions that clients can make is do they roll the dice with a judge? Or do they give in a little here, a little there, do whatever it takes to make a settlement, which works better for them, right?

Tiffany Hughes  34:58

Yeah, absolutely. Look at it this way, if you're going to go to trial, let's just make up numbers hypothetically $100,000, that's how much trial is going to cost. If you're risking spending $100,000, it better be worth it that you're going to get more than that at the trial, right? I mean, again, I can't make promises. But okay, if we have a dissipation issue, like we talked about, and we know that the wife can get $300,000. And it's going to cost 100, maybe she doesn't get three, maybe we say, okay, worst case, you get two, because originally, we're really seeking 800,000. So that's like, worst case, worst case. I mean, I feel pretty good about this, but I can't guarantee it. But maybe that makes sense, then. I mean, those kinds of cases are the cases that I advocate to go to trial where it makes sense to do it. If you're going to spend 100,000 to get 20, then why are we doing this? I'm not trying to talk myself out of work, but I just don't practice law like that.

Karen Covy  36:08

Yeah. I mean, ultimately, at the end of the day, clients have to make a cost benefit analysis. It's great to want the emotional satisfaction of going to court. But as you and I both know, they're not going to get the emotional satisfaction they're looking for, because you don't get to tell your story your way. You're stuck, like you said, with the four corners of the law, and what the court will allow. So, it's a big decision. And it sounds like there's a lot of factors going into it. And it also sounds like you're the kind of lawyer who helps clients make that decision in a well-reasoned way, rather than churning, or rather than making it from an emotional place of I want to get them, and then ending up losing way more than you had to gain.

Tiffany Hughes  37:03

Oh, yeah. And that's the battle. In some clients, I'll tell them all day long, ‘This doesn't make sense. Let's not do it.’ At the end of the day, if they decide that that's what they want to do, I mean, I will do what you want me to do as long as it's reasonable, right? If I can make an argument that's reasonable. I'm not going to go and make arguments in front of a judge that don't make any sense. But if I'm telling you, it doesn't make sense to file a petition over $10, and you want me to file the petition over $10, as a matter of principle for you, I will note my concern, I will note the cost. Again, I can't give exact but I will say, “I'm going to need a retainer for 3,000 to start this over $10. Are you sure you want to do that?” But I've done it. I've litigated over a blanket. I've litigated over $10. I've litigated over a waffle maker. My senior associate attorney and I joke about it all the time, literally, we told the client, “We will buy you one. Okay? Let's move on. I'll go on Amazon right now. And I will personally buy you one. Drop it.”

Karen Covy  38:11

Yeah. It gets down to that. You know, what, Tiffany, I could talk to you forever, and I'm sure we could trade war stories. The whole point is to help people understand what goes into this. And there's a lot more that goes into trying a case or even settling a case to what I think most people think about. So, I could talk forever, but we've got to wrap this up now. So, before we do, can you tell people where's the best way they can find you?

Tiffany Hughes  38:44

You can call me. My office number is (773) 893-0228. You can email me at Tiffany, T-I-F-F-A-N-Y, Hughes, H-U-G-H-E-S, If you go to my website, LinkedIn, Facebook, Avo, Instagram, I think. Yeah, Instagram. All of those things. I would say probably the easiest is if you hop on the website, it'll have all the information. So, again, it's T as the letter of my first name, my last name Hughes, and then

Karen Covy  39:36

Thank you, Tiffany so much. And for those people who are listening, we will link to all those places that Tiffany just said in the show notes so you don't have to go searching for her. Although you can go searching for her on the web. It sounds like you're in all the places. So, Tiffany, thank you again.

And for those of you who are listening, thank you. And if you could, do me a big favor. If you like the episode, give it a thumbs up and subscribe. Thank you so much and we will see you again next time. Bye for now.

Head shot of Karen Covy in an Orange jacket smiling at the camera with her hand on her chin.

Karen Covy is a Divorce Coach, Lawyer, Mediator, Author, and Speaker. She coaches high net worth professionals and successful business owners to make hard decisions about their marriage with confidence, and to navigate divorce with dignity.  She speaks and writes about decision-making, divorce, and living life on your terms. To connect with Karen and discover how she can help you, CLICK HERE.


divorce litigation, divorce process, divorce tips, off the fence podcast

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