Dealing with gender stereotypes against men in family law is nothing new for seasoned divorce lawyer Dorothy Walsh Ripka.
Her experience with a biased child custody evaluator highlighted everything Ms. Ripka and Cordell & Cordell fight for with respect to their father’s rights.
In the custody battle between the mother and the father, the original custody evaluator’s report was filled with stereotypes and anti-dad biases and recommended the mother have primary custody.
Ms. Ripka found an unbiased evaluator for a second opinion that ultimately ended up favoring the father and the judge awarded primary custody to the dad.
“It shows that we don’t accept the norm,” she said. “We keep fighting about what is truly in the child’s best interest and not just accepting societal norms that the child should automatically be with the mom.”
Ms. Ripka said it’s her responsibility to help clients cope with what can be an emotionally and financially challenging situation. It is crucial for men to hire an attorney they feel comfortable talking to so that there are no secrets.
“I want to make sure clients know what they say is not being judged,” Ms. Ripka said. “Nothing you tell me will shock me or is probably even the worst thing that I have heard today.”
“Dorothy is great at responding within the hour when I have a question. I really feel she is doing a great job and has been wonderful. We had mediation where attorneys don’t typically sit in, but Dorothy was there to keep things under control.”
“Dorothy has been super! I would definitely recommend the firm and personally recommend Dorothy! She has been very accommodating and always at my beck and call. She is super responsive. She has provided me with a number of options throughout my case, and she has been an invaluable asset. You guys are doing everything in your power and scope of duties. I am very confident in my representation.”
“Dorothy did an excellent job. I felt very much in touch with what was happening. She was in tune with my needs and wants and kept that in the forefront of her mind throughout my case.”
“Dorothy is pleasant to talk to and straightforward. She always provides me with a plan on how we should proceed. She gives me my options and is in touch with the court system. I’m pretty pleased with Dorothy.”
“Dorothy has been very attentive with me every step of the way. We are really on the same page. I was very confident every time we went into court.”
“Dorothy is awesome! She is very responsive and is always available. She’ll even respond late at night, which works well for me. She’s awesome! I couldn’t ask for a better attorney! … Matter of fact, if Dorothy were in business law I’d be trying to put her on my payroll full time! She gives it to me straight, which I respect. She’s been a great match for me!”
“Dorothy knows that I’m very pleased and impressed with the way she’s handled everything. She has looked out for my best interests on all aspects. She’s very professional and easy to work with.”
“I love her attention to detail and appreciate it. Dorothy was very attentive and knew her stuff. You get what you pay for!”
“Dorothy has touched base with me via email after hours. We have a good relationship. I know that she and her staff work hard. That is evident. I would say they are very diligent in their efforts and try to make things easy as possible.”
“Dorothy is very professional and very knowledgeable. [She] has great precision and attention to detail.”
“Dorothy has been great. I think she is very thorough, and she is very accommodating. If I ask for a call in the same day, she really tries to figure it out, even when her schedule is full. I think she is terrific.”
“Dorothy was really good at listening to what I had to say and was very responsive. She was actually messaging me one night around 8 or 8:30 p.m. trying to help me get something resolved, and I know that she has a family and that was cutting in to her personal time. I am real pleased with her work ethic and really appreciated her doing that.”
“Dorothy was very helpful, and I enjoyed working with her. She was very dependable and had great insight. It was very expensive, but I will certainly reach out to her again if any legal assistance is needed. Thank you.”
“I think Dorothy’s service has been excellent. She definitely goes the extra mile to get things accomplished for you, and she takes in account your goals and objectives. She is very customer friendly from a service perspective. She is very responsive and all around easy to work with. I’ve been very satisfied.”
“Dorothy Walsh Ripka is an amazing attorney! … Dorothy took the time to understand the issues, and when it came time for court she was extremely well organized and prepared. If you are in the unfortunate position of needing a family law attorney, hire Dorothy. She is not cheap, but you will get what you pay for.”
“Outstanding lawyer [and] very clear and concise communicator. … I was fortunate to get one of the best lawyers in Cordell & Cordell. I know Dorothy worked long hours and contacted me late at night to always close the communication loop. …”
“Dorothy did a great job. I feel like she really cared about me, and that was important.”
“Dorothy is wonderful! She kept me up to date on status of my case. Great final results! … I wish to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude for all she has done to help me and my family in resolving this case. Dorothy’s experience and leadership in managing the case helped influence the desired results we all prayed for. Her compassion for me and understanding of what I needed to accomplish was comforting. I felt very confident with her. … Most importantly, I now have shared custody with my daughters and my family is a step forward in healing and putting this chapter behind us. A wonderful of gift for the holidays! Thank you and God Bless Dorothy.”
“I thought Dorothy was very nice and very sympathetic to my needs as a divorce attorney. Dorothy was great and was very responsive whenever I had a question… She was awesome and a very very nice person on top of it.”
“Dorothy was great! Her services and representation would be very difficult to beat! Without Dorothy’s help, I would not have been able to see my daughter as much as I do now. I know she is directly responsible for that, and I can’t tell you how grateful I am.”
“Dorothy is wonderful. I think she is very knowledgeable. I really clicked with her and got along with her well. I think that she really understands the law and the process. She was always very calm and organized and well put together. She really put me at ease and was wonderful.”
Dorothy was outstanding – she was patient and very thorough in answering my many questions and explaining our options and her recommended strategies throughout my 11 month case. We were successful in achieving my top goals for the case so I was quite pleased – can’t argue with success!