A Passion for Community Service

The family law attorneys at Ward Potter LLC, share a passion for community service. Each attorney spends time outside of the office serving individuals and organizations in and around the Wichita community. Previous community service projects include leading a mentorship project with Hamilton Middle School. In 2012, Ward Potter (previously Ward Law Offices, LLC), was honored with the Wichita Public Schools Board of Education Good Apple Award for excellence in service to students. In addition to their collective community service work, each attorney at Ward Potter serves in various ways individually in Wichita and across Kansas.
Below is a sampling of some of the organizations our attorneys and staff work with to improve our community and help the people in our community in need of not only legal services but help in other areas of life.

Junior League of Wichita

Lynn Ward is not only the Managing Partner of Ward Potter LLC. She is a Past President of the Junior League of Wichita. Lynn and the staff of Ward Potter were pleased to support the Junior League of Wichita in their fight against child abuse by supporting the Junior League of Wichita’s 16th Annual Holiday Galleria, a shopping experience for the whole family October 3-6, 2019 at Century II in downtown Wichita.

The 3rd Annual Show Pride in Your Ride Car Show was an unforgettable evening! With the support of our guests and donors we raised over $2400 for OK Elementary School and Black Traditional Elementary! Special thanks to the following businesses who donated wonderful items for the raffle or provided support of our event: Hereford House, Plastic Surgery Center, Hall’s Culligan, South Central Kansas Mustang Club, Joe’s Car Wash, USD 259, Big Tool Store, and Janet Evans.

On Friday, March 29th Ward Potter LLC and the Wichita Thunder joined forces to support the Guadalupe Clinic at Intrust Bank Arena.

The 2018 Show Pride in Your Ride event was held on Friday, September 7. All proceeds from the 2018 event benefited Pando. The Pando Initiative has been successfully connecting with more than 200,000 students in area schools since 1990. Their core model focuses on individual students who are struggling with school and life. They position a dedicated staff member inside partner schools in Wichita, Derby and Haysville public schools.

On September 15, 2017 Ward Law Offices hosted the first annual Show Pride In Your Ride car show. Show Pride In Your Ride was an informal, non-judged car show for friends, neighbors and colleagues of Ward Law Offices, LLC. During the event, Ward Law partnered with officials from United Methodist Open Door who held a raffle. Car Show attendees were able to purchase tickets for a chance to win a Richard Petty Driving Experience at Kansas Speedway. All proceeds from the evening’s raffle benefited Open Door. The focus of Open Door is to meet the basic needs of people in poverty. Their Homeless Resource Center, at 402 E. 2nd Street, is a daytime assistance center for the homeless, where individuals receive case management, a daily meal, access to showers, laundry and storage facilities, and mail service.

Passion Projects – Two Lives at a Time & The Refugee/Immigrant Outreach Team

Lynn Ward, Board of Directors of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and Stephen Blaylock, fellow of the Kansas Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers present a check to Laura Roddy, President of Junior League of Wichita; and Jessica Williams, Junior League of Wichita grant writing  chair. Ward was presenting to Roddy a check for $5000 from the AAML Foundation for the JLW Two Lives at a Time project. The Junior League of Wichita and the Wichita Children’s Home will help teen moms develop crucial life skills, including how to build healthy relationships and effective parenting practices.

Alternatives to Trial


Most cases do not go to trial. Chances are your case will settle, either through discussions between you and the other party, or more likely your attorneys, or through other formal means. So, let’s assume you do not want to go to trial, and incur the time, expense, and stress a trial will ultimately cost. If so, then alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is likely the best option.

What options are available, and which option would be the best fit for your case? It depends upon the issues in your case, and the status of your case. Are we arguing over children, finances, or both? Is this the original divorce/paternity action, or a motion filed months or years after orders have been issued? Once you identify those issues we can better determine how to proceed. But the reality of the situation is that participating in ADR increases the likelihood of settlement, and in my experience even if the case does not settle in ADR the process is not a waste of time.

It is important to understand the different forms of ADR, and usually they fall into the following categories:

  1. Mediation: The goal is to assist parties in defining the issues involved in the case, communicate with the parties on those issues and possible resolutions, and help the parties to reach an agreement. Other than cost, there is no downside to mediation. Please take that with a grain of salt in that I have participated in hundreds of mediation cases, both as a mediator and as an attorney representing the party in mediation. I believe in the process because it requires the parties to meet, to communicate their positions, and allows the mediator to provide guidance to the parties in reaching a settlement. Often it is the mediator making suggestions the parties had not considered, resulting in settlement. Granted, cost can be an issue, but when compared with the time and expense of a trial, mediation is the better alternative. Additionally, mediation is confidential, and so if the parties do not reach an agreement, none of the information learned in mediation (with some rare exceptions) can be used later at trial.
  2. Domestic Conciliation: This is the next step above mediation, with the goal being to work with parties that have a history of being unable to communicate and reach agreements. The first tier is trying to improve communication skills and develop solutions to lessen conflict. This is not a confidential process, and while the first part of domestic conciliation is to help the parties reach an agreement as in mediation, if they do not reach an agreement then the domestic conciliator prepares a report to the Court prior to the parties proceeding to trial. The Court is not required to give the report any weight in making its decision, but that is something that can occur, especially if the domestic conciliator does a good job of identifying the issues and possible outcomes.
  3. Parenting Coordination: For parties that have a history of disagreement, the next stage is parenting coordination, with the goal being to assist parties in reaching an agreement to resolve disputes and educating the parties regarding co-parenting and communication skills. But, if the parties are unable to reach an agreement, then the parenting coordinator is able to investigate the matter by speaking to third parties, and after completing an investigation, make recommendations to the Court regarding a resolution of the issues in question. Again, this is not a confidential process, and even though assisting the parties in reaching an agreement is the first step, if an agreement cannot be reached then the parenting coordinator issues a report similar to the domestic conciliator. The difference is the parenting coordinator makes recommendations to the Court as to how the issues in the case should be decided. Again, the Court is not required to follow the recommendation, but if the parenting coordinator provides convincing information to support the recommendation, then the Court can rely upon the recommendation at least in part in its ruling.
  4. Case Management: The last stop for high conflict cases with the goal being to assist parties by providing a procedure to facilitate negotiation and resolving issues concerning their children, co-parenting, and communication. If everything else has failed, and parties simply cannot cooperate in parenting their children, a case manager can be appointed to resolve disputes. Unlike the other forms of ADR, a case manager has considerable authority in resolving parenting disputes, even going as far as making recommendations to the Court regarding a change in custody, residency, or parenting time for the children. The Court still has the final say on such issues, but if the parties are to the point of participating in case management, and the case manager provides solid reasons for the suggested changes, Courts tend to follow those recommendations at least in part.
  5. Arbitration: Arbitration is the process where an arbitrator is appointed to resolve the issues in the case. The arbitrator takes the place of a Judge, and arbitration is similar to a court proceeding in that evidence is presented to the arbitrator and binding decisions are issued. Generally arbitration is used in cases dealing with financial issues, and much like mediation, cost is the main barrier. Additionally, it is not something family lawyers work with on a regular basis. But, if your case deals with complicated financial or legal issues, then arbitration may be a better (and quicker) option than waiting on a trial date. Lastly, arbitration can be included as the method for settling future disputes once a divorce is finalized, thereby saving the parties time and money if post-divorce issues need to be addressed.

The end result you should take from the above is this: Judges do a good job of reviewing cases and making decisions, but most will say the parties themselves are best suited to come to a decision. A Judge’s job is not to side with one party or the other, but to review the evidence and issue rulings. It is important to remember a Judge may not see the evidence the same way you do, and the resulting ruling could be different than expected. Also, negotiated settlements are generally best because while not perfect, they are the product of the parties coming to an agreement. That agreement can be built upon if there are future issues like parenting time and child support, and let’s face it: there will be those issues and we may as well start building the foundation now.


Tony A. Potter is a Member of Ward Potter LLC, where he uses his experiences in general civil, trial, and appellate practice to represent clients. Tony received his Juris Doctorate from Washburn School of Law in 1994 and has been continually licensed to practice law in Kansas since 1995. Tony is a member of the Kansas Bar Association, the Wichita Bar Association, the Northwest Kansas Bar Association, and Chair of the Wichita Bar Association Family Law Committee. His commitment to his clients was also recognized in 2018 when he was acknowledged as a “AV” attorney, peer rated for high professional achievement by Martindale-Hubbell, and he enjoys a 10.0 rating from the Avvo attorney website. Contact Tony

Ward Potter LLC is a family law firm located in Wichita, Kansas. Ward Potter handles divorce, child custody, parenting time, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, visitation by grandparents, and paternity cases. The firm also provides litigation alternatives such as collaborative family law, mediation and arbitration. The mission of Ward Potter LLC is to guide clients through changes in their families with empathy, excellence and expertise. We strive to calm chaos and focus on the resolution, not the battle.

345 N. Riverview Ste 120 | Wichita, KS 67203
©2020 Ward Potter LLC
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A Passion for Community Service

The family law attorneys at Ward Potter LLC, share a passion for community service. Each attorney spends time outside of the office serving individuals and organizations in and around the Wichita community. Previous community service projects include leading a mentorship project with Hamilton Middle School. In 2012, Ward Potter (previously Ward Law Offices, LLC), was honored with the Wichita Public Schools Board of Education Good Apple Award for excellence in service to students. In addition to their collective community service work, each attorney at Ward Potter serves in various ways individually in Wichita and across Kansas.
Below is a sampling of some of the organizations our attorneys and staff work with to improve our community and help the people in our community in need of not only legal services but help in other areas of life.

Junior League of Wichita

Lynn Ward is not only the Managing Partner of Ward Potter LLC. She is a Past President of the Junior League of Wichita. Lynn and the staff of Ward Potter were pleased to support the Junior League of Wichita in their fight against child abuse by supporting the Junior League of Wichita’s 16th Annual Holiday Galleria, a shopping experience for the whole family October 3-6, 2019 at Century II in downtown Wichita.

The 3rd Annual Show Pride in Your Ride Car Show was an unforgettable evening! With the support of our guests and donors we raised over $2400 for OK Elementary School and Black Traditional Elementary! Special thanks to the following businesses who donated wonderful items for the raffle or provided support of our event: Hereford House, Plastic Surgery Center, Hall’s Culligan, South Central Kansas Mustang Club, Joe’s Car Wash, USD 259, Big Tool Store, and Janet Evans.

On Friday, March 29th Ward Potter LLC and the Wichita Thunder joined forces to support the Guadalupe Clinic at Intrust Bank Arena.

The 2018 Show Pride in Your Ride event was held on Friday, September 7. All proceeds from the 2018 event benefited Pando. The Pando Initiative has been successfully connecting with more than 200,000 students in area schools since 1990. Their core model focuses on individual students who are struggling with school and life. They position a dedicated staff member inside partner schools in Wichita, Derby and Haysville public schools.

On September 15, 2017 Ward Law Offices hosted the first annual Show Pride In Your Ride car show. Show Pride In Your Ride was an informal, non-judged car show for friends, neighbors and colleagues of Ward Law Offices, LLC. During the event, Ward Law partnered with officials from United Methodist Open Door who held a raffle. Car Show attendees were able to purchase tickets for a chance to win a Richard Petty Driving Experience at Kansas Speedway. All proceeds from the evening’s raffle benefited Open Door. The focus of Open Door is to meet the basic needs of people in poverty. Their Homeless Resource Center, at 402 E. 2nd Street, is a daytime assistance center for the homeless, where individuals receive case management, a daily meal, access to showers, laundry and storage facilities, and mail service.

Passion Projects – Two Lives at a Time & The Refugee/Immigrant Outreach Team

Lynn Ward, Board of Directors of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and Stephen Blaylock, fellow of the Kansas Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers present a check to Laura Roddy, President of Junior League of Wichita; and Jessica Williams, Junior League of Wichita grant writing  chair. Ward was presenting to Roddy a check for $5000 from the AAML Foundation for the JLW Two Lives at a Time project. The Junior League of Wichita and the Wichita Children’s Home will help teen moms develop crucial life skills, including how to build healthy relationships and effective parenting practices.

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