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.

How a Divorce Works-Part 1


After deciding on a lawyer, and having the attorney decide on you, the next most important step is to understand the process. Your understanding of the process, and avoiding the “Oh, I did not know that was an option” conversation, is crucial. If you do not understand the process, then you might not be able to assist your lawyer with your case. And make no mistake: it is your case, and your lawyer needs your help. If you do not feel those two statements are true, please re-read the previous post on selecting a lawyer.

There are two parts to understanding the process: 1) understanding language and terminology; and 2) understanding procedure. Today we are going to focus on language, because if you do not speak the language, everything else falls apart. And really, I went to school for a long time to learn these terms, so it gives me a chance to show off.

Some basic terms in dealing with a divorce from beginning to end are:

Petition for Divorce:  A petition is a document filed with a Court asking for some form of relief. A divorce petition would include asking the Court to dissolve the marriage, determine issues regarding custody, residency, parenting time and support of children (if any), determine if spousal maintenance (alimony) is to be paid, and if so by which party, in what amount and for how long, dividing assets and allocating debts, and payment of attorney’s fees and costs.

Parenting Plan:  A parenting plan establishes child custody, residency, and parenting time. A parenting plan is required by statute, but what is included in the parenting plan can vary. The parenting plan should establish not just the time each parent will spend with the children, but each parent’s co-parenting duties and responsibilities to the children.

Domestic Relations Affidavit:  Before a Court can enter orders regarding child support, spousal maintenance, and possession of assets or payment of debts, the Judge must have financial information for the parties. A domestic relations affidavit gives the Court that information. The key word is “affidavit”. This is a statement sworn under oath to be true. A domestic relations affidavit can, and should, be amended as more information becomes available. But it is important that when the affidavit is signed the information therein is accurate.

Child Support Worksheet:  The Kansas Child Support Guidelines determine how much child support is paid, and by which parent. In making that determination we look at the parties’ incomes before taxes, the number and ages of the children, costs for insurance, parenting time, and other factors specific to your case to determine what child support should be paid. The worksheet is the rendition of that calculation.

Temporary Orders:  Temporary orders should be issued in each case given that a divorce cannot be granted (in Kansas, and absent an emergency) for at least 60 days after the petition is filed with the Court. Given that the 60 day period is the minimum amount of time, and most likely it will be considerably longer if the parties cannot agree to resolve all issues, temporary orders are needed to address issues regarding children, payment of support, and possession/use of property can be addressed while the case is pending. Most temporary orders follow a format, and while each case is different and the temporary orders may need to be tailored to fit a particular situation, generally Courts require some uniformity so that the “usual” issues are addressed. To that end, it is important to remember that a temporary order is just that: A Court order, and violations of Court orders are frowned upon by judges.

Summons/Entry of Appearance:  The Court must have written verification that the respondent (non-filing party) has notice the divorce has been filed. The summons and/or entry of appearance is that verification and puts the other party on notice the case is pending and requires them to act.

Scheduling Order:  We generally ask the Court to issue a scheduling order, and usually we ask early in the case. A scheduling order establishes dates to complete discovery, for pretrial and trial. This does not mean we are set on taking a case to trial, but rather we want to establish a date now, even if it is months away, so we can work on settlement, but at the same time have a date certain the case will be completed.

Discovery:  Discovery is the process of determining what the evidence will be in a case. Discovery can be formal or informal, but generally requires each side to disclose witnesses and exhibits they will present at trial. Discovery ensures each party knows the facts of the case, each party can negotiate in good faith, and if they proceed to trial, there are no surprises.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR):  Settling a case is usually best, and ADR simply means settlement. The most common form of ADR is mediation, where the parties meet with a trained mediator to discuss their case and possible settlement options. There are other forms of ADR, some of which can involve reports and recommendations to the Court, and it is important to discuss all forms with your lawyer.

Settlement Agreement:  If you reach an agreement to settle the issues in your case, that agreement must be reduced to writing and signed by the parties. The agreement is then presented to the Court and becomes enforceable as a Court order. A settlement agreement should include issues such as adopting an agreed parenting plan, provisions for child support and/or spousal maintenance, how property will be divided, how debts will be paid, and the how the provisions of the agreement will be accomplished.

Decree of Divorce:  The decree is the document granting the divorce, and approving the settlement agreement, parenting plan, and child support worksheet. Generally, the decree adds to the parties’ agreements by making them enforceable as Court orders.

Pretrial Order:  If the case is to proceed to trial a pretrial order is issued. The order establishes the issues of the case, the witnesses and exhibits for trial, and establishes dates. The pretrial order should be viewed as the document that controls the trial, and it is important that all witnesses and exhibits are listed in the order. Usually additions to the pretrial order are not made absent extraordinary circumstances.

Trial:  Simply put, a trial is the procedure where both sides offer evidence (witnesses and exhibits) and the Court issues a ruling. Trials can vary with opening statements, closing statements, and the filing of briefs with the Court, but most trials follow the pattern of presenting a Judge with evidence so that a ruling on the issues can be made. At the conclusion of the trial the Judge will issue a decree of divorce and journal entry setting forth the ruling.

There are more terms that could be specific to your case, and your lawyer can help you with those terms. The important thing to remember is that you continue to ask, and if you do not understand, ask again. If you do not understand the terminology you will not be able to make decisions that are best for your case.


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
Design & Development by Sperra Studios

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.

twitter-squarefacebook-squarelinkedin-squareyoutube-playinstagram linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram