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 2


Now that you understand the language, we need to talk about procedure. There seems to be two schools of thought on procedure: 1) the rule of law is sacrosanct and must be followed strictly upon pain of death; or 2) as long as everyone comes to the courthouse on the same day and at roughly the same time, we might be able to proceed. Guess which camp I fall into.

Truthfully it is somewhere in the middle, but for the most part Courts depend upon procedure to operate. There are some gray areas, but timelines and schedules do matter, and failing to meet them can jeopardize what you are trying to accomplish. To avoid pitfalls, it is important when speaking to your lawyer to understand what the timelines are, not just for your case but also how the case fits into your everyday life. While your hearing may only last an hour, the preparation for that hearing, getting to and from the Courthouse, attending the hearing, and communicating with your lawyer will take much more time. That is time away from the other things in your life that you were doing before being involved with the Court. Trials can go for days, and the preparation time is increased accordingly.

Before COVID-19 and all the fun that follows when Court systems close, we established a goal in our office to try and resolve new cases within six months. That assumed the case was not going to settle, and we would need to proceed to trial. That is an ambitious goal, and sometimes cases can take longer to prepare. While the actual timeline for your case may vary, you can expect the following at the outset:

  1. Petition/Answer: Once the petition is filed the other party has 21 or 30 days (depending on whether they live in the same State) to file an answer. The Petition cannot be granted for at least 60 days, but that is the minimal waiting period, and you should not expect your case will be final on the 61st day, even if you believe everything to be agreed upon. Trust us, it’s not.
  2. Discovery: Assuming you and the other party are not in agreement, lawyers want to conduct discovery to identify all issues, witnesses and exhibits before proceeding to a hearing or trial. No one like surprises, and discovery can be extensive depending on the issues. Ideally, discovery should be completed within 90 days, but things happen like waiting on appraisals, accountings, reports from counselors, or just life in general.
  3. Settlement/Mediation: Once discovery is completed, issues/evidence are identified, and strengths and weaknesses assessed, settlement negotiations or formal mediation can be productive. We believe discovery should be completed first so we can avoid the issue of the unknown. Guessing what a house is worth, how much is in a retirement fund, or what a counselor will say regarding children, is difficult. It is best to have that information before beginning negotiations.
  4. Hearings: Courts differ as to scheduling, not just from Judge to Judge, but also depending upon current caseloads. If an issue needs to be addressed before trial (reviewing temporary orders, a sale of property, etc.) a motion hearing can be held within a few weeks. However, hearings can be continued while the issues are discussed and offers of settlement reviewed.
  5. Trial: Sometimes there is a reluctance to schedule cases for trial. Judges and counsel want to assume cases will settle, and hopefully they will. But settlement cannot be guaranteed, and as discussed previously, it is best to set a trial date and not need it, then hope for settlement only to end up scheduling a trial months after the date you could have had. Our goal is that if a case is to be tried then trial should occur within six months, but that timeframe is ambitious. Being proactive and asking for a trial date early can help in getting a date set, even if it is nine months away.

As stated before, your lawyer needs your help. The more help you provide, the better your case will be prepared. Additionally, being proactive in providing information to your lawyer makes it more likely the above timelines can be met. In our practice we find clients to be the most helpful by:

  • Providing documents – Your lawyer will need documents from you. Those documents may be bank statements, tax returns, school or medical records for children, or just completing intake information. Without the documentation the lawyer will not have all the information and will not be able to give you good advice, so provide it early in the process.
  • Reviewing documents – Once you provide information the lawyer will begin preparing documents for your case. It will be very important for you to review the documents to be sure they are accurate and respond timely. If there are mistakes (not from our office of course), then make sure the lawyer knows about them and corrects them before filing or sending to the other side.
  • Providing exhibits – If you are proceeding to a hearing or trial you and your lawyer will need to prepare exhibits to support your position on an issue. Different issues require different exhibits, but all the exhibits will either come from you or from information you provided. The sooner you can provide information, the better prepared your lawyer can be.
  • Contacting witnesses – Once you identify witnesses, especially if they are family or friends, contact them to make sure they know they will be witnesses. The lawyer will contact professionals (appraisers, accountants, counselors, etc.) but witnesses that you know personally should hear from you first. Make sure they are available for a hearing or trial, and letting your lawyer know if they are not.

The above timelines are long, and the stress of the situation will make them seem longer. Best advice: take a deep breath, know that this too will come to an end, and be proactive in moving your case forward. Nothing is done best in haste, and a well-prepared case, even though it will take time, is the one you want to present to the Judge. Rushing to get to the courthouse without fully developing the evidence is a mistake. Judges tend to not want to make important decisions without knowing all the facts. Make sure you and your lawyer take the time to develop your case and give the Court all the facts. To that end, it might be best to consider setting aside some time in your schedule specifically to address your case. That might be daily at first, then weekly, but making sure you have time to accomplish a task is the first step in competing the task.


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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