The prospect of a divorce or custody dispute can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to face it alone. Serving families across Northwest Missouri, Howard L. Lotven, P.C. offers comprehensive support for family law matters, ranging from divorce to child support and custody disputes.  

Since 1984, I have been committed to helping individuals and families move forward through difficult times, providing clients in Kansas City, Independence, Rock Port, Lexington, and throughout Missouri with compassionate, skilled legal representation. Whether it's negotiating fair settlements or fiercely advocating for clients in court, I prioritize the well-being of families and seek outcomes that benefit all parties involved.  

Understanding the basics of family law in Missouri is your first step toward making informed decisions. I aim to guide you through these turbulent times with empathy, clarity, and the key information you need.

Areas of Family Law in Which I Can Assist

Family law encompasses various legal issues that affect families. These include divorce, child custody and support, adoption, paternity cases, domestic violence matters, and more. Each of these areas requires specialized knowledge and experience to navigate successfully. 

Demystifying Missouri Divorce Laws

Divorce, often referred to as the dissolution of marriage in Missouri, is more than just the end of a marriage. It's a process that involves dividing marital assets, determining spousal support, and, if applicable, making child custody arrangements. 

The legal process begins with one party filing a petition for divorce. Missouri is a no-fault state, meaning you don't have to prove wrongdoing by your spouse to obtain a divorce. Instead, citing irreconcilable differences suffices.

The complexity of a divorce can vary significantly and is influenced by factors such as the couple's finances, the presence of children, and whether the split is contested or uncontested.  

My role is to streamline this process, covering all divorce-related aspects like property division, alimony, child custody, and support. Negotiating fair settlements is always the goal, but rest assured, I am prepared to defend your interests in court if needed. 

Advocating for Your Child's Future

Missouri law focuses on the best interests of the child, considering factors like the emotional ties between the child and each parent, the parents' willingness to facilitate a continuing relationship with the other parent, and the child's home, school, and community record.

Child custody can be joint or sole, affecting both physical custody (where the child lives) and legal custody (decision-making power regarding the child's upbringing).  

Missouri's child support calculations consider both parents' incomes, the number of children, and the custody arrangement. I am dedicated to crafting parenting plans that protect your child's welfare while balancing rights and responsibilities.  

Spousal Maintenance (or Alimony)

Not guaranteed in every divorce, the purpose of spousal maintenance, or alimony, is to mitigate any unfair economic effects of a divorce by providing a continuing income to a non-wage-earning or lower-wage-earning spouse. Factors influencing spousal support include the duration of the marriage, each spouse's financial resources and earning capacity, and the standard of living established during the marriage.

I am committed to ensuring that your financial data and other relevant details are accurately represented, aiming for a fair economic arrangement. 

Paternity & Parental Rights

The establishment of paternity can significantly impact child support, custody, and visitation rights. Under Missouri law, unwed fathers are required to take legal steps to secure parental rights, which may include signing an Affidavit Acknowledging Paternity or completing DNA testing. I help clients establish legal fatherhood, empowering fathers to rightfully access their responsibilities and benefits, such as custody, visitation rights, child support, and medical benefits. I represent mothers, prospective legal fathers, and other individuals in paternity suits, leveraging DNA testing to conclusively determine parentage. 



Frequently Asked Family Law Questions

Can I modify a custody arrangement?

Yes, custody arrangements can be modified in Missouri if there's been a substantial change in circumstances since the original order was issued and if the modification would serve the child's best interests. Common reasons for seeking a modification include relocation, changes in employment, and alterations in the child's needs. A family law attorney is your best resource in situations where a custody modification is needed, and I am committed to advocating for a fair arrangement that supports the child’s best interests.  

What should I do if I'm considering a divorce but unsure? 

Before making any decisions, it's wise to consult with a family law attorney to understand your rights and options. Gathering all relevant financial documents and considering your goals for post-divorce life will also help mitigate some of the stress and confusion of the process. Remember, it's not just about ending a marriage but planning for your future. 

Can spousal maintenance be modified after a divorce is finalized? 

Life's only constant is change, and Missouri law acknowledges this by allowing for modifications to spousal maintenance or alimony agreements post-divorce under certain conditions. If there has been a significant change in circumstances—such as a substantial increase or decrease in income, a serious health issue, or a change in employment status—either party can request the court to adjust the spousal support accordingly. Compelling evidence is key to supporting such a request, making it important to consult with a family law attorney who can help articulate and present your case effectively. 

Why Partner With Us?

Navigating family law challenges demands more than just legal advice; it requires empathy, respect, and a strategic approach. My practice is built on these pillars, aimed at minimizing conflict and fostering amicable resolutions. Yet, when litigation is the only path, my robust advocacy helps safeguard your rights. 

My compassionate approach combined with experience in family law makes me the ideal choice for those facing delicate family matters. With a deep understanding of the emotional nuances involved in family law cases, I provide personalized attention to each client and work to protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcomes for you and your family.

Kansas City Family Law Attorney

If you are facing a family law issue in Kansas City, Missouri, don't hesitate to reach out. Schedule your free consultation to discuss your case and understand how I can assist you through this challenging time. Contact me today to set up your free consultation and take the first step toward resolving your family law matter effectively.