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Stephen Daniel Karpf

Divorce and separation Attorney at Newton, MA

4.6   10 reviews
Free consultation Virtual consultation available
Free consultation Virtual consultation available
  • Licensed for 23 years
    State MA
    Acquired 2001
    Active No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Stephen

Learn Stephen’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Divorce and separation
    This includes divorce, paternity, and separate support actions, associated fraudulent asset transfer matters, and post-judgment modifications and contempts.

    23 years

  2. Family
    This includes all other family-related legal matters, including guardianships, and trust disputes amongst family members.

    23 years

  3. Business

    23 years

  4. Child support
    This includes all actions which involve child support, including paternities, divorces, guardianships, actions for enforcement and administrative proceedings in the Department of Revenue.

    23 years

  5. Domestic violence
    This includes abuse prevention orders (under G.L. 209A), anti-harassment orders (under G.L. 258E), Notices of Trespass, and representation of defendants, witnesses, or victims in criminal prosecutions involving domestic violence.

    23 years

  6. Marriage and prenuptials
    This includes both annulment actions and the drafting and execution of enforceable prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.

    23 years

  7. Mediation
    This includes mediation over a wide range of issues.

    13 years


     Attorney Karpf provides experienced advocacy, consultation, and mediation in a multitude of practice areas, including divorce, child custody, child support and alimony, domestic abuse, asset and income discovery, recovery and protection, trusts, estates,  pre- and post-nuptial agreements, fraud, alternative family structures, consumer protection, and small business litigation.


     Attorney Karpf is a member of the Bar of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and of the United States District Court, District of Massachusetts, as well as a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association, the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation, the National Lawyers Guild, and the Massachusetts Association of Guardians ad Litem. He is certified to offer Limited Assistance Representation in all of the Probate and Family Courts of the Commonwealth.  He has been a source for intellectual property and discovery law in the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, taught business law at the undergraduate level, and is a parent, former foster parent, suburban homesteader, beekeeper, and sailor.


Top Contributor 2014,2013
Top Contributor
2014 2013


Vadimus Law L.L.C.
275 Grove Street
Suite 2-400
Newton, MA, 02466


4.6 / 5.0
  10 customer reviews
5 Star
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1 Star
Posted by anonymous | January 6, 2024
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Excellent Attorney
Attorney Stephen is very knowledgeable and his help and professionalism with my very complex case has been invaluable. I highly recommend him.
Posted by anonymous | June 19, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Highly recommended family law counsel
I am delighted to share my experience with Stephen, he is an exceptional legal professional who possesses an impressive breadth of knowledge. His deep understanding of the law and ability to apply it effectively to my case gave me confidence and reassurance throughout the process. Throughout the legal chaos stirred up by the other party, Stephen has displayed exemplary professionalism and integrity. He is strategic and meticulous in their approach, leaving no stone unturned. Their attention to detail and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome for me was evident at every stage of the legal proceedings. In conclusion, I cannot recommend Stephen highly enough. His knowledge, professionalism, and unwavering support were instrumental in navigating the complexities of my case. If you ever find yourself in a similar legal situation, I strongly urge you to seek his services. With Stephen by your side, you can feel confident that your stress will be alleviated, and your case will be handled with the utmost care and expertise. Thank you, Stephen, once again for your invaluable guidance and unwavering support during my legal case.
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Posted by anonymous | September 1, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Focuses on outcomes
Attorney Karpf took over my marital/divorce mediation case after working on it for 3 years with 3 other lawyers, who failed to bring about a successful outcome in the face of supreme intransigence by my spouse of 20+ years. He walked me through filing a motion myself to obtain funds for his retainer (successful). He prepared a case to litigate the divorce when the opposing party would not agree to a normal division of marital assets (settled out of court at essentially 50/50). He represented me in a contempt filing when the opposing party hid assets and refused to carry out the terms of our Separation Agreement 2 years after the decree, and in so doing recovered my additional legal expenses (settled out of court). WhenEver my tendency was to be reactive, he brought me back to strategies that had a reasonable chance of obtaining the outcome I wanted. After years of working together, I have a very high regard for his judgement.
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Posted by anonymous | August 19, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Knowledgeable & ethical
I have had 7 Attorneys in 2 years for a big case spanning across 3 states. (2 out of 7 attorneys were helpful) Mr. Karpf & 1 other Attorney have been 100% ethical, compassionate, very knowledgeable & have offered the best legal advice. His help & professionalism with this very complex case has been invaluable. I highly recommend Mr. Karpf.
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Posted by anonymous | February 22, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Thoughtful, solid advice in a complicated divorce
I reached out to Attorney Karpf when I was actively considering a divorce. He was not the first lawyer that I reached out to, but the first one that I felt I could rely on for solid and thoughtful advice. Before my appointment with Attorney Karpf, I had met with two other divorce attorneys (one quite a well-known one from a big downtown firm) for an initial consultation. I felt like these other lawyers were just egging me on by telling me I was a "victim"; the consultations felt more like psychotherapy sessions than legal advice; one attorney even seemed to lack knowledge in some seemingly basic areas. But with Attorney Karpf, I was impressed with his professionalism and knowledge from our first meeting, and decided to retain him to represent me. I had mentioned a few specific complicating factors about my situation to Attorney Karpf before our first in-person meeting. When we first met, he was well prepared, had done research on these issues, and was able to give me useful advice right away. Throughout our interactions, Attorney Karpf approached my situation in a very nuanced and thoughtful way, came up with different strategies, and helped me carefully consider them, instead of trying to push me in one direction. I really felt that I was getting great, thoughtful advice from Attorney Karpf, and that I could trust him. My potential divorce also involved a jointly owned business, and Attorney Karpf was able to give me advice on both the business issues and the issues around divorce and custody, which was really, really helpful.
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Posted by Melissa | January 25, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Mr.Karpf was absolutely wonderful with helping us get ready for our eviction case. Sadly for us it was last minute asking for representation and Mr.Karpf was amazing. I couldn't have asked for a more experienced and well informed lawyer. In the future I plan on recommending and if needed hiring him again! Thank you so much for everything you did. I couldn't be more grateful for everything.
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Posted by Cory | January 9, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
A recommendation for very grateful clients
Steven Karpf expertly helped my family with a complicated interstate custody and child support case. This work involved 3 major phases during which the opposing side continually was unreasonable and combative. Throughout this Steven was on top of every important detail, and helped explain clearly the options we had at each decision point. He also clearly understood the big picture, the system, and helped us navigate the ordeal in the most efficient way (which helped keep costs as low as possible, even lower than he originally anticipated). Steven is clearly gifted in both litigation and negotiation, and this combination makes him a very effective attorney. Although he can be intense and focused in the courtroom, with us he was kind, patient and displayed uncommonly high integrity. Unfortunately, AVVO doesn’t allow me to include contact information, because I would be glad to elaborate personally with anyone considering Steven as their attorney. Suffice to say that we feel very lucky to have found Steven and recommend him with full confidence.
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Posted by Joseph | January 29, 2015
Landlord Tenant dispute
Attorney Stephen Karpf was extremely helpful during my dispute with my landlord and was able to secure me a favorable outcome. He is very knowledgeable concerning the related statutes and I would highly recommend him to anyone having a dispute with their landlords. He was very professional, helpful, and courteous throughout and always kept me in the loop.
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Posted by Renee | January 26, 2014
Integrity, Expertise, Efficiency...Stehpen Karpf Won My Case.
This is a sincere testimonial of the gratitude that I have for the expert and efficient services I received from Stephen Karpf at Vadimus Law. I am a single mother in Arizona with very limited resources and needed help defending myself in regards to a family law issue in Massachusetts. After a few phone and email exchanges with different Massachusetts attorneys, I posted the central question of my case on and received several replies. Stephen Karpf’s reply was by far the most detailed and insightful, and after a few more exchanges and a phone conversation, I decided to retain him. Little did I know at the time that I would be making the best possible decision, even better than I could have reasonably expected. As the case worked its way through the system, it became clear that Stephen understood the issues of interstate custody and general family law better than any of the other professionals involved. He fought for my children with a perfect balance of tact and vigor while keeping me informed and giving me options at every point. Additionally, he responded promptly and with great detail to my many questions, and he seemed to have endless patience and compassion. In the end, his initial assessment of the law was spot on, and the courts ultimately agreed. I have learned that there is a big difference between hiring a bright and competent attorney, and hiring a bright and competent attorney that has a passion for justice. Stephen is truly the right man for his profession. He is brilliant, focused, compassionate, and fair. His billing is clear and more than reasonable, and since he is so efficient, his services were less than he originally anticipated. Perhaps this glowing recommendation sounds too good to be true (I might be a bit skeptical if I read, rather than wrote, it.) Take my word for it, Stephen Karpf is a man with integrity and it’s too bad there are not many more attorneys like him. I put my trust in him and he expertly did everything I could have asked for and more. Sincerely, Renee Phoenix, Arizona
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Posted by Steve | June 25, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Good for mediation, not suitable for high conflict divorce
Attorney Karpf represented me in my high conflict divorce. If you need a kind, thoughtful mediator, Attorney Karpf may perform well. I strongly advise against engaging him if you face a high conflict divorce and a hostile party. • Decency kept him from understanding the opposition's intent to harm my children. • Filings were rebuffed by the court, without him reevaluating the strategy. • Unable to brainstorm risky options with more favorable outcomes. • Unable to establish credibility with the court. • Preserving relationships with judges took priority over vigorous advocacy. • Courtesy to fellow attorneys resulted in disadvantages to our case. The score of my engagement with Karpf is: lost house, lost kids, finances ruined. This attorney appears to fit into a pattern in high conflict cases where there is representation until the client’s funds run out and then the case is over. I believe that Attorney Karpf would be suitable for situations where both sides have mutual goals and positive intent? He is a nice man well-suited to situations where both parties are reasonable and are inclined to come to agreement. He is ill suited in cases where a party is deceitful, manipulative and acts on bad faith I strongly recommend AGAINST his work in high conflict situations. Note that every client, every judge and every case is unique, so exercise your own judgment.
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Response from Stephen Karpf June 27, 2019
I am sorry that you feel that you had a poor outcome to your case. Ethics and professional responsibility prohibits me from discussing any aspect of your case, my representation of you, or your conduct in a public forum or with any person other than yourself. I do disagree with the facts asserted in your review as well as your final conclusions. I will note concerning myself, given your criticism of me generally in the context of high-conflict cases, that for 18 years I have represented men, women, and children in high-conflict cases involving hotly contested custody, including but not limited to allegations of sexual abuse and domestic violence, as well as in high-income and high-asset divorces where hidden income and/or assets require forensic investigation and proof in a court of law, and I have had considerable success in all of those areas. In general, the key to any high-conflict case is working closely with my client and providing them with practical recommendations for short-term tactics and long-term strategies. The choices that a client makes in a high-conflict case, given my recommendations, will have a substantial and sometimes overwhelming impact (sometimes for good, sometimes for ill) on the outcome.
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  • Free Consultation 60 minutes
  • Hourly Rates $ 75-250 per hour
  • Contingency 25%-33%
  • Retainer Sometimes
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 7.8 (Very Good)

Work Experience

  • Founding Attorney
  • Vadimus Law L.L.C.
  • 2011 - Present
  • Associate Attorney
  • Smyth Law Offices, P.C.
  • 2001 - 2011


  • Northeastern University School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 2000
  • Swarthmore College
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1992


  • Massachusetts Association of Guardians ad Litem
  • Member
  • 2012 - Present
  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2012 - Present
  • National Lawyers Guild
  • Member
  • 2011 - Present
  • Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation
  • Member
  • 2010 - Present
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Speaking Engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (8)
Given (5)
Endorse Stephen
Family Attorney | Aug 17
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Simply said, Stephen is an outstanding family law attorney. Highly recommended!"
Unknown Attorney | Apr 27
Relationship: Other
"I endorse this lawyer."
Unknown Attorney | Jan 13
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | May 29
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"While I have not yet worked personally with Attorney Karpf, I am always impressed by his detailed, thoughtful, and correct answers on the Avvo forum. I would, without hesitation, refer him clients in need of assistance with family law issues of any type."
Family Attorney | Mar 17
Relationship: Other
"I endorse Attorney Karpf. His answers to the community here at Avvo are both informative and helpful to the posters. He gives his time and provides guidance to those that may not otherwise be able to find the answers to their questions."
Unknown Attorney | Nov 06
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Top-notch attorney. Highly respected in the legal community."
Landlord or tenant Attorney | Jun 17
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. Attorney Karpf and I opposed each other in connection with a lawsuit arising from his client's tenancy in a building owned by my client. Attorney Karpf is an incredibly knowledgeable, professional and zealous advocate. I would recommend attorney Karpf without any hesitation."
Family Attorney | May 02
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Stephen Daniel Karpf is an excellent attorney. He is knowledgeable, experienced and diligent. His opinions are thoroughly researched and well considered and he is clearly passionate and professional in his representations. I endorse this lawyer."
View more endorsements

Avvo Contributions

Top Contributor 2014
Top Contributor

Stephen earned significant contribution points in 2014.

596 Legal Answers 2 Legal Guides
Newton Divorce and separation Lawyer Stephen Daniel Karpf
Stephen Daniel Karpf
Divorce and separation Attorney
Newton, MA
Licensed for 23 years
Free Consultation
Virtual consultation available