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Uncoupling Book Cover

By Barbara Relph


an insider’s guide to separation in New Zealand

Answering practical questions to help you navigate the challenges of separation, Uncoupling will help you move through each step and into the next phase of your life.

Whether you are uncoupling from a relationship, or find yourself suddenly uncoupled, you will find practical help here.

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About Uncoupling

This is not the story of a separation, but is a practical guide, inspired by my own experiences and research with New Zealand experts.

Answering many of the tricky questions resulting from separation, the book is dotted with real life anecdotes shared by the many men and women I interviewed while researching separation in New Zealand.

The stages of separation are presented in a logical sequence from the difficult early days, to making sense of the legal process, through to consciously creating a better life.

How do you know this is what you want?

It's one of life's most difficult decisions. Uncoupling outlines useful ways to help you make the decision to stay coupled, or to uncouple.

Emotional turmoil and big decisions

How do you tell your children? Where will you live? How will you pay for it?
All while grieving a lost relationship. Uncoupling guides you through.

What are your legal rights?

Enter this process with your eyes open, understanding the resolution options and the law covering key separation issues - property and children.

Find a lawyer, save on costs

Do I need a lawyer? How to make a good decision and get good value. It's expensive and Uncoupling shows you how to minimise costs.

Take care of yourself and your finances

It's time to take control, starting with taking care of yourself. What do you want from your new life? Are your finances under control? Is your work life future-fit?

Protect your assets in case you fall in love (again)

How is your social life? Have you tried online dating? And if you do happen to meet the new love of your life, do you know how to protect yourself and your assets?


Barbara Relph

When my relationship ended, I faced turmoil. With no stable income source and no established career path, I was forced to re-think my life.

I became a professional writer and editor in 2017 and am now living a life which surprises me every day.

Having personally worked through many of the issues in Uncoupling, I have a strong desire to ease the experience of others, using my new-found knowledge as a starting point.

Barbara Relph Photo

Antonia Fisher QC Relationship Property Specialist

I believe Uncoupling to be an enormously useful resource for women and men at any stage of the separation process.

When I met Barbara for the first time, post-financial settlement, I commented that it seemed separation was the best thing that ever happened to her. She agreed.

I see clients every day who would benefit from Uncoupling. I couldn’t have written it better myself.

Separation – Do you know your legal rights?

Separation – Do you know your legal rights?

There’s not a chance I would have published a book using just my cobbled together knowledge and personal experience.   I spent three years working through the division of my relationship property, going down some expensive and unproductive paths to negotiate...

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How do you know it’s over?

How do you know it’s over?

I can’t speak for my former partner, but I can’t recall when I was last truly happy in that relationship. Just a small push too far got me thinking about how life on my own could pan out. I spent months assessing my life and coming to terms with how I felt about being...

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Separation isn’t easy

Separation isn’t easy

Research states divorce or separation is the second most stressful adult life event after the death of a spouse or child, but that was challenged by people I interviewed for this book. Friends frequently scatter as if separation were COVID, or feel they need to pick a...

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