Legal firms were bracing themselves today for ‘Divorce Monday’, when they typically see a surge in queries from spouses planning to break up after the Christmas holidays.
Many couples wait until after Christmas and the New Year before initiating a separation, leading to a glut of inquiries on the first working Monday of January, dubbed ‘Divorce Day’.
One in five married couples is considering separation after staying together over the festive period, according a poll of 2,000 spouses.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) claims 42 per cent of all marriages end in divorce.
The most recent data on marriage breakups shows that 118,140 divorces were granted in England and Wales in 2012.
Research by the charity OnePlusOne showed that of those couples experiencing problems, only four per cent turned to a professional therapist or counsellor for help, as opposed to 16 per cent who confided in family members and seven per cent who went online for advice.
OnePlusOne director, Penny Mansfield CBE, said: “People rarely decide to separate or divorce suddenly. Often they’ve been thinking about it for months, if not years.
“Seeking help at an earlier stage – when the first thoughts about separation creep in – can be the first step in resolving problems and making the likelihood of splitting up less likely.
“But for many people, the additional stress of Christmas and the start of the New Year bring these underlying problems to the surface and they make their final decision to part.”
Data from ONS indicates one in seven divorces is granted as a result of adultery, with the overall majority of divorces from first marriages (71 per cent) and almost half of all divorces granted in 2012 were to couples in the first 10 years of marriage.