Lawyers have dubbed 8 January “Divorce Day” as the number of people seeking to end their marriage hits a peak.
Financial pressures and family tensions over Christmas are blamed for the surge in divorce inquiries, according to legal firm Slater and Gordon.
A survey of 2,000 married adults found more than a third (37%) said financial pressures were the biggest challenge to their marriage, while 22% said most of their arguments centred on money.
Of those who said they had considered leaving their partner, a quarter (25%) said they stayed together because they were worried about their children and 24% were concerned about losing their home.
Shockingly, more than a quarter (27%) of those surveyed admitted they had cheated but not told their partner, while 7% said they had carried the secret for more than 10 years.
Nearly one in 10 (8%) said they were likely to sleep with someone other than their partner in 2018.
Recent data from the Office for National Statistics showed there was a 5.8% increase in divorces between heterosexual couples in 2016 compared with the previous year.
Overall, 42% of marriages now end in divorce, with the average marriage now lasting 12 years.
Relate, one of the UK’s biggest relationship charities, said it receives a peak in calls in January as issues within a marriage or a long-term relationship come to a head over Christmas.
In January 2017, Relate received a 24% increase in calls to their helpline compared with the average month, and councillors expect to see a similar peak this year.
Relate’s chief executive Chris Sherwood said: “The reality is that many of the calls we receive in January are from couples who are already at crisis point after existing relationship tensions have come to a head over Christmas.
“With one in five people in the UK in a ‘distressed relationship’, we’d urge anyone who isn’t getting on with their partner to seek support as early as possible.”