Married couples seek split on ‘Divorce Day’

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.

Financial pressures and family tensions over the Christmas period are blamed for the surge in divorce inquiries

Image: Tensions over Christmas are blamed for a rise in divorce inquiries

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.

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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.”