The number of people wanting to start divorce proceedings is said to peak on the first working Monday after new year — dubbed ‘Divorce Day’ — which falls on January 5 this year, legal firm Stowe Family Law said.
The company said it had traditionally seen a 30% spike in calls from people inquiring about divorce.
Meanwhile, one in five people are considering separating from their partner after agreeing to stay together over the festive period, according to a poll of more than 2,000 married parents.
Lawyers Irwin Mitchell, which commissioned the research, also revealed divorce instructions rose by 27% across January last year compared to an average month, while the number of instructions was also up by 25% in January 2013.
John Nicholson, specialist divorce and family lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Sadly, our figures show that the January divorce spike is no myth.
“Every year, we see a marked rise in inquiries and instructions in January from people who have decided that the time is right to separate from their partner.
“Many appointments will have been made in December by people who were already planning to start the divorce process in the new year, while others may have had a bad time over the holiday period and realised that they want to make a fresh start in January.”
“Divorce is much less of a taboo issue in the modern world and there are different ways to separate in a less adversarial way if that’s what both parties want.
“We are seeing more over 60s separating and a rise in fixed-fee divorces for people who agree on the split of their assets and have an ’un-complicated’ situation.”
More than 100,000 marriages end in divorce every year in the UK, according to Irwin Mitchell.