Couples call in solicitors in 'Divorce Monday' split surge

Divorce Monday as couples seek legal advicePic: Getty

It might be the season to be jolly, but Christmas can be a stressful time even for the most solid of relationships. And for many British couples, the festive period proves the last straw.

The first Monday of the new year has been labelled 'Divorce Monday' by legal experts, as thousands of warring couples take the next step to separation and call in the lawyers.

According to a survey of 1,000 people by the DivorceDepot website, today is the most popular day to file for divorce. For many, the Christmas period served only to highlight existing marital problems, and topping the list of relationship pressures was finances, which affected one in three respondents.

Excess alcohol, trouble with the in-laws, rows over cooking and the buying of gifts also caused problems for couples, while 12 per cent said that just the extra time spent with their partner over the festive period cause cracks to show.

Ruth Sutherland, chief executive of Relate, told the Daily Express: "New Year is a time when many of us naturally assess how life is going and this can make people think about relationships."

DivorceDepot, which offers budget DIY divorce petitions, reports that the number of people using such services rose by 35 per cent last year, and the website is expecting a similar increase in 2014.

Have you recently divorced? Was a stressful Christmas the last straw for your relationship? Leave your comments below...