The first working day in January - so-called Divorce Day - is expected to see a rise in calls to solicitors about getting a divorce.

But why do more people file for divorce after Christmas?

Law firm Tees has suggested that many couples simply ‘keep it together’ for Christmas.

Sally Powell, executive partner at Tees, said: “While the term ‘Divorce Day’ can downplay what is an incredibly complex time in people’s lives, it is true that there is an increase in couples seeking divorces in January.

“The New Year is synonymous with fresh starts, with people looking ahead and developing personal or professional goals, taking steps towards what they want for their future.

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“Many people will ‘keep it together’ for Christmas - whether it’s for their children, to give the relationship one last chance or to save awkward conversations at a time that is, for many people, all about togetherness and family.

“Likewise, the stress of the holiday period can reveal cracks in relationships or bring underlying issues in the relationship to a head.”

There are a number of common ‘myths’ about divorce that couples should be aware of.

First, the only legal basis for divorce is the ‘irretrievable breakdown of marriage’.

This can be established in one of five different ways; unreasonable behaviour, adultery, two years’ separation by consent, five years’ separation and/or two years’ desertion.

Couples must be married for a year before being able to divorce and, contrary to popular opinion, the court does not look to penalise either party, except in very unusual circumstances

This means that even the ‘injured party’, for example a spouse that was cheated on, won’t necessarily receive a favourable settlement.

Sally says people seeking divorce need to be realistic.

“Divorce is an incredibly difficult decision for anyone to make,” she said. “If your relationship breaks down and you want to divorce, consider legal advice early.

“A Family Law solicitor will support you through the whole process. Your solicitor is on your side and will help put you in the strongest possible position when dealing with your former partner.”

She added: “Every relationship is different but our key recommendations for anyone going through a divorce are to communicate and to be realistic. Without all the information, a solicitor cannot advise properly and both parties need to understand the impact a divorce will have.

“A fair split of assets is not necessarily an exactly equal split as their value can change overnight, so being too precise can be counterproductive and draw out the process. It’s our job to give realistic advice from the outset to help clients understand exactly what the best outcome looks like for them.”