January usually brings about a 25 per cent spike in divorces every year, with many citing the strain of the festive period as the main reason for the trend.
Alison Hawes, a divorce and family lawyer at solicitors Irwin Mitchell, told the Evening Standard:
Sadly, the January divorce spike is no myth as people generally feel that the New Year offers a new start for them and their family.
Every year we see a marked rise in enquiries and instructions in January from people who have decided that the time is right to separate from their partner.
One way couples can avert chances of conflict is by giving equal responsibility for household chores, according to Frances Goldscheider, Professor of Family Science at the University of Maryland.
Goldscheider says, in a briefing paper for the Council on Contemporary Families:
Among older men (ages 51-92) those with egalitarian gender role attitudes report much higher levels of marital happiness than otherwise comparable men with traditional attitudes.
Men’s increasing involvement in child care and housework seems to be critical here.
If you're a man, you're also more likely to be in a relationship or move in if you divide things equally...
An analysis of 13 industrialised countries found that men with more egalitarian attitudes were more likely to form a romantic union and particularly to cohabit than men with less egalitarian attitudes.
... and if you're cohabiting parents you’re also more likely to get married if the father is more involved with the children.
Among cohabitors, men who were involved in the care of their children (providing care when the mother was absent, taking children to daycare and medical appointments) were more likely to make the transition to marriage than those less involved.
To paraphrase the expert, if you want a successful marriage take a joint responsibility for the household.