Beware of overly-friendly strangers saying hello on the street today -- you never know who might be a process server sent by your spouse.

Lawyers in the U.K. estimate more couples will decide to divorce on January 12th this year than any other day. While January is always a popular month for splitting couples, this year experts say that the recession has inspired some unhappy couples to stick it out through one more Christmas of shared finances before calling it quits, which they'll do the Monday after their children return to school.

Last week's celeb splits suggest that at least a few couples are getting a jump-start on the trend. Patricia Arquette and Thomas Jane, Amy Winehouse and Blake Fielder-Civil (thank god), and prenuptial pair Jennifer Love-Hewitt and fiance Ross McCall all announced their breakups last week.

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to read more reasons why couples are calling it quits today.

Hot Bod, Cold Heart

    Alex Rodriguez This skanky Yankee came under fire for getting cozy with a stripper at a Las Vegas Scores (ew), and was rumored to be cavorting with Madonna before the ink was dry on either of their divorce papers. Jerkometer rating: 7

    Getty Images

    Mario Lopez Who knew that A.C. Slater was such a dirtbag? The buff "Dancing with the Stars" stud reportedly cheated on one lady friend with a Hooters girl, and his two-week 2004 marriage to Ali Landry ended when she learned of his bachelor party antics. Jerkometer rating: 8

    Barry King, WireImage.com

    Jude Law He may be gorgeous, and nobody can resist that accent. But you know what we can resist? Sleeping with our nanny. Jude? Not so much. He and then-fiancee Sienna Miller eventually broke up, obvs. Jerkometer rating: 7

    Sony

    Matt Damon In 1998, Matt Damon told Oprah Winfrey during an interview on her show that he was no longer dating Minnie Driver. According to Driver, that was the first she'd heard of their breakup. Jerkometer rating: 2 (He gets points off for good behavior since.)

    Universal

    Hugh Grant In 1995, Grant was infamously pulled over by L.A. police for lewd conduct with prostitute Divine Brown. Girlfriend Liz Hurley forgave him and even appeared on his arm at the premiere of "Nine Months" days after his arrest. Jerkometer rating: 9 (extra points for dragging Leno into it)

    Dave Hogan, Getty Images

    David Beckham What is it with married celebrities and the hired help? Although he has always denied it (and OK, so there's no proof), Becks was accused in 2004 of sleeping with then-personal assistant Rebecca Loos. Jerkometer rating: 3 (That shirtless picture inspires our goodwill, OK?)

    Milk Processor's of America

    Chace Crawford We know two things about the "Gossip Girl" boy: He's a total hottie, and he dumped Carrie Underwood via text. US Weekly reported in April, 2008 that the pair "mutually" parted ways via cellular phones. Jerkometer rating: 1 (hey, we've done it too)

    Mark Von Holden, WireImage.com

    Charlie Sheen Among other lowlights, Sheen "accidentally" shot ex-fiancee Kelly Preston, spent thousands on madam Heidi Fleiss and symbolically took a chainsaw to his wedding portrait with Denise Richards. Ew. Jerkometer rating: What comes after infinity?

    E.J. Camp / CBS

    Ethan Hawke We were sad enough when this brainy babe's artsy-smartsy marriage to Uma Thurman ended. But to then shack up and have a baby with the nanny to his kids? For shame! Jerkometer rating: 4

    Mirimax / Everett Collection

    Ryan Philippe Although never officially confirmed, rumors still swirl that Ryan Philippe's divorce from his all-American wife Reese Witherspoon had a little something to do with an on-set affair with actress Abbie Cornish, now his girlfriend. Hmm. Jerkometer rating: 6

    Frank Masi, Paramount



Says U.K. lawyer Shelley Hesford, "We get more calls in the first few days of New Year from couples wanting to separate or divorce than any other time of the year - and the reasons behind divorce are often, though not always, based on money problems having pushed a relationship to breaking point."

We can't help but wonder if the previous few weeks spent stuck in close proximity with your spouse's annoying in-laws might also have something to do with it. Either way, if your New Year's resolution was to lose some weight in the approximate poundage of your unwanted partner, we hope you gave your lawyer -- and your soon-to-be-ex -- a heads-up.

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