With a new study claiming that one in five UK couples are considering breaking up – for many, the long summer break can add to the stress, say family lawyers.

And they have some timely advice, ahead of the school's breaking up, to help couples keep their cool during the summer.

According to relationship charity Relate, 18% of couples in the UK argue regularly or consider separating.

The survey is based on 20,980 people in relationships from 2013-2015 and suggests that 2.87 million people were in a distressed relationship.

As well as the impact on people's mental and physical health, the charity is also concerned about the detrimental effect that constant arguing among couples can have on the children.

People often find that tensions in their relationship can really come to a head during and after the summer holidays, when things do seem like a bit of a slog.

Summer holidays can seem great at the beginning. However, sometimes spending lots of time together without any distractions – away from the daily pressures of work or taking the kids to and from school – can mean you find yourself confronting issues you're usually able to avoid.

This can be compounded by having really high holiday expectations – hoping for a chance to finally spend some quality time together – which can leave you feeling frustrated when they aren't met.

If you are in a stressful relationship, there are some practical tips to try and keep your cool and avoid a summer meltdown.

Put together a plan that allows everyone to have their say about what they want to do. It may be an idea to draw up a chart of what each member wants to do, explaining to the children some of their wishes may be too expensive, so encourage everyone to think about cheaper alternatives.

Be realistic and don't be afraid to talk to your children about time and money, and manage their expectations - saying that you still have work even though they are not at school. Get them on side early to minimise any disappointment later into the holiday.

Seasonal savings and free day's out when the weather is good are a winner. Seek out cheap or free events locally and get the kids to help prepare a picnic, giving them some ownership of the family day.

Spread the load. Team up with other parents and pool resources, this way you can share the burden of childcare and the kids can keep each other company.

Family disagreements are inevitable when you are spending concentrated time together, but can be inflamed by the additional stresses of travelling – and travelling with children. If you do argue, try not to let things escalate and always try to resolve the argument as quickly and calmly as possible. Talk things through and try to move on from it.