§ 403. Pleadings--Commencement--Abolition of Existing Defenses--Procedure.
(a) The complaint or petition for dissolution of marriage or legal separation shall be verified and shall minimally set forth:
(1) the age, occupation and residence of each party and his length of residence in this State;
(2) the date of the marriage and the place at which it was registered;
(2.5) whether a petition for dissolution of marriage is pending in any other county or state;
(3) that the jurisdictional requirements of subsection (a) of Section 401 have been met and that irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage;
(4) the names, ages and addresses of all living children of the marriage and whether a spouse is pregnant;
(5) any arrangements as to support, allocation of parental responsibility of the children and maintenance of a spouse; and
(6) the relief sought.
(b) Either or both parties to the marriage may initiate the proceeding.
(d) The court may join additional parties necessary and proper for the exercise of its authority under this Act.
(e) Contested trials shall be on a bifurcated basis with the issue of whether irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, as described in Section 401, being tried first, regardless of whether that issue is contested or uncontested. Upon the court determining that irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, the court may allow additional time for the parties to settle amicably the remaining issues before resuming the trial, or may proceed immediately to trial on the remaining issues. The court has the discretion to use the date of the trial or such other date as agreed upon by the parties, or ordered by the court within its discretion, for purposes of determining the value of assets or property. In cases where the requirements of Section 401 are uncontested and proved as in cases of default, the trial on all other remaining issues shall proceed immediately, if so ordered by the court or if the parties so stipulate. Except as provided in subsection (b) of Section 401, the court shall enter a judgment of dissolution of marriage, including an order dissolving the marriage, incorporation of a marital settlement agreement if applicable, and any other appropriate findings or orders, only at the conclusion of the case and not after hearing only the testimony as to whether irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
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