Illinois Compiled Statutes
Information maintained by the Legislative Reference Bureau
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FAMILIES750 ILCS 5/306
(750 ILCS 5/) Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act.
(750 ILCS 5/306)
(from Ch. 40, par. 306)
Commencement of Action.) Actions for declaration
of invalidity of marriage shall be commenced as in other civil
(Source: P.A. 80-923.)
750 ILCS 5/Pt. IV
(750 ILCS 5/Pt. IV heading)
DISSOLUTION AND LEGAL SEPARATION
750 ILCS 5/401
(750 ILCS 5/401)
(from Ch. 40, par. 401)
Dissolution of marriage.
(a) The court shall enter a judgment of dissolution of marriage if at
the time the action was commenced one of the spouses was a resident of this
State or was stationed in this State while a member of the armed services,
and the residence or military presence had been maintained for 90 days next
preceding the commencement of the action or the making of the finding;
provided, however, that a finding of residence of a party in any judgment
entered under this Act from January 1, 1982 through June 30, 1982 shall
satisfy the former domicile requirements of this Act; and if one of the
following grounds for dissolution has been proved:
(1) That, without cause or provocation by the
petitioner: the respondent was at the time of such marriage, and continues to be naturally impotent; the respondent had a wife or husband living at the time of the marriage; the respondent had committed adultery subsequent to the marriage; the respondent has wilfully deserted or absented himself or herself from the petitioner for the space of one year, including any period during which litigation may have pended between the spouses for dissolution of marriage or legal separation; the respondent has been guilty of habitual drunkenness for the space of 2 years; the respondent has been guilty of gross and confirmed habits caused by the excessive use of addictive drugs for the space of 2 years, or has attempted the life of the other by poison or other means showing malice, or has been guilty of extreme and repeated physical or mental cruelty, or has been convicted of a felony or other infamous crime; or the respondent has infected the other with a sexually transmitted disease. "Excessive use of addictive drugs", as used in this Section, refers to use of an addictive drug by a person when using the drug becomes a controlling or a dominant purpose of his life; or
(2) That the spouses have lived separate and apart
for a continuous period in excess of 2 years and irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage and the court determines that efforts at reconciliation have failed or that future attempts at reconciliation would be impracticable and not in the best interests of the family. If the spouses have lived separate and apart for a continuous period of not less than 6 months next preceding the entry of the judgment dissolving the marriage, as evidenced by testimony or affidavits of the spouses, the requirement of living separate and apart for a continuous period in excess of 2 years may be waived upon written stipulation of both spouses filed with the court. At any time after the parties cease to cohabit, the following periods shall be included in the period of separation:
(A) any period of cohabitation during which the
parties attempted in good faith to reconcile and participated in marriage counseling under the guidance of any of the following: a psychiatrist, a clinical psychologist, a clinical social worker, a marriage and family therapist, a person authorized to provide counseling in accordance with the prescriptions of any religious denomination, or a person regularly engaged in providing family or marriage counseling; and
(B) any period of cohabitation under written
agreement of the parties to attempt to reconcile.
In computing the period during which the spouses have lived
separate and apart for purposes of this Section, periods during
which the spouses were living separate and apart prior to
July 1, 1984 are included.
(b) Judgment shall not be entered unless, to the extent it
has jurisdiction to do so, the court has considered, approved, reserved
or made provision for child custody, the support of any child of the
marriage entitled to support, the maintenance of either spouse and
the disposition of property. The court may enter a judgment for dissolution
that reserves any of these issues either upon (i) agreement of the
parties, or (ii) motion of either party and a finding by the
court that appropriate circumstances exist.
The death of a party subsequent to entry of a judgment for dissolution
but before judgment on reserved issues shall not abate the proceedings.
If any provision of this Section or its application shall be adjudged
unconstitutional or invalid for any reason by any court of competent
jurisdiction, that judgment shall not impair, affect or invalidate any
other provision or application of this Section, which shall remain in full
force and effect.
(Source: P.A. 89-187, eff. 7-19-95.)
750 ILCS 5/402
(750 ILCS 5/402)
(from Ch. 40, par. 402)
(a) Any person living separate and apart from his or her spouse without
fault may have a remedy for reasonable support and maintenance while they so live apart.
(b) Such action shall be brought in the circuit court of the county in
which the respondent resides or in which the parties last resided together
as husband and wife. In the event the respondent cannot be found within
the State, the action may be brought in the circuit court of the county
in which the petitioner resides. Commencement of the action, temporary
relief and trials shall be the same as in actions for dissolution of marriage.
(c) A proceeding or judgment for legal separation shall not bar either
party from instituting an action for dissolution of marriage, and if the
party so moving has met the requirements of Section 401, a judgment for
dissolution shall be granted.
(Source: P.A. 82-716.)
750 ILCS 5/403
(750 ILCS 5/403)
(from Ch. 40, par. 403)
Pleadings - Commencement - Abolition of Existing Defenses
(a) The 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
(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 there exist grounds for dissolution of marriage or legal separation. The petitioner need only allege the name of the particular grounds relied upon, which shall constitute a legally sufficient allegation of the grounds; and the respondent shall be entitled to demand a bill of particulars prior to trial setting forth the facts constituting the grounds, if he so chooses. The petition must also contain:
(4) the names, ages and addresses of all living
children of the marriage and whether the wife is pregnant;
(5) any arrangements as to support, custody and
visitation of the children and maintenance of a spouse; and
(6) the relief sought.
(b) Either or both parties to the marriage may initiate the
(c) The previously existing defense of recrimination is abolished.
The defense of condonation is abolished only as to condonations
occurring after a proceeding is filed under this Act and after the
court has acquired jurisdiction over the respondent.
(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 grounds
being tried first. Upon the court determining that the grounds exist,
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. In cases where the grounds 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,
issue on the pleadings notwithstanding.
(f) Even if no bill of particulars shall have been filed demanding
the specification of the particular facts underlying the allegation of
the grounds, the court shall nonetheless require proper and sufficient
proof of the existence of the grounds.
(Source: P.A. 90-174, eff. 10-1-97.)
750 ILCS 5/404
(750 ILCS 5/404)
(from Ch. 40, par. 404)
(a) If the court concludes that there is a prospect of reconciliation, the
court, at the request of either party, or on its own motion, may order a
conciliation conference. The conciliation conference and counseling shall take
place at the established court conciliation service of that judicial district
or at any similar service or facility where no court conciliation service has
(b) The facts adduced at any conciliation conference resulting from a
referral hereunder, shall not be considered in the adjudication of a pending
or subsequent action, nor shall any report resulting from such conference
become part of the record of the case unless the parties have stipulated
in writing to the contrary.
The court, upon good cause shown, may prohibit conciliation, mediation or
other process that requires the parties to meet and confer without counsel.
(Source: P.A. 87-1255.)
750 ILCS 5/404.1
(750 ILCS 5/404.1)
(from Ch. 40, par. 404.1)
(a) In an action for dissolution of marriage involving
minor children, or in a post-judgment proceeding involving minor children,
the court may on its own motion order the parties, excluding the minor
children, to attend an educational program concerning the effects of
dissolution of marriage on the children, if the court finds that it would
be in the best interests of the minor children. The program may be divided
into sessions, which in the aggregate shall not exceed 4 hours in duration.
The program shall be educational in nature and not designed for individual
(b) The facts adduced at any educational session resulting from a
referral under this Section shall not be considered in the adjudication of
a pending or subsequent action, nor shall any report resulting from such
educational session become part of the record of the case unless the
parties have stipulated in writing to the contrary.
(c) The fees or costs of educational sessions under this Section shall
be borne by the parties and may be assessed by the court as it deems equitable.
(Source: P.A. 86-288.)
750 ILCS 5/405
(750 ILCS 5/405)
(from Ch. 40, par. 405)
Hearing on Default - Notice.) If the respondent is in default,
the court shall proceed to hear the cause upon testimony of petitioner taken
in open court, and in no case of default shall the court grant a dissolution
of marriage or legal separation or declaration of invalidity of marriage,
unless the judge is satisfied that all proper means have been taken to notify
the respondent of the pendency of the suit. Whenever the judge is satisfied
that the interests of the respondent require it, the court may order such
additional notice as may be required.
(Source: P.A. 80-923.)
750 ILCS 5/406
(750 ILCS 5/406)
(from Ch. 40, par. 406)
Fault or Conduct of Petitioner.) In every action for a
dissolution of marriage or legal separation, or declaration of
invalidity of marriage, the conduct of the petitioner, unless raised by
the pleadings, is not a bar to the action nor a proper basis for the
refusal of a judgment of dissolution of marriage or legal separation or
declaration of invalidity of marriage. Defenses which may be raised by
the pleadings, however, shall not include the defenses abolished under
(Source: P.A. 81-231.)
750 ILCS 5/407
(750 ILCS 5/407)
(from Ch. 40, par. 407)
Admission of Respondent.) No admission of the respondent
shall be taken as evidence unless the court shall be satisfied that such
admission was made in sincerity and without fraud or collusion to enable
the petitioner to obtain a dissolution of marriage or legal separation or
declaration of invalidity of marriage.
(Source: P.A. 84-551.)
750 ILCS 5/408
(750 ILCS 5/408)
(from Ch. 40, par. 408)
Collusion - Assent or Consent of Petitioner.) If it appears,
to the satisfaction of the court, that the injury complained of was occasioned
by collusion of the parties, or done with the assent of the petitioner for
the purpose of obtaining a dissolution of marriage or legal separation or
declaration of invalidity of marriage, or that the petitioner was consenting
thereto, then no dissolution of marriage or legal separation or declaration
of invalidity of marriage may be adjudged.
(Source: P.A. 80-923.)
750 ILCS 5/409
(750 ILCS 5/409)
(from Ch. 40, par. 409)
Proof of Foreign Marriage.) A marriage which may have been
celebrated or had in any
foreign state or country, may be proved by the acknowledgment of the parties,
their cohabitation, and
other circumstantial testimony.
(Source: P.A. 80-923.)
750 ILCS 5/410
(750 ILCS 5/410)
(from Ch. 40, par. 410)
Process - Practice - Proceedings - Publication.) The process,
practice and proceedings
under this Act shall be the same as in other civil cases, except as otherwise provided
by this Act, or by any law or rule of court, and except that when the parties resided in
a municipality, in a county with a population under 2,000,000, at the time
the cause of action arose, and if
service by publication is necessary, publication shall be in a newspaper
published in such
municipality if there is one.
(Source: P.A. 80-923.)
750 ILCS 5/411
(750 ILCS 5/411)
(from Ch. 40, par. 411)
Commencement of Action.) (a) Actions for dissolution of
marriage or legal separation shall be commenced as in other civil cases or,
at the option of petitioner, by filing a praecipe for summons with the
clerk of the court and paying the regular filing fees, in which latter
case, a petition shall be filed within 6 months thereafter.
(b) When a praecipe for summons is filed without the petition, the summons
shall recite that petitioner has commenced suit for dissolution of marriage
or legal separation and shall require the respondent to file his or her
appearance not later than 30 days from the day the summons is served and to
plead to the petitioner's petition within 30 days from the day the petition is filed.
Until a petition has been filed, the court, pursuant to subsections (c)
and (d) herein, may dismiss the suit, order the filing of a petition,
or grant leave to the respondent to file a petition in the nature of a
After the filing of the petition, the party filing the same shall, within
2 days, serve a copy thereof upon the other party, in the manner provided
by rule of the Supreme Court for service of notices in other civil cases.
(c) Unless a respondent voluntarily files an appearance, a praecipe
for summons filed without the petition shall be served on the respondent
not later than 30 days after its issuance, and upon failure to obtain
service upon the respondent within the 30 day period, or any extension for
good cause shown granted by the court, the court shall dismiss the suit.
(d) An action for dissolution of marriage or legal separation
commenced by the filing a praecipe for summons without the petition shall
be dismissed unless a petition for dissolution of marriage or legal
separation has been filed within 6 months after the commencement of the action.
(Source: P.A. 86-630.)
750 ILCS 5/412
(750 ILCS 5/412)
(from Ch. 40, par. 412)
Filing of petition - Cases Requiring Service by
Publication.) In any case wherein the requisite affidavit for service by
publication has been filed to obtain jurisdiction as to the party
against whom a judgment of dissolution of marriage or of legal
separation or of declaration of invalidity of marriage is sought,
petitioner shall immediately, and without leave of court, file his or
(Source: P.A. 81-231.)