In Pennsylvania, the party who files for divorce is called the Petitioner and the party who answers is called the Respondent. The outcome of the case does not depend on what side you are on.
There are two types of divorce that can be sought in Pennsylvania; a no-fault divorce and a fault divorce. A no-fault divorce may be based on mutual consent of the parties. If the terms of the divorce have been agreed on by the parties, then divorce may be granted ninety days after the filing of divorce if the parties also submit an affidavit consenting to the divorce. If that is not the case, and the parties do not file an affidavit consenting to the divorce, then the spouse seeking divorce must establish that the parties have been separated for one year. This is also called a no consent divorce.
The Court of Common Pleas for each county handles family law cases. The county can either be where the Plaintiff or the defendant resides.
Pennsylvania requires that at least one spouse must have resided in Pennsylvania for at least six (6) months immediately prior to filing for divorce.
Pennsylvania offers a Simple Divorce process for spouses with no marital property to divide, or spouses who have alimony disputes or immediate custody issues to resolve. As such, the parties can file what is called a Simple Divorce. If you qualify for a Simple Divorce, you complete and sign the required divorce forms and wait the mandatory waiting period in Pennsylvania. After that, you receive your official divorce decree, which means you are divorced.