I am not a lawyer…
There are only 2 grounds for divorce in NC…“No Fault” and “Fault”. I put the descriptions below:
Living separate and apart without cohabitation for one year.
(1) Confinement for incurable insanity for three years;
(2) incurable mental illness based on examination for three years.
Since your wife has not been confinded for 3 years of incurable insanity and has no incurable mental illness that has been documented for 3 years, your only option is to file “No Fault”. It kinda sucks when we feel we have been very wronged, to have to put “no fault” divorce…in my case, my stbx is a drug addict…and has done NUMEROUS things that I find a lot of FAULT in…unfortunately, in NC, the only causes for a “fault” divorce are the ones listed above.
Suing for AOA will be hard and expensive…since your marriage was already on the rocks (as you said in your post), the fact that she was having an emotional affair will likely not grant you anything in AOA…for that, the paramour would have had to break up an otherwise hunky-dory marriage, which is sounds like you already did not have.
You cannot file for divorce prior to the one year one day separation in NC…unless you both lie about your separation date, which is NEVER a good idea…what with it being perjury and all…so a year and a day, you must wait…
The is no reason needed to file for a divorce as NC is a no fault divorce State. The divorce will be granted on the basis that you have been separated for one year (once that time has passed).