When starting the divorce process in North Carolina, you may have a lot of questions. The process can be confusing because of all the legal aspects. It may not help that you are also probably going through a lot of emotions and would rather be doing anything else other than dealing with the divorce process. 

The North Carolina Courts offer a lot of information about divorce and the other aspects of ending a marriage. Consulting this information may help you to feel more at ease and in control of your situation. Arming yourself with knowledge is one of the best ways to help yourself through this trying time. With that in mind, here are three key points you should know about getting a divorce in the state. 

1. You must first have a legal separation

To get divorced, the law requires to be separated from your spouse for a minimum of one year plus one day. Separation is when you live in separate homes with the intention of this being a permanent situation. There are no exceptions to this rule because this is a no-fault state. 

2. You can file for a legal separation

Filing for a legal separation allows you to go through with much of the same process you will have to go through for a divorce. You can divide property, allocate child support and create a parenting plan. Since you must go through separation to get a divorce, this can help you to iron out all the details so once you can file your divorce, you can get through it quickly. 

3. You must file for property division

If you do not ask the court for property division as part of your divorce, then you lose the right to divide property through the process. You each will keep property titled in your name or of which you have current physical possession. Joint property remains jointly owned even after the divorce. So, you should ask for property division to avoid future issues. 

While this is not everything you need to know, it at least gives you a little insight into the divorce process. Having this information may allow you to approach your divorce with some confidence that you understand the process.