Mary Kay Letourneau has two grown daughters with Vili Fualaau

By Steve Helling
April 18, 2019 10:54 AM

As Mary Kay Letourneau and Vili Fualaau continue moving forward in their separation, their daughters are remaining “as impartial as possible,” a source close to Letourneau tells PEOPLE.

“They’re trying not to choose sides,” the source says. “They had two great parents who loved and supported them. So now they’re returning the love and support to both their dad and their mom.”

The source, who has known Letourneau for years, says that Audrey, 21, and Georgia, 19, are both very close to Fualaau — but they maintain a relationship with their infamous mom. “They’re very good girls,” says the source. “They are wise beyond their years and they understand that relationships are a complex thing.”

The couple’s controversial — and criminal — relationship began when Fualaau was just 12 years old and Letourneau was his sixth-grade teacher. They soon began to have sex. Ultimately, she was sentenced to more than seven years in prison for child rape in connection with their relationship. She twice became pregnant with Fualaau’s children before he was 15, despite court orders aimed at keeping them apart.

RELATED VIDEO: Mary Kay and Vili Fualaau’s Relationship Through the Years — from Prison to Marriage

By the time she was released from prison, Fualaau was an adult — and he petitioned the court to allow them to see each other. The restraining order was dropped, but Letourneau remains a registered sex offender in Washington state.

Vili Fualaau and Mary Kay Letourneau
| Credit: Heidi Gutman/ABC/Getty

The couple married in 2005, despite the criminal history of their relationship.

Fualaau filed for legal separation in 2017. Despite their reconciliation attempts since then, PEOPLE confirms a legal filing with the King County Superior Court stating the couple is moving forward with private arbitration to finalize their split.

“I’m not surprised that they got married,” Letourneau’s lawyer and friend David Gehrke told PEOPLE in 2017, after the couple first announced their plans to split before they later attempted to reconcile. “And I’m not surprised, in this day and age, that they are separating.”

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Credit: Heidi Gutman/ABC/Getty

Even after the split, Letourneau and Fualaau still lived together. They were occasionally spotted out in the Seattle area. They both remain active in the lives of their two daughters, Georgia and Audrey.

But ultimately, the source says, the couple finally had to call it quits.

“No one likes to see a family fall apart,” the source says, “but the girls are old enough to process what’s happening, and they know that they’re loved very much. They’ll be okay. Everyone will be okay.”