The former teacher and her student are going through a legal separation, according to court documents

By Steve Helling
May 24, 2019 10:49 AM

Mary Kay Letourneau and Vili Fualaau will be officially single by August, according to court documents filed in their case.

The controversial couple headed for a split in 2017, after Fualaau filed for legal separation. Despite several reconciliation attempts since then, the case moved to private arbitration in February.

According to a legal filing with the King County Superior Court, Letourneau and Fualaau will attend an arbitration hearing “no later than August 1, 2019.” At the hearing, the arbitrator will issue a final decision on “on all issues needed to resolve a legal separation.”

“That’s the end date,” says a source close to Letourneau. “They’re both looking forward to getting on with their lives.”

The couple’s controversial 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
Heidi Gutman/ABC/Getty

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

But it didn’t last. Letourneau, 57, and Fualaau, 35, often slept in separate rooms before the split. “The intimacy was gone,” the source says. “That’s not to say they didn’t love each other, but it wasn’t what it used to be.”

The source, who has known Letourneau for years, says the marriage began to deteriorate several years ago but that the couple continued to work towards reconciliation.

“For years, there was hope it would work,” says the source, “There was hope up until the time where it was clear that the hope had faded away.”

“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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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 now, according to the legal documents, the marriage will end this summer.

“I think they’re both able to breathe a bit easier,” the Letourneau source says. “It’s not going to be dragged out any longer. This is the end.”