Advice needed. same sex couple with toddler considering split

My partner and I (domestic partner) have been having trouble in our marriage since the beginning. We have been off and on together for over 8 years. Lots of history and a rocky start. We got married a little over 3 years ago and have a 2 year old together. She also has 3 teens from a previous same sex marriage who live with us half time. We are considering splitting. Unfortunately, I have only been working part time and there’s no way for me to afford rent in the Bay Area. She wants 50/50 even though she works full time. I don’t know what to do or where to go. I kind of want to nest in this house but it still means finding a place to live. And I don’t think she will agree to it. She can afford all this. I can’t. I’m worried. I also really don’t want to be away from my young toddler (whom I birthed) and we have a secure bond that is very important that I keep in tact. We are planning to see a mediator because we cannot talk about hard things without arguing. Too much anger and resentment. I am worried I’ll lose what I’ve worked so hard on with my daughter by losing out on half of her life. But we are not happy together. I also don’t want to get screwed financially. Anyone know a great mediator or lawyer or counselor for this situation? Thank you. 

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Consider a full year of therapy before splitting, there’s a lot to loose and a lot at stake. If you use mediation do it with a consulting attorney from the start. They’ll let you know when the marriage settlement agreement(MSA) is or is not in your favor. If I could give you a referral it would be for Unmani Sarasvati. She’s a local woman who was helpful to me in the past and can act as your consulting attorney or attorney record.
Hope some of this is helpful, I’ve left her info below.  

Unmani Sarasvati, JD, LLM (tax)

Mediation Offices


Hello, I recommend Camille King ( She does only "collaborative" separations/co-parenting, etc. (meaning no court), so there is a focus on keeping things from getting nasty. I found her to be very level-headed, personable, and knowledgeable. 

My divorce attorney was wonderful. Her name is Lisa Mendes You can tell her Erika referred you. Good luck. 

Hi, I’m sorry I don’t know of someone, but wanted to let you know that you can get some idea of the amount of child support she’ll have to pay you at the website pasted below. Courts have to follow a guideline amount, so if you know both your financials and the time spent with each parent you can roughly if not exactly calculate it.  There are also free legal services available to you - explore around on this same website. Best of luck.

Hi there. My ex and I worked with Fred Hertz in Oakland when we split several years ago. Our breakup was not contentious so I cannot speak to how he would work with both of you together, but I can say he is a great attorney and a kind, ethical, warm and approachable person to boot (which for me is huge because I don’t speak legalese and was feeling overwhelmed and intimidated about having to approach the legal realm of breaking up). He’s written four books about legal issues relevant to gay/lesbian couples (found on his website). He’s regrettably also expensive, but I suggest calling him even if you can’t afford his fee and asking if he can recommend someone in your price range. As an aside, it may be that what you need is an attorney batting FOR YOU alone, and yes a mediator or counselor to talk through things with your partner (sorry I don’t have those to recommend). If nothing else check out Fred’s website, reading his books might be a place to start. Your situation sounds really tough, and I am so sorry, I wish I could help more. I wish you all the best. 

I read "Divorce over 50" before I decided to split.  Probably the "over 50" part doesn't apply to you, but I would get some basic book and read it.  It will be full of stuff that is good to know.  I agree with the poster who said consider therapy and have a consulting attorney from the start if you do mediation.  You can even pay for a consult with an attorney now, even if you don't know if you want to proceed.