Thanks to the unique way it shines a light on the less-than-mainstream ideology of polygamy, TLC's Sister Wives is one of the most fascinating reality shows on the air. The series follows the life of 49-year-old Kody Brown and his four wives, Robyn, Christine, Meri, and Janelle — plus their combined 18 kids. And one of the most frequently-asked questions about the show is whether it's even legal.
"We chose to be married," Kody previously told The Clicker. "Nobody forced us to do this and we choose to stay in it out of love and commitment. Just like any marriage."
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He continued, "I hate to say it because I don't like divorce — nobody likes that — but my wives are free to leave, if they make that choice. Each of my wives is a strong and independent woman and essentially could have a good relationship with the man of their choice. They just are in this relationship with me. And we have chosen to be a family out of love, out of devotion, out of faith." Keep scrolling to find out the legality of Kody's marriage situation, plus answers to more crucial polygamy questions!
Is Sister Wives legal?
Technically, yes, because Kody Brown is actually only married — legally — to one of his four wives. The rest of his marriages are considered "spiritual unions."
Which wife is Kody legally married to on Sister Wives?
As of 2014, Kody is legally married to Robyn, who's technically his fourth wife "spiritually." The couple tied the knot so that he could adopt her three children from a previous marriage. In order for them to get married, Kody divorced his first wife Meri after 24 years together.
Is polygamy legal anywhere in the US?
No. Polygamy is even illegal in Utah where the Sister Wives used to live before they fled to Las Vegas for "religious freedom."
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Fans can learn more about how the Brown family navigates their polygamous lifestyle by tuning in to Sister Wives on Sundays at 8 p.m. on TLC.