- Kody Brown told ex Christine that the state of Arizona could become “the owner” of daughter Truely.
- The pair, who announced their split in November 2021 after more than 25 years together, were never legally wed.
- State laws prevent parents from “kidnapping” their kids, but the state wouldn’t “own” a child in the middle of a custody battle.
TLC’s “Sister Wives” star Kody Brown suggested to his ex Christine on Sunday’s episode that the state of Arizona, where their family lived at the time, could become “the owner” of their now-12-year-old daughter Truely if they didn’t put a legal plan for custody in place.
Christine and Kody announced to the public that they were splitting up after more than 25 years of “spiritual” marriage in November 2021. Kody legally married his fourth wife, Robyn, in December 2014 so he could adopt her three children from a previous marriage, according to Us Weekly. Prior to that, he was legally married to his first wife, Meri, but he was never legally married to Christine.
While discussing Christine and Truely’s future visits to Arizona from Utah, where Christine intended to move them, Kody told his ex, “You and I have to actually have a child custody agreement in place or the state takes her, uh, essentially becomes the owner of her.”
When Christine asked him if that was really true, he said, “yeah, stupid,” implying that the law was ridiculous.
But in a solo interview on the episode, Kody appeared to admit that he’d made it up, telling cameras, “So, I got to this child custody thing and I just started getting creative about it because it’s like, I just don’t know what to do.”
Kody might be referring to the fact that under Arizona state law, you must seek the state’s permission before relocating to another state with your child and you must inform the child’s other parent you are doing so at least 60 days in advance if you are moving more than 100 miles away (as Christine intended to do), according to Stewart Law Group.
The state’s laws prevent a parent from “kidnapping” their child, but there’s nothing to suggest that Arizona would “own” a child if a legal custody agreement weren’t in place.
“There is this thing in the manosphere where it says if you’re getting divorced, you’re gonna get screwed, bro,” Kody told the cameras, explaining his “creative” attempt to protect himself.
In his conversation with Christine, he also appeared to imply that the standard agreement was 50/50 custody, which isn’t necessarily the case.
Kody told his ex that if they didn’t come up with an agreement “you’re going to get a lawyer and the government involved and the lawyer is going to take all the money you have.”
“Does he not understand I want him to be around his kids? I’m not going to fight him on that,” Christine told cameras in a solo interview. She added that Kody just didn’t trust her, which Kody confirmed in his own, separate solo interview shown moments later.
On a previous season 17 episode, Christine said that she didn’t want Kody to have equal custody of Truely.
“I find it ironic that now he wants to be involved in my kids’ lives, now that I’m leaving. Now he wants 50/50 time with them?” Christine said in a confessional. “Well hell, he could’ve had 50/50 time with us the whole fucking time we lived here. If he wanted 50/50, he should’ve been around more.”
“He doesn’t get 50/50. He hasn’t been around enough for that,” she added.
Viewers saw that Kody stopped visiting Christine’s house in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, though he would sometimes spend time with Truely and his other daughters that lived at home in the backyard.
Kody expressed trepidation about Truely’s custody situation on Sunday’s episode, in part because Christine was moving to Utah, a state the Brown family has a litigious history with.
“Sister Wives” airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on TLC.