Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Does adultery affect my divorce case?”
Stars of the TLC reality show “Sister Wives” can return to their home state of Utah and live together without the fear of prosecution by the State for polygamy. Stars Kody Brown, Meri Brown, Janelle Brown, Christine Brown and Robyn Sullivan left their home while the suit was pending after “repeated” violations of their constitutional rights and “years of criminal investigation and public accusations,” according to their attorney.
The Browns sued Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert, Attorney General Mark Shurtleff and Utah County Attorney Jeffrey R. Buhman in 2011. In their complaint, the Browns acknowledged that only Kody and Meri Brown were legally married, and that the family did not hold multiple marriage licenses. Instead, “they call themselves a family in the eyes of their church.”
In their complaint, the Browns alleged that Utah’s criminal bigamy law criminalized “not just polygamous marriages but also an array of plural intimate relationships and associations of consenting adults.” They asked a federal district court to enjoin Utah’s enforcement of “laws banning and criminalizing polygamy.”
Utah statute Section 76-7-101 made a person “guilty of bigamy when, knowing he has a husband or wife or knowing the other person has a husband or wife,” marries “or cohabits with another person.”