The former couple got spiritually married in 1993 and share six children.
Though the Sister Wives star claimed to be "separated" back in January during the TLC reality series' One-on-One special with interviewer Sukanya Krishnan, the mother of six later clarified that she no longer considers herself to be in a plural marriage.
"Because we never were legally married, I can't really say I'm divorced," Janelle explained to People magazine in an interview with her sister wife, Christine Brown. "When I say it to outside people, I just say, 'I'm no longer with my partner.'"
Christine, who split from Kody in 2021, said, "Really? Oh, I say I'm straight-up divorced. I love that title. I love saying I'm divorced."
While Christine has since moved on and is engaged to fiancé David Woolley, Janelle isn't quite ready for a new relationship.
"I don't know, I guess I've always just been like, 'Oh, my partner and I split up.' Sometimes I'll say divorced. I'm single," Janelle shared.
"Are you single and ready to mingle?" Christine asked.
"Oh no, no, no, no, no. No dating," Janelle insisted. "Maybe in 10 years."
So with Sister Wives' season 18 premiering on Sunday, Aug. 20, let's look back at the timeline of Janelle and Kody's marriage and split:
Janelle married her first husband, Adam Barber, who is, in fact, the brother of her former sister wife, Meri Brown. Janelle even attended Kody and Meri's wedding with her first husband, who at the time was Kody's brother-in-law.
As if this wasn't complicated enough, Janelle's own family soon integrated into Kody's. Janelle noted in the book Becoming Sister Wives that she was not raised in a polygamist family and her own mother, Sheryl, was against the idea, until she met and soon married Kody's father, Winn, becoming his third wife. This made Janelle's future father-in-law her stepfather.
Janelle and Adam divorced in 1990, with Janelle calling the split "horrible."
Janelle and Kody had a very quick courtship, going on one date and getting married two weeks later. She was the second wife to enter the family after Meri.
Janelle and Kody welcomed their first son, Logan Brown.
Christine became Kody's third wife.
Janelle and Kody welcomed their daughter, Madison Brown.
Janelle and Kody welcomed their son, Hunter Brown.
Janelle and Kody welcomed their son, Garrison Brown.
The couple welcomed their son, Gabriel Brown.
The couple welcomed their final child together, daughter Savanah Brown.
Robyn Brown became Kody's fourth wife. On season 18 of Sister Wives, Janelle said, "Once Robyn entered the family, there was a shakeup, and I don't know if things were ever settled again."
The COVID-19 pandemic spread across the world and Kody began enforcing strict family protocols. He refused to see certain wives and children if they traveled or interacted with others, seemingly showing favoritism toward Robyn. Several of his older children, particularly sons Gabriel and Garrison, called out Kody for his behavior toward Janelle and his older children.
Reflecting back on the time period, Janelle said it "really started to twist our relationship to the point of breaking."
Christine announced that she was leaving Kody and relocating to Utah. Throughout the split, Janelle remained a close friend and confidant, a move that didn't sit right with Kody.
Kody called Gabriel to discuss COVID protocols. He failed to acknowledge that it was his son's 21st birthday on the call. Gabriel tearfully recounted the exchange on Sister Wives, saying it was the last time he'd spoken with his father.
With the strain on Kody's relationships with his kids more intense than ever, Janelle announced she planned to spend the holidays apart from Kody, Robyn and Meri in favor of spending time with her kids. Noting that the boys were "not welcome" with Kody unless they apologized, Janelle said that Kody was making her choose between him and their children.
In preview footage for season 18, Janelle and Kody are seen arguing around the holidays. Kody is seen shouting and pointing at Janelle, saying, "You make this excuse forever, but I…" before Janelle cuts him off, shouting, "Shut your f**king mouth and let me talk to you for a minute."
Not happy to have his wife speak to him that way, Kody stands up, saying, "No, no, no, no, no, no."
"You stay and talk," Janelle says, trying to grab Kody's arm.
"I'm done listening to you. Goodbye," Kody declares, exiting the house.
"OK, so we're done?" Janelle asks without receiving a response, before adding, "F**k you," as the door slams.
In a promo for the One-on-One special, Janelle and Kody revealed that they had been "separated" for months.
When the One-on-One special aired, a lot of the focus was on the current nature of Kody's relationship with Janelle. Though Kody expressed a desire to make things work in their relationship, Janelle seemed less interested, saying she couldn't officially divorce due to religious reasons.
"I think it could be there, but it would require so much change on both our parts so I don't know," she said at the time. "Part of me thinks, 'OK, my religion requires that you continue to make a marriage work.' And I deeply believe in my faith. I have been so much at peace that I don't know how to reconcile that. So that's where my debate with myself is all the time because I know I'm happy. I don't want him to come back, but my faith requires that we are married eternally."
Janelle and Kody came face-to-face at the high school graduation of their youngest daughter, Savanah. Though they didn't pose together, Janelle shared a picture of the proud dad and his daughter on her special day.
Janelle described herself as "single" in an interview with People, noting that her "marriage is over" and that she's no longer a part of a plural family.
While she is single, Janelle said she's not ready to look for love just yet. However, when she does, the reality star said she's open to another plural relationship.
"I would actually consider a plural marriage because I really do love the freedom and the independence that it gave me," she told People of a polygamist lifestyle. "I think it was a good fit for me. I don't even know what it would be like to be married in a monogamous relationship. If that's what works out, great, so I'm open to plural marriage. But I don't know if there's really a lot of men who can pull it off."
She added that she was excited for the future.
"For me at this point in my life because my marriage is over and I'm no longer a part of a plural family, it means I have infinite ability to choose what my next chapter looks like, to redefine myself, recreate myself, transform into whatever I want to be," she said. "It's not going to be much different from who I am. Let's be real, I like myself. But I have so many opportunities now, huge opportunities, so I'm excited for this next chapter."
Sister Wives season 18 premieres Sunday, Aug. 20 at 10 p.m. ET on TLC.