Walk Like a Man: Frankie Valli Wins in Divorce Proceedings

A recent legal win by Frankie Valli reveals the need to fight long and hard for financial fairness during divorce.

In 2003, legendary singer and frontman of the vocal group the Four Seasons, Frankie Valli purchased a $3.75 million insurance policy naming his wife of 27 years, Randy Valli, as owner and beneficiary of the policy. In 2004, the couple decided to divorce.

But since 2004, the value of the life insurance policy — now estimated at $400,000 — has remained at issue. The matter traveled through the California state court system. Unlike New York, California is a community property state. In New York, the marital estate is subject to equitable division, while in states like California, the marital estate is split equally.

Mr. Valli argued that the value of the insurance policy was community property of the marital estate, and subject to division. Ms. Valli argued the value of the insurance policy was her separate property and not subject to any kind of division.

Ultimately, the California Supreme Court held the following:

  • The insurance policy is community property under California law.
  • Because the policy is not separate property, the value of the policy must be split between the parties.

In New York, the equitable division of assets means valuable separate property must be defined and protected by prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.

For adults in middle or older age, there is less time to rebuild a nest egg. Aggressive legal action is needed to protect financial resources into retirement.

According to media reports, Ms. Valli continues to receive more than $300,000 per year from Mr. Valli from her divorce settlement. If you have questions about the distribution of property and assets during divorce in New York, our firm offers aggressive, skilled legal representation on your behalf. Call me at Bryan L. Salamone and Associates, P.C.

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