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Texas court order backs Frank Sinatra Jr. in marriage case


Cynthia Sinatra, a lawyer in Wharton, argued that she and Frank Sinatra Jr. remained married despite divorce.

Texas Supreme Court, however, lets stand a lower-court ruling that said no informal marriage existed.

A Texas Supreme Court order, issued Friday without comment, ended Cynthia Sinatra’s quest to be acknowledged as the common-law wife of noted bandleader Frank Sinatra Jr.

Cynthia Sinatra, a Southeast Texas lawyer, and the son of the famous singer-actor married in 1998 — only to be divorced almost 2½ years later. Even so, the couple continued a relationship that, she later argued, amounted to a common-law marriage that entitled her to a division of his assets.

In 2014, a Wharton County judge agreed that they had been informally married for a decade after they separated and granted her a second divorce — plus $500,000, a half-interest in Frank Sinatra Jr.’s Beverly Hills home (valued at $4.5 million) and $5,000 a month for one year.

Frank Sinatra Jr. appealed but died of a heart attack at age 72 while on tour in Florida in March 2016. His estate took up the legal battle.

Last summer, the Corpus Christi-based 13th Court of Appeals overturned the award for Cynthia Sinatra, ruling that there was no evidence that Frank Sinatra Jr. intended or agreed to remain married after the 2001 divorce — a necessary component of common-law, or informal, marriage.

Cynthia Sinatra appealed, asking the Texas Supreme Court to acknowledge her relationship with Frank Jr. as a common-law marriage, noting that he often introduced her as his wife, continued supporting her long after alimony payments ended and frequently lived in her Wharton home while on break from touring.

On Friday, however, the state’s highest civil court declined to accept Cynthia Sinatra’s appeal, letting stand the appeals court ruling in Frank Sinatra Jr.’s favor.

Her lawyers can ask the Supreme Court to reconsider, but such motions are rarely granted.

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