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The specific situation in mind is a check from an insurance company in payment for an insurance claim for damages to a home jointly owned by H and W. The check is made out to both. It was sent to the W. Can she cash the check or does it need to be signed by both. (It appears the W does not want to share any of the funds with the H. The couple lives apart in Georgia and are not on speaking terms.)

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You can present the cheque to the bank - if they cash it great!

More likely, they may insist that it is either deposited to a joint account or is endorsed by the other party. They are entirely within their rights and are, in fact, showing sound prudential judgement in doing so. Legally these are joint funds and their disposal is a matter for the couple jointly.

What W is trying to do is bordering on fraud.

  • What legal recourse might H have? – user3270 Jan 12 '16 at 0:05
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    Little to none while they are married - domestic financial relationships are not an area where the law has much scope. If the marriage breaks down then the insurance settlement would be part of the marital estate and would need to be distributed in whatever way that gets worked out. – Dale M Jan 12 '16 at 0:10
  • It might well be that the insurance claim was fraudulent. The H might not want to sign so as not to be made a party after the fact to the W's insurance fraud. From what you said, the W probably could cash it anyway. – user3270 Jan 12 '16 at 1:48
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    If they still have a joint account, she can definitely get the money. I once tried to cash a check made out to my wife only, was told I couldn't, so I deposited it to a joint account. I then got back in line and wrote myself a check for the amount. You might get some funny looks but if you have a joint account what's yours is your wife's and vice versa. – Patrick87 Jan 12 '16 at 18:40

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