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.)
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.