I thank you for your enquiry and your patience.
This is I must say a very unusual situation to be in. On the face of it, the law provides that where something is held jointly, then both parties would have an equal right to it. So, generally speaking, her name being on the joint account does allow her legally to access the money.
This being said however, I do believe you would be able to bring a claim for its return, on the basis that your ex's actions would be seeking to be unjustly enriched. Unjust enrichment deals with circumstances in which one person is required to make restitution of a benefit acquired at the expense of another in circumstances which are unjust. in my view, if she has made no contributions to the account and you have been separated for quite sometime, then, it stands to reason that she could not be entitled to benefit from it.
Practically, i would write a letter to your ex, explaining the above guidance and your intention to commence legal action against them for the return of the money, as they would not be entitled to it. you would be required to give them sometime to return it, usually a minimum of 14 days. If they do not repay it within this time, then, my recommendation is to commence legal action for the return of the money.
Can I clarify anything for you?
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