Many think you must be married for at least 10 years for the court to award a share of the military retired pay. The marriage need last only minutes (long enough to say "I do") in order for the spouse to be entitled to a share of the military retired pay. However, the marriage needs to have lasted at least 10 years and overlapped with the service member’s creditable military service for 10 years for the defense finance center to make the payment directly to the former spouse.

Many spouses think that if they were the beneficiary of the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) while married, that they will remain so upon divorce. This is not true, and SBP is a mutually exclusive benefit that must be addressed in the divorce (whether it is to continue with the current spouse or not).