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Most people assume that the 10/10 rule states that spouses married to military personnel for less than ten years are ineligible to get the service members’ pay. This assumption is wrong.

According to the Department of Defense, the 10/10 rule states that the former spouses of military members can get a court-ordered portion of the military retirement pay directly from the defense finance department.

However, the spouses who get this pay are those who were married for ten years or more to a member who had ten years or more of military service.

Therefore, the ten years of marriage overlap with ten years of service creditable to the military retirement program. It is a rule that only affects those who send the former army spouse a retirement check and not if they are eligible to receive one or not.

You also need to understand that years of service do not determine the amount of money the spouse will receive from the retirement pay. It is a number that the courts will evaluate. It means as a civilian; you have the right to ask for half that money even if you were married for less than ten years.

You also have the right to ask for less, even when you were married for more than ten years. It is an amount that is negotiable after the divorce. You may also have the right to ask for real estate instead of the retirement pay.

You will receive the payment directly from the military. You will not have to rely on the individual service member to give you your share.