Unlike most pensions, where money is set aside for later use upon retirement, military retirement pay is actually paid out of the federal budget every year and unless they have opted for a Survivor Benefit Plan, the family of the retired veteran is only given this pay while he or she is still living. Also unlike pensions, military retired pay is adjusted for the cost of living, and instead of being paid based on years of service it is paid out on a points-earned basis. Because of this, the non-military spouse will not only receive annual raises for the cost of living; he or she will only be entitled to the portion of the retirement pay points earned during the marriage.
Unless your divorce lawyer is very familiar with the ins and outs of military divorce; it is likely that you could be giving up more of your military retired pay in a divorce than necessary. For this reason, it is highly recommended that any current or former service member who is getting divorced first seek the advice of a military divorce attorney.