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The term "entitlement" isn't really appropriately used here. A former spouse doesn't obtain an entitlement, regardless of the length of the marriage, until a court order actually grants that entitlement.
However, to be eligible for consideration by the state court for an entitlement, there is no set period that the marriage has to last for the state court to have the right (not the obligation) to consider a division of the military retirement.
Now, when states consider granting a portion of military retirement, they will often use formulas that take into consideration the total marriage overlapping military service against the total military service. Assuming 20 years as the minimum, and a court granting an entitlement here, 11.25% is a figure that the court could come to. She is not NOW entitled to it, but it is a figure that takes into consideration the short marriage and a 20 year retirement.
The court could grant her that. The court could grant her 50%. The court could grant her 0%. Any of those figures is possible and legal, because all the law does is grant the state court the right to treat military retirement just as it treats civilian retirement...as a shared and divisible asset, if the marriage merits it.
Now, there is a rule that states that DFAS will only pay a former spouse directly if the marriage was 10 years, but that does NOT mean that an award can't be granted by the state court. It just means that the military member would have to cut the checks rather than DFAS doing it automatically. It is not a prohibition against an award.
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