This is a very complicated yet important area of law that all civil servants facing a divorce must understand and know their rights.
Simply put, consider the following illustration. You are a Police Officer, you marry your spouse. During the course of your marriage, your spouse goes to school and becomes some sort of professional, for example, a nurse, a doctor, an attorney, a realtor or whatever. Several years later the marriage ends, and your spouse wants the marital share of your retirement benefits.
You however are entitled to the marital share of the value of the professional license that your spouse earned during the course of your marriage. This is detailed and complicated. But do not give up your rights. Why should you give up half of your retirement benefits, and allow your spouse to profit from your helping your spouse obtaining a professional license? You should not! You are entitled to the marital share of that license.