An award of alimony may be granted to either party by the court.  There are four types of alimony in Tennessee: alimony in futuro (or permanent alimony), alimony in solido, rehabilitative alimony and transitional alimony.  Alimony often involves complex tax issues that extend long after the divorce has been granted.  Payments can be awarded periodically, or in one lump sum.  While the two most important factors are need and ability to pay, there are many factors used by the courts for determining awards.