Our Organization

The Florida Family Law Reform PAC is a Florida state registered political action committee (PAC), and consists of a statewide group of individuals who work collaboratively to promote family law reform. The PAC is an all-volunteer organization, with no member of the PAC taking a salary or any other form of compensation. 

  

The PAC is structured with an executive  leadership team, and nine statewide chapter leaders. Each chapter leader coordinates with their respective teams within the various regions at the grass roots level. These local teams meet with their respective legislators to educate and share the horror stories that are the consequences of our current, antiquated laws and let them know there is “trouble in the village” that must be remedied. 

 

Florida Family Law Reform PAC supports alimony to "transition" an ex spouse to self sufficiency... we are against "permanent" alimony which is state sanctioned, forced financial servitude with zero accountability for the recipient, and 100% of  the burden on the payer until death.  


Our organization seeks to reform these type abuses with the current laws so that divorce cases and child time-sharing issues can be more easily settled in a consistent matter from courtroom to courtroom, and from county to county. By doing so, the abuses in the law can be minimized, and hard-earned family assets aren’t fodder for vexatious, litigation hungry attorneys during the difficult period of divorce and family transition.   

Florida Family Law Reform PAC Leadership Team

Michael McAuliffe - Chairman

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Michael has been involved in alimony reform since his experience with Florida Family Laws starting in 2009. He has experienced the abuses that the current laws impose as a Florida permanent alimony payer.

Michael was shocked at how Florida Family laws were so unfair. “Looking back, I was woefully uninformed and assumed Family Laws were in place to HELP families transition through the very difficult period of divorce.  Instead I experienced firsthand the abuse and intimidation of the current laws, within a system that fuels a multi billion dollar divorce industry at the expense of hard working taxpayers.  I now seek to educate and inform as many as will listen, on how these laws hurt people, families, and promote the wrong values and behaviors in our society”. 


Florida Family Law Reform PAC supports alimony as a means to transition the lower earning spouse to self sufficiency.  We seek to eliminate permanent alimony, and other abusive outdated Family laws that were written at a time when women could not support themselves.   Florida is only one of seven states that still have permanent alimony on the books.  It is far past due to bring these laws into alignment with the realities of today societal and economic norms.

Michael has previously worked on the Executive Committees of Florida Alimony Reform, (FAR), and Family Law Reform (FLR). In his past roles as Legislative Chair he led and coordinated statewide Legislative Chapters aimed at reform. These chapters and their leaders are the grass roots of Family Law reform, and are mobilized at the city, county and regional levels to meet with legislators to educate and inform the public on the abuses in the current Florida Family Laws.

Michael holds a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering, and a Masters in Business Administration and is a 30+ year Floridian. 

Debbie Leff-Kelapire - Public Relations Chair

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Debbie became interested in alimony reform in 2010 when she became engaged to her husband. It was pointed out to her that it would be risky to get married to a lifetime alimony payer because her income as a mathematics professor could be used to increase her husband's ex-wife’s lifetime alimony.

 

Once involved in the cause, she realized how unfair the current Florida laws are to payers, second wives, and their families. She saw one horror story after another which fueled her passion to fix the antiquated laws. She was extremely involved in the publicity surrounding the 2012 and 2013 reform bills. 


Debbie spearheaded Florida's Second Wives Club and has been interviewed in print media including Time Magazine, the Miami Herald, the Sun Sentinel, Orlando Sentinel, the South Florida Business Journal and others. She has also been on dozens of television and radio spots including the Orlando and Jacksonville Fox affiliates, the West Palm Beach NBC affiliate, NPR radio and other local radio shows. 


Debbie has spoken in Tallahassee on numerous occasions in front of various Senate committees and led two dozen women to the governor's office in 2013 to show female support for the proposed alimony reform bill. 


Debbie holds a bachelor's degree in Marketing and Finance and a Masters degree in Mathematics and lives in Sunrise, Florida with her husband. 

Alan Elkins - General Legal Counsel

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Alan is the Florida Family Law Reform PAC General legal counsel.  He is a Florida Family Law attorney and is well known for his advocacy for Family Law Reform.  He has been a long standing supporter of change in order to bring common sense reform to the current set of outdated Family laws that that were written at a time when women could not support themselves.   He has spoken at many conferences and meetings to various organizations about the compelling need for Family Law Reform in Florida, and has appeared before the Florida Legislature during Family Law Reform hearings.  


Alan’s skill in Florida Family Law has been honed by years of experience in litigating countless Family Law cases.   He has witnessed the many Family law cases where the current laws did not render a fair judgement.  He is therefore keenly aware of the opportunities for reform with the current laws.  Moreover, Alan is also permanent alimony payer who has been supporting an able bodied ex spouse since 2001 on a 20 year marriage.    This makes Alan uniquely qualified as he is able understand the legal implications, while feeling firsthand the pains and abuses that go hand in hand with unfair Family Laws. 


Alan Elkins is a lifelong Floridian who graduated from the University of Florida (in 3 years with honors) and subsequently received his Law degree from Nova University Law school.  He currently practices at the Law Offices of Elkins & Freedman.

Michel Buhler - Legislative & Funding Chair

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Michel has become a steadfast promoter of alimony reform since 2013.  As a result of a change in jobs and a move prompted by the Great Recession of 2009, he sought a modification of his alimony.  Two years and hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees later, a judge who accepted a $500 campaign contribution from his ex-spouse’s lawyer weeks after he was assigned the case, ruled against his modification request.  It was at that moment he realized the following about Florida’s alimony laws:

  • Alimony should be marriage-unemployment insurance; for a limited time and limited amount necessary to get a lesser-earning spouse to be self-sufficient. Current alimony laws do not give payers the right to retire and thus make them lifetime indentured servants to alimony recipients. This keeps them from becoming productive citizens or remarrying. 
  • Current laws place two people who are a vulnerable state during a divorce into an adversarial system guided by divorce lawyers who have every financial incentive to lengthen and delay the proceedings. The way to end this conflict of interest this is to make alimony a predetermined formula similar to child support and even cap legal fees in a manner similar to probate law. 
  • Any laws that result in a person wishing the death of an ex-spouse (the mother or father of their children no less) is immoral; but that is what permanent alimony does.
  • Permanent alimony does not allow two people who want to separate their lives entirely to do so; keeping them tied instead in an endless cycle of entitlement and resentment; most often to the detriment of the children.  

Michel is using his extensive international business experience to position alimony reform in Florida as a win/win for alimony payers, recipients and their families.