McClure v. Beck, Jr. (Fourth DCA, March 8, 2017)

In a modification proceeding, the trial court modified the parties’ shared parental responsibly to provide that if the parties are unable to agree on major decisions affecting the minor child, that the father would have ultimate decision-making authority.  The trial court stated that major decisions “include, but are not limited to, decisions about the children’s education, healthcare, and other responsibilities unique this family.”  The mother appealed this provision and the Fourth DCA reversed.

The District Court noted that a court may award shared parental responsibly while granting one parent ultimate decision making authority, but that it may do so only if it explicitly delineates the “specific aspects of the child’s welfare over which the parent shall have ultimate responsibly.”  In this case, the language of the trial court’s order was infinitely broad and therefore in violation of section 61.13(2)(b)(2)(a).  The District Court remanded this issue to the trial court solely for the purpose of identifying the specific areas over which the father would have final decision-making authority