§39.811(1) and Order of Disposition-Dependency trial court’s findings in support of its decision to not adjudicate a child dependent, after declining to terminate parental rights of child’s father, were insufficient to permit the District Court of Appeal to conduct meaningful review, warranting reversal and remand of dependency determination.

In Interest of K.W., 234 So.3d 835 (2018)

The GAL filed a petition to terminate parental rights of mother and father as to their two children, K.W.(1) and K.W.(2). The trial court terminated mother’s parental rights as to both children, but only terminated father’s parental rights to the child, K.W. (1), not to the child, K.W. (2). The trial court further concluded that no grounds were proven to sustain a finding of dependency as to K.W.(2).

The GAL appealed and the Second DCA found that while the record contained evidence that could support an adjudication of dependency as to the child, K.W.(2), nothing in the record or in the final judgment indicated why the trial court decided not to adjudicate child dependent. Finding that it could not conduct a meaningful review of the trial court’s conclusion regarding the dependency, the DCA reversed and remanded the portion of the final judgment that determined there were no grounds to adjudicate the K.W.(2) dependent.

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