You can make your own arrangements - there's no reason to go to court unless you have major disagreements about residence, contact or finances. The more you can agree between you the better! The important thing is to prioritise what's best for the child, and adjust to her changing needs as the years go by. You might find the information here useful.
Dp and I are likely to split soon. We have 1yo dd. She's very close to me, he's a good dad but she spends much less time with him due to his work and other commitments. We live in my house, he has a flat that he's let out, he'd probably move back there on his own.
I would be comfortable with him visiting dd weekly, say Saturday morning for three hours he could take her out to the park etc. I suspect he'd be happy with this arrangement. I work three days a week, she goes to cm.
Would dp and I be able to make a custody arrangement like this without a solictor? What are the pitfalls, ie if dp decides he wants her overnight in future? What age so most children start overnight stays?