The legal system is complicated and difficult to navigate. Many people - including lawyers at times - have trouble remembering all of the rules an intricacies of the legal system. Trying to handle your own family law situation or divorce can be a bad decision.
To be fair, attorneys cost money. Often, attorneys charge a lot of money. Sometimes, people simply cannot afford to pay for an expensive family law lawyer. However, at the least, you should talk with a lawyer just to get information about what you need to do to better represent yourself.
Often, you may be able to get much cheaper legal advice if you simply meet with an attorney once for a consultation. This may cost you some money, but the charge for such a consultation is typically much lower than it would be to retain a lawyer for your entire case. Many lawyers offer these kinds of consultation - often called "unbundled" representation.
However, if you cannot afford to even do an initial paid consultation with an attorney, you should at least try to speak with a pro bono or legal aid attorney. Nearly every county in the country will have some kind of legal aid program. The lawyers at the legal aid centers are not always the easiest to get in touch with, but you can often get in touch with someone to help you. Obviously, the other great thing about legal aid lawyers is that they are typically free. Some legal aid organizations may charge a sliding fee scale, but the fees are often very low - in the range of $25-$75 dollars an-hour. Sometimes, the charge can be even less.
When you do talk with an attorney, make sure you have your affairs in order. Often, the attorney will ask you to bring in financial documents like your pay stubs or tax returns. Furthermore, the attorney is going to want to know something about you and your family. The lawyer will often ask about names, phone numbers, addresses, social security numbers, and other identifying information. One frequent question will be "how do you plan to contact the other party (e.g. your husband or wife, or other party who may be opposed to you in your legal case). It is important to have the other parties' contact information as well because the lawyer will have to serve legal paperwork on that person.
In sum, talking with an experienced family law lawyer is very important if you are facing a difficult legal situation or divorce. Although the initial cost may be greater than you want to spend or can afford to spend, the rewards of making an effort to at least speak with an attorney once can be great.