A majority—sometimes a vast majority – of family law cases involve one or both parties who don’t have lawyers. Sometimes the lack of a lawyer is voluntary, when a person is sure he or she can handle the case better than a lawyer can. In most cases, though, it’s likely the litigant would like to have a lawyer to navigate the process, but can’t afford one.
Two recent resources came to me for unrepresented litigants. One is a course, Represent Yourself in Family or Divorce Court. I haven’t taken this course, so I can’t give specifics — even if I took it, I already have background in family court so I wouldn’t be able to properly assess it. But read the information, ask questions to see if it fits your needs, and check it out. For a fraction of the cost of one hour with a lawyer, this course has multiple lectures talking about what paperwork you need to file, how to fill it out, how to calculate child support (which is tricky even for lawyers who do this all the time), and how to proceed. This course looks ideal for someone needing a walk-through on a relatively straightforward divorce action that might not be contested.
The second resource is a book, Controlling Your Divorce and Building Your Case, by Launi Sheldon. This book covers what might go on in a more contested divorce case including division of assets and specific child-related issues. Launi Sheldon also wrote Custody Evaluation Preparation with excellent information for anyone going through a family court custody evaluation.
Both the course and the book are prepared by long-standing family law attorneys who have done divorce cases dozens or hundreds of times and who have seen the problems self-represented individuals run into in family court. Check out these resources and see if they have anything for you.