You are not required to have a lawyer but the process can be tricky. In many courts, a staff attorney is assigned to assist "pro se" litigants. Call the local court house to see if free assistance is offered.
Any answer or response to your question I may provide does not establish or constitute an attorney-client relationship and is for general informational purposes only.
Really, you’re asking a rhetorical question because you already know the answer. You’re describing a divorce and custody matter. At minimum, you need to consult with an experienced with an experienced divorce attorney, licensed in the appropriate jurisdiction, about the specific facts and details of the case. Don’t delay; it is highly advisable that you meet with an attorney as soon as you can. Once you've met with a local lawyer about your case the case you should be better able to make an informed decision as to how you want to proceed.
This is not legal advice. This response is provided for general information only, as a public service. It is not to be relied upon as legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship; nor is it an attempt to create an attorney/client relationship. Consult with local counsel in your jurisdiction about the specifics of your case, which is the only way to gain true meaningful legal guidance and/or representation.