The real problem with representing yourself against a debt collector, in a divorce, or any other lawsuit is that you don't have as much knowledge as you need.
You will never know as much about the law as a lawyer because they are continually studying or learning about it plus they have at least three years where that is all they did.
However, you can know as much about your case and as much about the law in your case as they do IF you spend the time and effort to learn.
We've been discussing discovery in the posts on this board but those discussion are very general and about the concept. What you need to realize is that discovery is how you learn what evidence and what witnesses the other side is going to use against you. Discovery can also allow you to discover the other side's weaknesses because the proper use of discovery obligates them to reveal all the information about the case, not just the part that favors them.
It would be an extremely rare case where a lawyer would choose not to do discovery. It is an essential part of properly preparing your case.
Likewise, an ability to do competent legal research is mandatory. If you don't know how to locate the law that applies to your case it would be like trying to be a competitive target shooter, without knowing where the target is located.
While of course we would like for you to purchase our instantly downloadable e-books, The Guerrilla Guide to Legal Research: Finding the Law for Non-Lawyers and The Guerrilla Guide to Written Discovery (Civil), it is imperative that you learn these two skills from any source that you can. If not, you are greatly hindering your ability to win.