For what its worth, I'm an engineer and I approached the family court in much the same way you are planning to. I hope you can learn from my experience.
I went through a case with an attorney thinking that they would fix my problem, after all, it was very clear that I should spend the majority of time with my kids. Well, things didn't work out so well. I got an unfavorable outcome and my attorney basically sat on his hands and collected large sums of money from me. He didn't present any of my evidence in court. I was broke, paying over 50% of my income to my X and she was treating the kids like dirt.
So, I decided that the only way that I could pursue justice was to learn everything there was to know about family law and apply it to my case. I purchased several law books, and even a large volume guide for family law attorneys in my state (written by my judge no less). I was learned on the subject and ready to pursue my case anew.
I wrote well written pleadings and formed a good case. My X got a decent attorney. I went through several rounds of preliminary items and finally went to court where the judge dismissed my petition for modification. In that hearing, she would not let me speak. Not one word. The opposing council even spoke with me afterward and said that if I had an attorney that would have never happened. Knowing that even if I appealed and won, I would never get this judge to rule in my favor, I decided to do the only practical thing and made some changes that would enable me to once again hire an attorney.
With my new found legal knowledge AND an attorney, I have been very successful in court and I'm close to accomplishing my goals. Its not fair, or just, but that is the way the world works. You don't have access to the legal system without an attorney. Yes, there may be some isolated cases where people have gotten favorable outcomes without one, but I count it as a necessity. Even doing something like setting a date for a hearing can be somewhat nightmarish when you're on your own.
I think you should get your flowchart together, and learn the ins and outs of family court procedure. This will help immensely to minimize your legal costs and ensure a favorable outcome, but don't assume that just because you know as much or more than some attorneys, you will be ok without one.