Does a person need to hire a lawyer to declare bankruptcy?

In a word, yes. This is not an arena for pro se lawyer. A person who is on the edge of insolvency needs a lawyer who specializes in bankruptcy. Bankruptcy can be extremely complex, and if it is coupled with an impending or recent divorce, the complexities, duties, and deadlines can overwhelm the person who is already in great distress because of his or her situation. A person staring into the abyss of bankruptcy at the same time he or she is negotiating a divorce is very likely going to be a person whose nerves are in shreds, and he or she needs good advice from a disinterested third party.