Can anyone give me some free legal advice?
YES but do you really think it is wise to count on the accuracy and relevance of free legal advice?
how can you claim to be divorced for 5 years and then state that you "thought we were common law married."?
how can they stop you from filing for unemployment?
if you are no longer employed you can file....the state will determine if you qualify and are eligible.
if you have short-term disability insurance file a claim with the insurance company. of course you can NOT be on STD and be eligible for unemployment. just file for everything and let the insurance and state work it out..........
just be sure you are honest with everyone and do not hide any facts. if you are approved for both make sure you let them both know, if you fail to do so and get caught you could be charged with fraud, lose ALL benefits, possibly lose the right to claim benefits in the future and could be held responsible to repay any funds received.
You should remember that you get what you pay for. A cheap lawyer might be a lawyer who accepts a really low retainer - but instead of 20 hours worth of work, your friend will get 10 hours worth of work. And it probably won't be quality work.
If your friend is not eligible for free legal representation (check with your county's legal services program), then she might be better off representing herself. A (cheap) bad lawyer can do far more damage than having no lawyer at all.