Palmer, who plays Bianca Butcher on the BBC One soap, will leave Albert Square for around six months at the end of April to spend more time with her four children. Her on-screen mother Coulson, who plays Carol Jackson, is also due to take a break over the summer.
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Bianca will depart on April 27 when she has an explosive row with Carol, who takes her grandchildren away from Bianca to live with her in the countryside, according to The Mirror.
A programme insider said that Bianca's bust-up with Carol "is sure to break people's hearts as they realise just how close to the edge she is".
The EastEnders audience has seen single mother Bianca struggle with money worries in recent months.
Viewers will see her become increasingly desperate to make ends meet ahead of her departure as she steals food for her family and borrows money from a loan shark.
An EastEnders spokeswoman has confirmed that both actresses will return to the show later in 2012.
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Watch a character trailer for EastEnders' Carol below: