Alberta's Justice Minister has resigned following "legal proceedings" involving his estranged wife.

Jonathan Denis announced his resignation Saturday, saying it stemmed from "a court action involving a personal family matter" which meant it "would not be appropriate" to continue in his cabinet role.

"My wife and I have had difficulties in our marriage over the last several months," he wrote in a release.

"I am very saddened by these recent circumstances. This is a very difficult time for my family and I, and I would ask for respect for our privacy on this matter while it's being resolved."

The statement came minutes after a similar announcement from Premier Jim Prentice, who said he asked for Denis to step aside.

"Given the involvement of the courts, I have asked for and received the resignation of the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General," Prentice wrote.

Prentice refused a request from CBC News to comment further on the matter.

Denis said despite his resignation from cabinet, he would continue to run as the Progressive Conservative candidate for Calgary-Acadia, a seat he has held since 2008. 

Agriculture Minister Verlyn Olson has stepped in to take over Denis' cabinet role.